Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we've received. Have a question you'd like answered? Submit it on our Ask an Expert page.
Have questions about COVID-19? See our page on coronavirus.
- What cleaning product is best to use in office settings, public restrooms or on different types of surfaces?
Consult this list of products recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that meet criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against the virus that causes COVID-19.
A new tool on this CDC page allows a search by use site, contact time and active ingredient. Other filters show products by the type of surface (hard or soft) surface type, contact time and other variables.
- Do outdoor surfaces such as park benches, picnic tables, open shelters, wood railings, playground surfaces or public areas require different cleaning protocols than indoor ones?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Targeted use of disinfectants can be employed on outdoor hard surfaces and objects frequently touched by multiple people. To learn more, consult this EPA publication on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces.
- What kind of masks should my workers wear? What about gloves?
Cloth masks can be an effective way to slow spreading of the coronavirus. Wearing gloves routinely as protection against infection is not recommended by the CDC. It’s much more effective to frequently clean your hands. Use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol or wash hands with soap and water.
- Should we conduct temperature checks for employees?
The CDC and some states, including Ohio, have recommended screening of employees prior to entering the workplace.
- How do you manage public restrooms and shared employee restrooms?
Post signs in restrooms to remind employees and customers to maintain distances of 6 feet from others or consider taping off sinks or toilets to influence occupancy. Any lines should form outside the restroom.
- What can I do as a leader to handle issues that arise (HR, legal, customer, risk management)? What's the infrastructure?
Designate a COVID-19 team leader to communicate between leadership and work teams. Create a daily update for employees, in which every employee receives a message from their leader or COVID-19 leader. Use these communications to inform your employees of COVID-related information and the measures you are taking to safeguard the workplace.
- Can we continue to hold in-person meetings? What about providing a buffet lunch at these meetings?
With physical distance important in slowing the spread of the illness, people attending in-person meetings should wear face masks and maintain 6-foot distances, with less than 10 people in a room at a time. Avoid buffet-style dining or self-serve food service such as salad bars.
- What are best practices for face-to-face customer interactions, forming checkout lines and determining how many customers to allow in my workplace at a time?
Current guidance from the CDC is that everyone – employees, vendors and customers – should wear a mask in public in addition to maintaining a distance of 6 feet. When employees must have contact with others for five cumulative minutes or more, employees should wear a face mask and a plastic face shield. Follow the governor’s policy on occupancy and physical distancing, which is 50 percent of the normal occupancy permitted by fire code.
- Should our business require customers to wear masks when in our buildings?
Masks are now required in any indoor location that is not a residence; outdoors when maintaining a distance of 6 feet or more is not possible; or when using public transportation in Ohio's Level 3 (red) or Level 4 (purple) counties as designated by the Ohio Department of Health. Children younger than age 10 and those unable to safely wear a mask are exempt.