Prepare To Modify Your Operations (5.5.2020)

While the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana develop plans to safely and gradually ease restrictions, there are things businesses should be preparing for if considering reopening during the appropriate phase for their operations. More information on guidelines and requirements will be made prior to moving to the next phase.

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office has activated a new, web-based program to assist businesses and religious organizations with safely resuming operations as the public health emergency due to COVID-19 continues. allows business owners and church leaders to register in order to receive up-to-the minute information on what phase their business and/or church is considered, what phase the State is in as Louisiana moves through phases of return, and what social distancing and sanitation guidelines are required for their specific operation in each phase.

See additional resources from the CDC

Reduce capacity

  • In the first phases, some operations will be allowed to resume but at a reduced capacity.
  • Be familiar with the occupancy allowed in your space by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal and the typical levels of staffing for your basic operations.
  • When your operations are allowed to resume in the appropriate phase, you may be required limit your occupancy to a set percentage of your permitted occupancy.
  • Begin to lay out your space for fewer people allowed inside and spaced apart to ensure social distancing.
  • Establish ways to ensure you can remain within any required reduced capacity.

Ensure social distancing of employees and clients

  • Identify the areas and situations in which people normally come into contact with each other in your space. Come up with ways to minimize the number, duration, and intensity of contact situations.
  • Limit gathering opportunities by marking spaces for people to sit or stand that are farther than six feet away from each other.
  • Do not allow employees or patrons to come into close contact (within six feet) of each other in your facility.
  • Consider physical barriers, such as plexiglass screens, to prevent direct interaction.
  • Provide signage, floor markings, cones, or other visible reminders of social distancing requirements for employees and clients.
  • Do not allow gathering in areas such as break rooms or restrooms.

Increase cleaning and access to hand washing

Protect your workers

  • Require all employees to wear a face covering and any additional personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary for the specific job duties.
  • Post educational literature in multiple languages, along with daily training on appropriate conduct.
  • Create a single point of entry into the workplace and check-in and check-out all workers, and where workers can check-in if they start to feel ill or begin to show symptoms.
  • Scan worker temperature upon entry, and anyone exhibiting signs of illness should not be allowed into the workplace.
  • Enact paid leave policies to ensure employees who are sick or who have been exposed to COVID-19 can stay home for the necessary period of time.
  • Individuals who have been exposed must be quarantined for 14 days.
  • Individuals who have tested positive can be allowed to return to work if:
    • They have not had symptoms for at least three days, AND
    • At least seven days have passed since their symptoms began

Plan for contact tracing

  • When a person tests positive for COVID-19, the Louisiana Department of Health will contact them to find out where they have been and with whom they have recently been in close contact.
  • Develop a plan to track the employees and clients in your space in case you are asked to assist in tracing the contacts of a sick individual.

Information from