BOSTON – On Monday, May 4, the Baker-Polito Administration updated several guidelines relating to COVID-19 essential services. The guidelines are associated with Gov. Baker’s March 23 Emergency Order, which was updated and extended on March 31.
If a service qualifies as essential it may continue operations. Both public-facing and private services that remain open should implement certain practices and procedures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As always, state and local officials urge businesses to follow social distancing protocols for workers and customers in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health.
As of May 4, non-essential businesses are permitted to bring in a small number of employees in order to remotely fulfill online or phone orders, if following the remote fulfillment guidelines listed below:
- Facilities must be closed to the public, as the allowance is for the fulfillment of remote sales/orders only
- Employees may only be engaged in the packaging and delivery/shipping of phone and online orders, not the manufacturing of those products
- Operating hours must allow for sufficient ongoing off-hour sanitation/cleaning
- All employees must wear face coverings while on-site
- All employees must maintain 6 feet social distancing and employers should stagger employees within the facility to ensure social distancing
- Any deliveries made by employees must be ‘no-contact’ deliveries: items must be left in mailboxes, mail rooms, garages, lobbies, at a doorstep, or similar no-contact drop-off points
- Employers must stagger shift start/stop times and breaks/lunchtimes in order to minimize contact
- Facilities must have readily accessible hand sanitizer and hand washing facilities for employee use
- In a closed facility that is used for remote fulfillment:
- There must be enough space within the facility for all employees present to be able to maintain 6 feet of social distancing
- In a facility under 10,000 square feet, a maximum of 3 employees may be allowed on the premises at a time
- In a facility between 10,000-30,000 square feet, a maximum of 5 employees may be allowed on the premises at a time
- In a facility more than 30,000 square feet, a maximum of 7 employees may be allowed on the premises at a time
- Employee work spaces must be cleaned frequently, following public health guidelines
- Employers must require employees to self-administer a temperature check prior to beginning each shift. Any employee with any symptoms, including a temperature over 100 degrees, must not report to work and should self-isolate, contact their doctor and follow medical guidance.
- Employees in quarantine, due to exposure to a known case of COVID-19 or someone with COVID-19 like illness, must remain under quarantine for 14 days since the day of exposure and not report to work
- Employers must strictly adhere to any further workplace guidance
- Facilities found in noncompliance with this order must be closed immediately
- Facilities unable to fully comply with all of these parameters shall not operate.
For a complete list of guidelines for essential and non-essential businesses from Gov. Baker’s May 4 update, click here.