COVID-19 Business Manual
The COVID-19 Business Manual is a step-by-step plan from the Utah Department of Health to protect your business and prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is important to look at how your business operates and make a plan to make your worksite healthier. The manual has up-to-date recommendations from the UDOH, CDC, OHSA, and U.S. Department of Labor.
Some of the information you will find in the manual:
- Keeping your business open and what you should do if an employee is exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19
- Answers to questions business owners have about requirements for quarantine and isolation, sick leave, and tax credits
- Cleaning after a positive case of COVID-19
- Testing employees for COVID-19
- How to protect your worksite, operations, and employees
- Essential and critical infrastructure sector employees
Healthy customers. Healthy employees. Healthy economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a tremendous toll on individuals, families, communities, and businesses. Economic activity and health outcomes are tightly connected. Economies thrive when people feel and are safe.
One of the simplest ways to protect lives and livelihoods is by wearing a face mask. Nearly all reputable medical and scientific organizations agree that masks are an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19.* A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed not only do masks protect other people from getting infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, but that masks can also be protective for the person wearing a mask.** Mask-wearing decreases the number of COVID-19 cases, increases consumer mobility, and increases consumer spending.
What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
Quarantine is for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but aren’t sick yet. Isolation is for people who are sick or who have symptoms of COVID-19.
Employees With Affected Family Members
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Act requires certain small employers (those with less than 500 employees) to provide limited paidleave benefits to employees who are affected by the COVID-19 emergency. Small employers are given new tax credits and federal payroll-tax relief to pay for the new mandatory benefits. Generally, the Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:
- Up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined due to COVID-19
- Up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a need to care for an individual subject to COVID-19 quarantine, or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
- For more information regarding covered employers, eligible employees, and qualifying reasons for leave, visit this link.
FFCRA Questions and Answers
The state maintains a spreadsheet that lists Utah vendors for personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, sanitizer and disinfectant. If you’re a Utah organization in need of PPE for your workforce or on-site visitors, we encourage you to reach out to other Utah companies that can provide those products. View the spreadsheet here.
If you’re a Utah company that has made, or can make, PPE, please submit your information here.
If you have PPE to donate to help support Utah small businesses, please submit your information here.
Protecting Higher-Risk Individuals
In every level of COVID-19 restriction identified in the Utah Leads Together plan, high-risk individuals and the companies that employ them should follow instructions issued by the Utah Department of Health.
Individuals in higher-risk categories, including those who are immunocompromised, should continue to follow stricter protocols, and exercise all possible caution. Individuals who work or live with persons in higher-risk categories should also continue following stricter guidance.
Download Protecting Higher-Risk Individuals (PDF)
Outbreak Response Plan
Employers should prepare an Outbreak Response Plan using the following process:
- Ensure the plan is flexible and involves employees in development and review.
- Conduct a focused discussion or exercise using the plan, to find out ahead of time whether the plan has gaps or problems that need to be corrected.
- Share the plan with employees and explain what human resources policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, and pay and benefits will be available.
- Share best practices with other businesses in the community (especially those within the supply chain), chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts.
Nitin Nohria, dean of the Harvard Business School, said recently in the Harvard Business Review that a plan should be complemented by a company’s “ability to rapidly evaluate ongoing changes in the environment and develop responses based on simple principles.” The companies best capable of that evolution have:
- Engaged and informed networks rather than hierarchical command and control.
- Distributed leadership rather than centralized bureaucracy.
- A less interdependent business structure among operating groups.
- A dispersed workforce.
- Cross-trained generalists rather than a few specialists.
- Simple and flexible rules rather than procedure driven policies.
Resilience in a Box
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, UPS Foundation, World Economic Forum (WEF) and Disaster Resistant Business (DRB) Toolkit Workgroup have developed a “Resilience in a Box” program based on best practices and designed to educate newcomers on business resilience. The program guides companies toward addressing preparedness issues while building in flexibility to handle potential business interruptions.
Corporate Policy Recommendations
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Centers For Disease Control, recommends companies:
- Ensure sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and employees are aware of these policies.
- Speak with vendors that provide contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
- Do not require a health care provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or return to work, as medical providers are extremely busy and likely unable to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- Maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
For more information, view the U.S. Chamber’s Guidance for Employers to Plan and Respond to the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Should an Emergency Remote Work Plan become necessary due to infection among employees, family members, or the community at large, Cali Williams Yost, CEO and founder of Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit recommends the following:
- Acknowledge the possibility that all or part of your workforce may need to work remotely.
- Map out jobs and tasks that could be affected.
- Audit available IT hardware and software, and close any gaps in access and adoption.
- Set up a communications protocol in advance.
- Identify ways to measure performance that could inform broader change.
Detailed information concerning these recommendations are included in “What’s Your Company’s Emergency Remote-Work Plan?” Harvard Business Review, February 28, 2020.