As state governments across the country ease up on the stringent business closures and stay-at-home orders that helped the nation slow the spread of COVID-19 earlier this year, companies are actively seeking guidance related to their return-to-work operations. Due to numerous factors, each state will emerge from this suspended animation by implementing different measures, and on different timetables.

In most instances, businesses can expect two types of guidance from their governors and public health officials:

  1. Overarching framework materials, setting forth various phases of the anticipated reopening process and identifying criteria for advancement through the recovery period;
  2. More specific orders that supersede prior closure directives and permit particular operations to resume on certain dates and under certain conditions. Employers can expect that these materials will establish new health and safety protocols for the workplace—such as mandatory health screenings and face coverings—that may remain in place for the foreseeable future. Indeed, many reopening plans include multiple mitigation steps, such as limits on occupancy, sanitation and physical distancing requirements, and new posting duties.

As Sequoia continues to compile pandemic-related resources for employers and their workforces, we recommend bookmarking the National Governors Association website for your future reference. This site provides evolving analysis that is updated every Wednesday and Friday as governors issue reopening plans that include public health criteria as well as frameworks for businesses. Here are some suggested links for tracking state-specific activities.

The best sources overall for timely information on the coronavirus pandemic remain the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

If you’d like more guidance as you chart your company’s path forward, contact your Sequoia Risk Advisor, or connect with them directly in HRX.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2020 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Mary Beth Downs – Mary Beth Downs is a Senior Risk Advisor for Sequoia, providing property and casualty consulting services to our clients helping them protect assets, scale in the marketplace, and manage risk. As a Bay Area resident for the past 27 years, she enjoys volunteering in her local community and traveling within the state as much as possible.