Guidance for Employers

For employers


Social distancing

  • Increase physical space between workers at the worksite. 
  • Staggering work schedules. 
  • Decreasing social contacts in the workplace (e.g. limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.). 
  • Limit large work-related gatherings (e.g. staff meetings, after-work functions). 


  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. 
  • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time. 
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use. 
  • Provide tissues, no-touch disposal receptacles (if possible), soap, water, and alcohol-based hands rubs in different locations throughout the workplace. 

Planning, looking ahead 

  • Create an Infectious Disease Outbreak Plan: In case of US outbreak, consider how best to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower impact COVID-19 in your workplace in the event of an outbreak in the US 
    • Considerations 
      • Disease severity (number of people sick) in the community where business is located. 
      • Impact of disease on employees that are vulnerable and may be at a higher risk for COVID-19 adverse health complications. 
      • Potential increase in numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and/or family members. 
    • Implement plans to continue essential business functions in case you experience higher than usual absenteeism. 
    • Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so business can operate even without key staff members. 
    • Provide local managers with the authority to take appropriate actions outlined in their business infectious disease outbreak response plan based on the condition in each locality. 
    • Coordinate with state and local health officials so timely and accurate information can guide responses. 
  • Other considerations (minimal to moderate approach): 
    • Limit non-essential work travel. 
    • Consider regular health checks (e.g. temperature and respiratory symptom screening) of staff and visitors entering buildings (if feasible). 
  • Other considerations (substantial approach): 
    • Implement extended telework arrangements (when feasible). 
    • Ensure flexible leave policies for staff who need to stay home due to school/childcare dismissals. 
    • Cancel non-essential work travel. 
    • Cancel work-sponsored conferences, tradeshows, etc. 

What to do if you have a confirmed case 

  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of you potential exposure.  

For more information

Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources

Share Facts, Not Fear

WHO’s Basic Protective Measures Against the New Coronavirus

CDC’s Coronavirus Disease Guidance for Travel

World Health Organization: Coronavirus Q & A