Every state in the U.S. now has cases of the novel coronavirus present. For the last week, we’ve been watching updates from government officials about restrictions, mandates and other steps to stop the spread of this serious illness. While some operations have been asked to cease immediately (schools, gyms, casinos, and others) other business owners that don’t fall into these categories are still left trying to navigate through the next steps.

Here are some of the Interim Guidance rules set forth by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help businesses better understand the risks and how they can plan and put safeguards into place at their workplaces.

Credit: CDC

Encourage Employees to Stay Home

If an employee is sick, whether they are just sniffling or running a fever, as an early precaution, encourage them to stay home for the day to avoid close contact with other employees and customers. If a business is able to allow remote work, they should plan to let employees start as soon as now logging in from home to complete their work tasks. This isolation will only help to stop the potential spread. The same is true for any travel. Cancel those meetings and switch to the online channel instead. There are plenty of free conferencing services that require only an Internet connection to utilize.

Clean & Sanitize Constantly

If you choose not to close your doors then you must make every effort to maintain a clean and sanitary environment. Mandate that employees wash their hands throughout the day. Send reminder emails if needed and keep tissue boxes, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes around the office for easy access. Continually wiping down and washing surfaces that could be contaminated with the virus is key.

Stay Informed with Latest Updates

As many of the details of this novel virus continue to emerge, it is critical as an employer still operating your facility to stay on top of the latest developments. Recommendations made by professionals and the government should not be taken lightly. Preparing a plan in advance of sudden closure demands will ensure your employees have access to financial arrangements (such as unemployment benefits) or are comfortable enough to make the transition to remote, online work.