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Thursday, Jul 18, 2024

State Rules on How Non-Essential Offices, Retailers Can Reopen

Gov. Gavin Newsom late Tuesday announced an amended Safer at Home Order for the state, giving non-essential office-based businesses the green light to reopen, as well as retail establishments for in-person shopping and places of worship. According to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, businesses and institutions must “take appropriate steps to plan for reopening” which follow the state’s Recovery Plan. A 65-point checklist for office worksites, issued by public health officials and broken down into five main sections, includes: having workplace policies and practices in place to protect employee health; measures to ensure physical distancing; infection control measures; constant communication with employees and the public; and providing a way for the public and employees to safely access critical services, such as products needed everyday for the job. The first section, protecting employee health, has 23 checkpoints that require businesses to reconfigure workflow to increase work-from-home opportunities, stagger shift schedules and breaks to maximize social distancing, having employees wear masks while at work, and making sure desks are at least 6 feet apart, among other requirements. “All businesses must implement all applicable measures … and be prepared to explain why any measure that is not implemented is not applicable to the business,” health officials added in the statement. In-person shopping protocols include the same five sections, with individual checklists altered to account for more interactions with the public. Retailers are expected to adopt many of the same social distancing and cleanliness measures as grocery stores have, allowing no more than 50 percent of maximum occupancy at any time, providing a queue outside keeping customers at least 6 feet apart from one another, and adding plexiglass between cashiers and customers.

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