Are you prepared for Phase One of Forward Dane?  This afternoon, Friday, May 22, 2020, Public Health Madison Dane County issued Emergency Order #3 which moves Dane County into Phase One of Forward Dane starting on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.  The text of today’s Order #3 can be found here. On May 18, 2020, Public Health Madison Dane County had issued Emergency Order #2 – its stay at home order – and its phased reopening plan, Forward Dane. Today’s order outlines much of what was already outlined in Forward Dane but focuses only on Phase One.  For a detailed summary of Order #2 and Forward Dane, reference our recent blog post here.

Order #3 provides that, beginning May 26, 2020, landlords or rental property managers may now enter leased residential premises if wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing (currently, they could only enter if a maintenance emergency existed).

Additionally, mass gatherings of 10 or more people are allowed indoors in private properties and 50 or more are allowed in commercial facilities and outdoors (the number of people at specific types of businesses is subject to industry-specific thresholds set forth in Phase One).

During all phases of Forward Dane, all businesses in Dane County must have written and implemented policies and procedures on the below items both in writing and implemented/ready to implement:

Hygiene policy and procedure that includes:

    • Ensuring employees who have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to work
    • Hand washing expectations and supplies available for staff
    • A description of proper cough and sneeze etiquette

Cleaning policy and procedure that includes:

    • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces multiple times a day
    • Frequently wiping down any shared equipment, such as workspaces, credit card machines, lunchroom items, carts, baskets, etc.
    • Cleaning common areas and equipment between use or shift changes
    • Protocols to clean and disinfect in the event of a positive COVID-19 case

Protective measure policy and procedure that includes:

    • Ensuring people are at least 6 feet from others whenever possible
    • Ensuring employees are provided with and wear face coverings when unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from people (if a transparent partition is in place, a face covering is recommended, but not required)

Employers must also document that the written policies and procedures were provided to employees or that they were trained on them. Given that businesses could begin reopening as early as next week, it is imperative that your business get its policies and procedures in writing soon.

Public Health Madison Dane County has provided template policies that meet the requirements of Forward Dane.  You can find the templates, and other useful information at Public Health Madison Dane County’s website here (for the templates, scroll down to the “toolkit”).  If you have business locations or operations outside of Dane County, you may be subject to requirements put in place by the given county or municipality.

Keep in mind that not every aspect of the templates provided by Public Health Madison Dane County may apply to your business setting, and you may need additional items in your policy, tailored to your specific business.  Further, as you get back into the swing of things or expand your business operations, you may find that your policies and procedures need to be modified. Should you need assistance in preparing or revising policies for your business, or if you have questions about implementing and enforcing policies, please contact Kramer, Elkins & Watt, LLC at 608-709-7115.

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