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As of June 8, 2020 Governor’s proclamation 20-25.4 requires most workers in Washington to wear a mask or face covering at work with few exceptions. The complete requirements are listed in the Safe Start Phased Reopening plan found at https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/SafeStartPhasedReopening.pdf.
Exceptions to wearing a face covering include:
Employers must provide cloth facial coverings to employees, unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection under Department of Labor & Industries safety and health rules and guidance. Employees may choose to wear their own facial coverings at work, provided it meets the minimum requirements.
As much as possible, employers should encourage and support remote work. Employers should encourage people to wash their hands often, cover mouth and nose when they cough and sneeze and stay home when they are sick. Employers should follow social distancing recommendations when setting up workspaces.
Employers should review sick leave policies. Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
More information for employers and businesses can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting workers, customers, visitors, and others at a worksite.
Follow guidance from Washington State Department of Health: http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/COVIDexposed.pdf
If an employee is sick with COVID-19 or you suspect infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, you should take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your place of business and community.
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
If you think you or any of your employees have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.
Employers should develop policies and procedures for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Where appropriate, employers should develop policies and procedures for immediately isolating people who have signs and/or symptoms of COVID-19, and train workers to implement them.
Employers should emphasize basic infection prevention measures. As appropriate, all employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices. Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes, discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible and maintain regular housekeeping practices.
If you must go to work, ensure you don’t have symptoms. You should:
Each disease investigation is unique. When appropriate, the Health Department provides specific guidance to organizations, businesses, schools and government officials based on possible disease exposure risk.
We encourage as many people as possible to stay home if able. If you are a close contact of a confirmed case or are experiencing symptoms, ensure you can stay home.
If you tested positive for COVID-19, you need to remain under home isolation for seven days OR for 72 hours after fever is gone and symptoms are better. Whichever is longer.
If an employee had a fever, cough or shortness of breath but was not exposed to or positive for COVID-19, then they should stay home, away from others until 72 hours after fever is gone and symptoms get better.
We communicate and coordinate our efforts with other health departments and the State Department of Health. If a person gets sick, we work with other health departments to identify close contacts and potential exposure sites.
You can use Paid Family and Medical Leave if you are sick with Coronavirus and off work for an extended time.
Information can be found on the Washington State Labor & Industries website: https://lni.wa.gov/workers-rights/leave/paid-family-and-medical-leave
Use alcohol wipes to wipe down keyboards or other devices. Be sure to follow product applications instructions on the product label.
Implement telework options for your staff. If staff can’t work from home, follow these recommendations:
Find more guidance on these websites:
Continue your regular safe food handling practices.
Learn more about food worker and establishment guidance on COVID-19 at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/NovelCoronavirusOutbreak2020/FoodWorkers
If you cannot financially weather this storm, yes. Apply. Everybody else with any question about being able to: it’s not a bad idea to apply now. If you are approved, you do not HAVE to take it, you can keep it in your savings until you’re through the worst of it, and the interest rate is pretty low if you use it at or below 4%. This loan has since been opened non-profits, as well. It can take weeks to get formally approved and then receive your money, so apply early. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
The short answer is the PPP is meant to encourage employers to keep their workers employed through the crisis and what the dollars can be used for. Part or all the principal may be forgivable BUT keep DETAILED DOCUMENTATION. The PPP can only be used for:
It CANNOT be used for:
Taxes imposed or withheld during the covered period
Compensation of an employee whose principal place of residence is outside the United States
THE EIDL has a larger breadth of use. It is meant to help Small Businesses recover from economic losses sustained because of the pandemic. To apply you must have been in business since January 31, 2020. They have waived most of their previous requirements including years previous tax returns, being in business for one year, and personal guarantees for loans less than 200k.
This will be administered through an SBA Qualified Lender. Check with your financial institution. If they do not, contact the Cowlitz Economic Development Council: http://www.cowlitzedc.com/.
Yes, but keep detailed records, consider both LOANS even though portions of each can be converted to grants, and don’t spend what you can’t payback. You will apply for EIDL through SBA and the PPP through a qualified lender. Information on who is doing these is coming out now in the coming days.
Can you, sure. Should you? NO. These will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis. But only $349 billion has been allocated to this program. This sounds like a lot of money, but you’re talking about businesses in ALL 50 states and territories. Imagine even half the business in Cowlitz County applying and multiply that by an average of 62 counties by state and at least 50 states. That money will be gone in a hurry.