COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan for Retail Setting
The purpose of this plan is to outline the steps that every employer and employee can take to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The plan describes how to prevent worker exposure to coronavirus, protective measures to be taken in the retail setting, personal protective equipment and work practice controls to be used, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and what to do if a worker becomes sick.
The Botanical Co. takes the health and safety of our employees very seriously. With the spread of the coronavirus or “COVID-19,” a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we all must remain vigilant in mitigating the outbreak. This is particularly true for the cannabis industry, which has been deemed “essential” during this Declared National Emergency. To be safe and maintain operations, we have developed this COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan to be implemented throughout the Company and in all our retail settings. We have also identified a team of employees to monitor available U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and guidance on the virus.
This Plan is based on currently available information from the CDC and is subject to change based on further information provided by the CDC, and other public officials. The Company may also amend this Plan based on operational needs
I. Responsibilities of Managers and Supervisors
All managers and supervisors must be familiar with this Plan and be ready to answer questions from employees. Managers and supervisors must always set a good example by following this Plan . This involves practicing good personal hygiene and retail setting safety practices to prevent the spread of the virus. Managers and supervisors must encourage this same behavior from all employees.
II. Responsibilities of Employees
We are asking every one of our employees to help with our prevention efforts while at work. To minimize the spread of COVID-19 at our retail settings, we all must play our part. As set forth below, the Company has instituted various housekeeping, social distancing, and other best practices at our retail settings. All employees must follow these. In addition, employees are expected to report to their managers or supervisors if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as described below. If you have a specific question about this Plan or COVID-19, please ask your manager or supervisor. If they cannot answer the question, please contact April DeLang: firstname.lastname@example.org
OSHA and the CDC have provided the following control and preventative guidance to all workers, regardless of exposure risk:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Follow appropriate respiratory etiquette, which includes covering for coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
In addition, employees must familiarize themselves with the symptoms of COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing; and
- Early symptoms such as chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose.
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, DO NOT GO TO WORK and call your healthcare provider right away. Likewise, if you come into close contact with someone showing these symptoms, call your healthcare provider right away.
III. Retail Setting Protective Measures
The Company has instituted the following protective measures at all retail settings.
General Safety Policies and Rules
- Any employee/contractor/visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to leave the retail setting and return home.
- Staff meetings will be by telephone, if possible. If staff meetings are conducted in-person, attendance will be collected verbally, and the manager/supervisor will sign-in each attendee. Attendance will not be tracked through passed-around sign-in sheets or mobile devices. During any in-person staff meetings, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people and participants must remain at least six (6) feet apart.
- Employees must avoid physical contact with others and direct employees/contractors/visitors to increase personal space to at least six (6) feet, where possible.
- All in-person meetings will be limited. To the extent possible, meetings will be conducted by telephone.
- Employees will be encouraged to stagger breaks and lunches, if practicable, to reduce the size of any group at any one time to less than ten (10) people. (2 customers on the sales floor, 2 customers in the lobby, and applicable staff).
- The Company will provide access to alcohol-based hand sanitizers and/or wipes for all staff members along with anti-bacterial soap for hand-washing purposes.
- The Company will provide alcohol-based wipes and cleaning supplies to clean and sanitize all shared common areas and surfaces before and after shift use. When conducting cleaning protocol, consult manufacturing recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and any material restrictions.
- The Company will designate employees into dedicated shifts, at which point, employees will remain on their dedicated shift. If there is a legitimate reason for an employee to change shifts, the Company will have sole discretion in making that alteration.
- Employees are encouraged to eliminate ridesharing.
- Employees should use individual water bottles in lieu of shared water receptacles.
Retail Setting Visitors
- The number of visitors to the retail setting, will be limited to only those necessary for the work. (2 customers on the sales floor, 2 customers in the lobby)
- All visitors will be screened in advance of arriving in the retail setting. If the visitor answers “yes” to any of the following questions, he/she should not be permitted to access the retail setting:
- Have you been confirmed positive for COVID-19?
- Are you currently experiencing, or recently experienced, any acute respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
- Have you been in close contact with any persons who has been confirmed positive for COVID-19?
- Have you been in close contact with any persons who have traveled and are also exhibiting acute respiratory illness symptoms?
- Site deliveries will be permitted but should be properly coordinated in line with the employer’s minimal contact and cleaning protocols.
Personal Protective Equipment and Work Practice Controls
- The Company will also provide PPE for workers and visitors:
- Gloves: Nitrile/latex Gloves should always be worn while in the retail setting by employees. Employees should avoid sharing gloves.
- Masks: Masks should always be worn while in the retail setting by employees and visitors alike. Cloth or disposable masks are sufficient in the retail setting. Employees and visitors should avoid sharing masks.
- NOTE: The CDC is currently not recommending that healthy people wear N95 respirators to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employees should only wear N95 respirators if required by the work thye are performing.
IV. Retail Setting Cleaning and Disinfecting
The Company has instituted regular housekeeping practices, which includes cleaning and disinfecting frequently common areas and surfaces, and other elements of the work environment, where possible. Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.
- All common areas, surfaces, bathrooms, and break/lunchroom areas will be cleaned at least once per day. Employees performing cleaning will be issued proper personal protective equipment (“PPE”), such as nitrile/latex gloves and gowns, as recommended by the CDC.
- Any trash collected from the retail setting must be changed frequently by someone wearing nitrile/latex gloves.
- The Company will ensure that hand sanitizer dispensers are always filled. Frequently touched items (i.e. door pulls and toilet seats) will be disinfected frequently.
- If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, OSHA has indicated that there is typically no need to perform special cleaning or decontamination of work environments, unless those environments are visibly contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids. Notwithstanding this, the Company will clean those areas of the jobsite that a confirmed-positive individual may have come into contact with before employees can access that workspace again.
- The Company will ensure that any disinfection shall be conducted using one of the following:
- Common EPA-registered household disinfectant.
- Alcohol solution with at least 60% alcohol; or
- Diluted household bleach solutions (these can be used if appropriate for the surface).
- The Company will maintain Safety Data Sheets of all disinfectants used on site.
V. Retail Setting Exposure Situations
- Employee Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms
If an employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, the employee must remain at home until he or she is symptom free for 72 hours (3 full days) without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants). The Company will similarly require an employee that reports to work with symptoms to return home until they are symptom free for 72 hours (3 full days). To the extent practical, employees are required to obtain a doctor’s note clearing them to return to work.
- Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
An employee that tests positive for COVID-19 will be directed to self-quarantine away from work. Employees that test positive and are symptom free may return to work when at least seven (7) days have passed since the date of his or her first positive test and have not had a subsequent illness. Employees that test positive and are directed to care for themselves at home may return to work when: (1) at least 72 hours (3 full days) have passed since recovery; and (2) at least seven (7) days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Employees that test positive and have been hospitalized may return to work when directed to do so by their medical care provider. The Company will require an employee to provide documentation clearing their return to work.
- Employee Has Close Contact with a Tested Positive COVID-19 Individual
Employees that have come into close contact with a confirmed-positive COVID-19 individual (co-worker or otherwise), will be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with the carrier. Close contact is defined as six (6) feet for a prolonged period.
If the Company learns that an employee has tested positive, the Company will conduct an investigation into co-workers that may have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee in the prior 14 days and direct those individuals that have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with the carrier. If an employee learns that he or she has come into close contact with a confirmed-positive individual outside of the workplace, he/she must alert a manager or supervisor of the close contact and also self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with the contaminated.
VI. “Essential” Industry
Several States and localities are issuing orders that prohibit work and travel, except for essential businesses. The cannabis industry has been deemed essential and the Company is committed to continuing operations safely. If upon your travel to and from the worksite, you are stopped by State or local authorities, you will be provided a letter that you can show the authorities indicating that you are employed in an “essential” industry and are commuting to and from work.
Except for circumstances in which the Company is legally required to report workplace occurrences of communicable disease, the confidentiality of all medical conditions will be maintained in accordance with applicable law and to the extent practical under the circumstances. When it is required, the number of persons who will be informed of an employee’s condition will be kept at the minimum needed not only to comply with legally-required reporting, but also to assure proper care of the employee and to detect situations where the potential for transmission may increase. A sample notice to employees is attached to this Plan. The Company reserves the right to inform other employees that a co-worker (without disclosing the person’s name) has been diagnosed with COVID-19 if the other employees might have been exposed to the disease so the employees may take measures to protect their own health.
VIII. General Questions
Given the fast-developing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Company may modify this Plan on a case by case basis. If you have any questions concerning this Plan, please contact April Delang: email@example.com
COVID-19 Checklist for Employers and Employees
Know the Symptoms of COVID-19
- Coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
- Early symptoms may include chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, DO NOT GO TO WORK, and call your health-care provider immediately. Do the same thing if you come into close contact with someone showing these symptoms.
- Develop a COVID-19 Exposure Action Plan.
- Conduct staff meetings by phone if possible. If not, instruct employees to maintain 6-feet between each other. The manager/supervisor will track attendance verbally rather than having employees sign an attendance sheet.
- All visitors will be pre-screened to ensure they are not exhibiting symptoms.
- Employees, contractors, and visitors will be asked to leave the jobsite and return home if they are showing symptoms.
- Provide hand sanitizer and maintain Safety Data Sheets of all disinfectants used on site.
- Provide protective equipment (PPE) to any employees assigned cleaning/disinfecting tasks.
- Talk with business partners about your response plans. Share best practices with other businesses in your communities (especially those in your supply chain), chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts.
- Become familiar with the Exposure Action Plan and follow all elements of the Plan.
- Practice good hygiene: wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If these are not available, use alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face, eyes, food, etc. with unwashed hands.
Cleaning/Disinfecting Retail Setting and Other Protective Measures
- Clean and disinfect frequently used tools and equipment on a regular basis. This includes other elements of the retail setting where possible. Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.
- Clean common areas such as bathrooms and break/lunchrooms at least once per day.
- Disinfect shared surfaces (door handles, shared surfaces, keyboards, etc.) on a regular basis.
- Trash collected from the retail setting must be changed frequently by someone wearing gloves.
Personal Protective Equipment and Alternate Work Practice Controls
- Provide and wear the proper PPE.
COVID-19 Watercooler Talk
What is COVID-19?
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is one of seven types of known human coronaviruses. COVID-19, like the MERS and SARS coronaviruses, likely evolved from a virus previously found in animals. The remaining known coronaviruses cause a significant percentage of colds in adults and children, and these are not a serious threat for otherwise healthy adults.
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Chinese authorities identified an outbreak caused by a novel—or new—coronavirus. The virus can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. The outbreak began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has spread to a growing number of other countries—including the United States.
How is COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19, like other viruses, can spread between people. Infected people can spread COVID-19 through their respiratory secretions, especially when they cough or sneeze. According to the CDC, spread from person-to-person is most likely among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, like how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It is currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
In assessing potential hazards, employers should consider whether their workers may encounter someone infected with COVID-19 in the course of their duties. Employers should also determine if workers could be exposed to environments (e.g., worksites) or materials (e.g., laboratory samples, waste) contaminated with the virus.
Depending on the work setting, employers may also rely on identification of sick individuals who have signs, symptoms, and/or a history of travel to COVID-19-affected areas that indicate potential infection with the virus, in order to help identify exposure risks for workers and implement appropriate control measures.
There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.
COVID-19 Prevention and Work Practice Controls:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home—DO NOT GO TO WORK.
- Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
Retail Setting / Office Practices
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2external icon, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
- Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work items and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used items and equipment on a regular basis.
- Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.
- Clean shared spaces such as bathrooms and break/lunchrooms at least once per day.
- Disinfect all shared surfaces (door handles, etc.) on a regular basis.
- Avoid sharing items with co-workers if it can be avoided. If not, disinfect before and after each use.
- Any trash collected from the retails setting must be changed frequently by someone wearing gloves.
- The Company will also provide:
- Gloves (Nitrile/Latex)
- Masks (Cloth/Disposable)
- Any additional suggested PPE
 Recovery is defined as: (1) resolution of fever with the use of fever-reducing medications; and (2) improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).