COVID-19 Safety, Best Practices, & Community Guidelines
Small businesses in Big Bear Lake can take advantage of our best practices and community guidelines.
In the coming weeks and months, restrictions by state and county authorities will begin to ease. Potentially, this could occur as early as May. At which point, the city of Big Bear Lake will enact its own plan regarding how to re-open Big Bear Lake. While this guidance will provide the clarity businesses need to begin to legally operate, it is important that all businesses in Big Bear Lake hold themselves to the highest level of safety and cleanliness to ensure the business community continues to have the trust of it’s residents and visitors.
The goal of this document is to supply all lodging, recreation, restaurant and retail businesses in the valley of Big Bear Lake with key guidelines and checklists to educate their staff on continuing the highest standard of safety at their businesses for patrons including residents and visitors.
Where Is This Information Coming From?
The recommendations in this document come from a variety of sources, including: WhiteHouse.gov, CDC, World Health Organization, AirBnB, Pegasus Duty of Care Policies, various state departments of health, Marriott International, Four Seasons, the FDA, the National Restaurant Association, the National Retail Federation and the global association for the attractions industry (IAAPA). This guide condenses much of the information from these sources. Further your understanding of business recommendations and guidelines as it pertains to your industry by reviewing the source materials.
Why Should I Follow These Guidelines?
In March and April, the residents of Big Bear Lake demonstrated community unity by abiding by a set of rules in order to protect everyone from unprecedented harm due to COVID-19. We managed to keep the number of cases in Big Bear Lake in the single digits. By continuing to move forward together in lock-step, we will establish credibility to both residents and visitors by avoiding a spike in COVID-19 cases as stay-at-home orders ease. Big Bear Lake, like the rest of the country, suffered extreme economic loss and the re-opening not only as soon, but as safe as possible, is critical for recovering from the current situation.
Guidelines For Everyone
Please continue to adhere to the state and local authorities as well as the following guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 from the CDC and The White House:
IF YOU FEEL SICK, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
IF YOUR CHILDREN ARE SICK, keep them at home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider.
IF SOMEONE IN YOU HOUSEHOLD HAS TESTED POSITIVE for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
IF YOU ARE AN OLDER PERSON, stay home and away from other people.
IF YOU ARE A PERSON WITH A SERIOUS UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITION that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
Guidelines For Businesses
Employees Are Entitled To A Safe Workplace
Employees have a right to a safe work environment under federal law. Make sure your business is compliant to the Workers’ Rights Booklet by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Learn more at osha.gov. Employee safety training is available at niehs.nih.gov.
Practice Good Hygiene:
- Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow
- Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
Stay informed with the latest national information at coronavirus.gov.
Cleaning vs Disinfecting
These guidelines are meant to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 with safe business operations. Keep in mind cleaning is the act of removing dirt, impurities and germs. Disinfecting is when chemicals are used to kill germs. Always clean first, then disinfect to lower the risk of harmful viruses and bacteria. Check approved COVID-19 disinfectant list at epa.gov/coronavirus.
Where to Find Cleaning Materials
During this time, it may be difficult to find enough personal protective equipment, disinfectants and other cleaning supplies to safely resume partial operations of your business. Here is a list of cleaning suppliers that may be available:
Maintaining Healthy Business Operations
Sourced from CDC Guidelines. More recommendations and guidelines at cdc.gov/coronavirus:
1. Identify a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their impact at the workplace.
2. Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices.
3. Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of and understand these policies.
4. Maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member or take care of children due to school and childcare closures. Additional flexibilities might include giving advances on future sick leave and allowing employees to donate sick leave to each other.
5. Employers that do not currently offer sick leave to some or all of their employees may want to draft non-punitive “emergency sick leave” policies.
6. Employers should not require a positive COVID-19 test result or a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or to return to work. Healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely manner.
7. Review human resources policies to make sure that policies and practices are consistent with public health recommendations and are consistent with existing state and federal workplace laws (for more information on employer responsibilities, visit the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission websites).
8. Connect employees to employee assistance program (EAP) resources (if available) and
community resources as needed. Employees may need additional social, behavioral, and other services, for example, to cope with the death of a loved one.
Guidelines For Lodging
Preparing Your Property For Re-Opening
1. Remove all excess items from living spaces, lobbies and common space areas, such as extra bedding, hangars, minibars, reading materials and rugs. Adjust lobby/common space area seating as needed.
2. Clearly identify and label safe distances for check-ins.
3. Identify additional rules that may be needed to enforce social distancing. For example, limit
elevator rides to one family unit and limit capacity of common space areas.
4. Ensure you have the proper cleaning materials, personal protective equipment (PPE) and are aware of the proper protocol for cleaning and use of PPE. If you have an independent
contractor that does your cleaning services, make sure they are aware of new cleaning procedures and also have proper equipment, including cleaning and disinfecting chemicals, disposable gloves and masks. Information regarding donning PPE and proper common hygiene practices is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
5. Offer a more flexible cancellation policy. As the situation evolves, new information may make it hard, or impossible, for a guest to honor a reservation.
Keeping Your Property Safe And Clean
1. Limit amenity services to ensure that guest interactions with other guests is limited.
- If your property has a gym, have guests sign up for a specific time-slot to use the gym
- Discontinue in-room housekeeping
2. Help guests keep your property clean. Provide them with separate bags for towels, bedding and trash. Have sanitizer stations in common spaces on the property. Provide them with extra soap, paper towels, tissues and toilet paper.
3. Clean frequently high-touch surfaces and disinfect. You can find a list of disinfectants approved by the EPA to kill the Coronavirus at epa.gov/coronavirus. Make sure your products for cleaning and disinfecting aren’t expired.
Example Of Statement On Cleaning Protocols
Excerpt from clean.marriot.com:
As we welcome you back to our hotels around the world, we are committed to providing you with a safe environment that aligns with expert protocols for working to defeat COVID-19. Consisting of in-house and outside experts in food and water safety, hygiene and infection prevention, and hotel operations, our Marriott Cleanliness Council is redefining our cleaning and safety standards. We will actively monitor and evolve our solutions to ensure a continued focus on the health and safety of our guests and associates.
Establish New Cleaning Protocols
The following is information provided by AirBnB. More information is available at airbnb.com
1. Wait 24 hours after guest has left to begin cleaning the room.
2. Wear PPE at all times.
3. Ventilate the rooms before you clean.
4. Wash hands thoroughly before and after cleaning.
5. Always clean, then disinfect. Use the right disinfectant that is EPA approved (epa.gov/coronavirus).
6. Avoid touching your face while cleaning.
7. Make sure to clean porous surfaces, such as rugs, carpet, drapes, etc.
8. Wash all linens on the highest heat setting.
9. Clean and disinfect all laundry baskets and hampers.
10. Empty the vacuum cleaner after every cleaning.
11. Line all trash cans.
12. Dispose or wash all cleaning supplies.
13. Safely remove cleaning gear.
14. Share with your guests the increased cleaning procedures, but don’t use any words such as “covid-free” or other unsubstantiated claims.
15. Following cleaning, wait 24 hours before booking the room or property and 72 hours total between bookings.
Cleaning Checklist For Staff:
- Room has been unoccupied for at least 24 hours.
- Hands have been thoroughly washed prior to cleaning.
- I am wearing Personal Protective Equipment, including a mask and gloves.
- I have all necessary cleaning materials, including disinfectants that aren’t expired.
- Windows have been opened to ventilate the property.
- All surfaces have been cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected, including tables, countertops and floors.
- All high-touch items, including door handles, remotes, light switches, toilets, faucets, sinks, kitchen equipment have been cleaned and then disinfected.
- All porous surfaces (rugs, carpets, drapes, etc) have been cleaned properly.
- Trash cans have be emptied, disinfected, and lined with new bags.
- Linens are washed on the highest heat setting.
- Laundry baskets or hampers have been cleaned and disinfected.
- Vacuum cleaner has been emptied.
- Hands have been thoroughly washed after to cleaning.
Guidelines For Restaurants
See the California Dept. of Public Health guidance for Dine-In Restaurants: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/gui...
FDA Best Practices - Employee Health
1. Instruct all employees with symptoms associated with COVID-19 to stay home. Instruct sick employees to follow the CDC guidelines. If the employee is sick at work, send them home immediately. Clean and disinfect surfaces of their workspace. Others at the business who have been in close contact (within 6 feet) have been exposed.
2. For the employees that are well, but have been exposed to the virus, follow the CDC recommended precautions:
- Employers should pre-screen staff (e.g. taking temperature and assessing symptoms prior to starting work).
- Clean and disinfect work spaces and equipment. Clean frequently high touch surfaces
- Employees should regularly self-monitor, wear a mask or face-covering and practice social distancing whenever possible.
3. Follow all CDC information on PPE. If staff has been sick but is now feeling better, follow the CDC’s guidance for discontinuation of home isolation. This information can be found at cdc.com/coronavirus.
FDA Best Practices - Employee Personal Hygiene
1. Emphasize hand hygiene, including washing for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
2. Always wash hands with soap and water. If soap and water isn’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and avoid working with unwrapped or exposed foods.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
4. Use gloves to avoid bare hand contact with read-to-eat foods.
5. Before handling food, always wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
6. Cover your cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away in the trash and wash hands.
FDA Best Practices - Managing Operations
1. Follow the 4 key steps to food safety: Always — Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
2. Wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact surfaces dishware, utensils, food preparation surfaces, and beverage equipment after use. Use individual condiment serving packets that can be discarded.
3. Frequently disinfect surfaces repeatedly touched by employees or customers such as door knobs, equipment handles, check-out counters, and grocery cart handles, etc.
4. Frequently clean and disinfect floors, counters, and other facility access areas using EPA-registered disinfectants.
5. Prepare and use sanitizers according to label instructions.
6. When changing your normal food preparation procedures, service, delivery functions, or making staffing changes, apply procedures that ensure:
– Cooked foods reach the proper internal temperatures prior to service or cooling.
– Hot foods are cooled rapidly for later use – check temperatures of foods being cooled in refrigerators or by rapid cooling techniques such as ice baths and cooling wands.
– The time foods being stored, displayed, or delivered are held in the danger zone (between 41°F and 135°F) is minimized.
– Proper training for food employees with new or altered duties and that they apply the training according to established procedures.
7. Help customers maintain good infection control and social distancing by:
– Discontinuing operations, such as salad bars, buffets, and beverage service stations that require customers to use common utensils or dispensers.
– Finding ways to encourage spacing between customers while in line for service or check out in accordance with the applicable State or local requirements.
– Discouraging customers from bringing pets — except service animals — into stores or waiting areas.
8. Continue to use sanitizers and disinfectants for their designed purposes.
9. Verify that your ware-washing machines are operating at the required wash and rinse temperatures and with the appropriate detergents and sanitizers.
10. Remember that hot water can be used in place of chemicals to sanitize equipment and utensils in manual ware-washing machines.
FDA Best Practices - Managing Food Pick-Up And Delivery
1. Observe established food safety practices for time/temp control, preventing cross contamination, cleaning hands, no sick workers, and storage of food, etc.
2. Have employees wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing, or after touching high touch surfaces, e.g., doorknobs, and doorbells.
3. Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces such as counter tops and touch pads and within the vehicle, by wiping down surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Make sure to read the label and follow manufacturer’s instructions on use.
4. Establish designated pick-up zones for customers to help maintain social distancing.
5. Practice social distancing when delivering food, e.g., offering “no touch” deliveries and sending text alerts or calling when deliveries have arrived.
6. Conduct an evaluation of your facility to identify and apply operational changes in order to
maintain social distancing if offering take-out/carry-out option by maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, when possible.
7. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold by storing in appropriate transport vessels.
– Keep cold foods cold by keeping enough coolant materials, e.g., gel packs.
– Keep hot foods hot by ensuring insulated cases are properly functioning.
8. Keep foods separated to avoid cross contamination, e.g., keeping raw foods separated from cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
9. Ensure that any wrapping and packaging used for food transport is done so that contamination of the food is prevented.
10. Routinely clean and sanitize coolers and insulated bags used to deliver foods.
Checklist For Cleaning And Re-opening Restaurants
Information provided by the National Restaurant Association. Review more info at restaurant.org.
- Thoroughly detail-clean and sanitize entire facility, especially if it has been closed.
- Focus on high-contact areas that would be touched by both employees and guests.
- Do not overlook seldom touched surfaces.
- Follow sanitizing material guidance to ensure it’s at effective sanitizing strength and to protect surfaces.
- Avoid all food contact surfaces when using disinfectants.
- Between seatings, clean and sanitize table condiments, digital ordering devices, check presenters, self-service areas, tabletops, and common touch areas.
- Single-use items should be discarded.
- Consider using rolled silverware and eliminating table presets.
- Remove lemons and unwrapped straws from self-service drink stations.
-Clean and sanitize reusable menus. If you use paper menus, discard them after each
- Implement procedures to increase how often you clean and sanitize surfaces in the back-of-house.
- Avoid all food contact surfaces when using disinfectants.
- Check restrooms regularly and clean and sanitize them based on frequency of use
- Make hand sanitizer readily available to guests. Consider touchless hand sanitizing solutions.
- Where salad bars and buffets are permitted by local/state officials, they must have sneeze guards in place.
- Change, wash and sanitize utensils frequently and place appropriate barriers in open areas.
- Alternatively, cafeteria style (worker served) is permissible with appropriate barriers in place.
- If providing a “grab and go” service, stock coolers to no more than minimum levels
- Discard all food items that are out of date.
Guidelines For Retail
From National Retail Federation’s “Operation Open Doors Checklist.” Learn more at nrf.com
1. For leased properties, check with the landlord and local authorities to obtain early access to store to ready it for deep cleaning, retrofitting as necessary to meet new regulations, installation of new signage, etc.
2. Thoroughly inspect facilities for any damage or issues caused by vacancy including mechanical, air and water systems.
3. Clean and prepare equipment for startup, install sneeze guards or other protective measures, as necessary and/or required.
4. Consider facility enhancements such as increased fresh air circulation, installing highest efficiency rated filter recommended or allowed by manufacturer.
5. Identify which vendors and/or distribution centers are functioning, and the extent to which they may be delayed or limited in their operations. Establish contingency plan for vendor disruptions.
6. Establish protocol for monitoring store occupancy (metering) in compliance with any applicable laws.
7. If applicable, establish procedure for use of escalators and elevators to avoid crowding (e.g., elevator attendants, queue management for waiting passengers, etc.).
8. In multi-tenant situations, obtain clarity on what customer screening (e.g., temperature) may be required and who will perform it (landlord on behalf of all mall tenants, each individual tenant, etc.).
9. If customer screening is to occur within your store, identify an appropriate location for such screening (such that privacy and social distancing protocols are respected).
- Make sure to employees understand social distancing guidelines and expectations. These can be found at cdc.gov
- Make sure personal protective equipment is available for staff and staff understand proper
procedures from putting on and removing equipment.
- Make sure staff understand proper procedures for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
- Make sure staff has understanding on how to clean and launder face masks and uniforms.
- The National Institute of Environmental Health Services has created a Safety and Health Awareness for Workers that includes basic information on the spread of COVID-19 and best practices for staying healthy at work. For the complete training, visit niehs.nih.gov.
National Retail Federation - Store Hours
1. Adjust store hours of operation, as necessary, to support social distancing efforts by limiting store traffic.
2. Ensure staff has sufficient time to rest, sanitize and restock inventory
3. Consider offering seniors and other high-risk individuals exclusive early hours.
4. Consider increasing pickup hours to serve more online customers.
Review Additional Materials
Information in this guide was sourced from a thorough set of instructions and guidelines by national organizations. Much of the information has been condensed. Please also read through source documents as additional information may be available to provide further clarity for your specific business needs.
Checklist For Cleaning - Retail
Implement a cleaning regime targets frequently touched surfaces and spaces, which are most likely to result in the transmission of communicable diseases:
- Shopping carts and baskets.
- Light and other power switches (consider signage to keep lights on at all times, or utilizing exiting motion sensor capabilities).
- Shared tools such as pricing guns, pallet jacks, tape guns, box cutters, etc
- Chairs, tables, and benches.
- Vending machines and self-serve kiosks.
- Restroom door handles and flush levers.
- Toilet bowl and toilet paper holder.
- Sinks and faucets.
- Paper towel holders and/or air dryers.
- Refrigerators, microwave, and other frequently touched objects and surfaces in employee breakroom.
- Time clocks
- Cash register, including touch screens, keyboards, mouse.
- PIN Pads (touch screen, keypad, and pen).
- Checkout counter and/or conveyor belt.
- Cabinet pulls.
- Checkout dividers.
- Diaper-changing stations.
- Fixtures with handles or pulls
- Any other identified “high-touch” surfaces.
- Hand sanitizer is available throughout store for customers and employee use, including store entrance(s), and checkouts.
Guidelines For Recreation
Due to the number of varied activities, creating an exhaustive list of instructions or guidelines may be impractical or even impossible within this document (for example, an indoor entertainment center has little in common with an outdoor guide service, and may require additional guidelines.) Therefore, it is necessary for recreational business owners to independently research and investigate what protocols may be best for their form of recreational business.
Recommendations from the IAAPA
The IAAPA is the global trade association for the attractions industry. More info at iaapa.org
1. Allow healthy people to enjoy the facility and encourage the use of masks/face coverings for guests and staff. All employees should wear masks/face coverings while on the job, interacting with others. Guests are encouraged to wear masks/face coverings as well.
2. Provide means to wash/sanitize hands frequently. Facilities should remind everyone of the importance of frequently washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Provide additional handwashing or hand sanitizer hygiene stations throughout facilities.
3. Manage density of people within the facility to keep people or family units that have been isolating together 6 feet (2 meters) apart. Physical distancing guidelines may vary by region and can be reduced by wearing of masks/ face coverings—ensure your plan is aligned with local official guidance. The capacity should be calculated for an attraction based on the guest-accessible square footage in attractions, attraction queue lines, retail locations, and other common areas.
4. Reduce touch areas where possible and sanitize high touch surfaces frequently. Utilize touch-free/contactless payment options when possible.
5. Protect employees with various approaches, including barriers, protective coverings, and distancing. Place acrylic (plexiglass) or other types of barriers/hygiene screens between guest and staff in frequent, close interaction areas wherever practical to reduce contamination. Clean the barriers/hygiene screens regularly.
6. Proactively communicate guidelines and expectations for health and hygiene procedures and precautions in the front-of-house areas for guests and in the behind-the-scenes areas for employees.
7. Have a plan in the event a guest or employee falls ill on site.
IAAPA Communication for Guest Confidence
1. Consider the importance of warning guests about the risk of contracting COVID-19 in any public space, including posting signs/messages like the following example: We are committed to keeping you healthy and safe, but we cannot guarantee you won’t be exposed to COVID-19. We rely on you to protect yourself too:
• Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face
• Maintain your distance from others
• Cover your mouth and nose
• Avoid touching surfaces
• If you’re sick, please don’t participate and encourage your family not to participate until you are well.
2. Signs with health and hygiene reminders should be visible throughout the property.
3. Communicate new operational procedures to guests prior to arrival, on the attraction’s website, and through social media to establish expectations and instill confidence, including:
a. Identifying COVID-19 symptoms and messaging that asks guest to come back another day if anyone in their party is experiencing the symptoms
b. Directives on wearing masks/ face coverings for employees and guests
c. Physical distancing guidelines
d. Capacity limits that facilitate social distancing
e. Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols
f. Use of temperature checks/thermal scanning cameras (if required)
4. Take a proactive approach with messaging to guests prior to arrival and on arrival of methods being deployed for employee and guest safety.
Does your business offer retail or food services?
Please take a moment to look at the retail and restaurant sections on the guide, which will offer checklists and guidelines specfic to that part of your operations.
IAAPA: Training Your Staff
1. It is important to understand and communicate to employees that they have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of others.
2. Provide pre-opening training to employees to ensure they understand and feel confident managing the physical distancing and hygiene aspects of their roles. They should also know how to handle unsafe conditions and emergency situations.
3. Train employees thoroughly on their core responsibilities and on new, COVID-related protocols. Provide clear direction and guidance about what is expected. They should understand:
• When to stay away from the workplace
• What action to take if they become unwell
• What symptoms to be concerned about
4. Instruct employees to wash their hands or use hand-sanitizer at frequent intervals and after any of the following: using the restroom, sneezing, touching their face, blowing their nose, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, eating, drinking, smoking, entering or leaving a guest area, and before starting their shift. This is a critical protocol to keep employees and guests healthy.
5. Review employee sick leave policies and update as needed. Make sure policies don’t inadvertently encourage employees to come to work when they aren’t feeling well.
6. Consider operating only with essential personnel. Others (who can) should work from home, particularly in the early stages of reopening.
More employee recommendations are available at iaapa.org.
Training Your Staff to Stay Healthy
The National Institute of Environmental Health Services has created a Safety and Health Awareness for Workers that includes basic information on the spread of COVID-19 and best practices for staying healthy at work. For the complete training, visit niehs.nih.gov.
Drafting Re-opening Guidelines And Policy Statement
For several recreational businesses, direct contact may be unavoidable to make sure the customer is safely operating equipment/gear. Operational practices to limit close contact must be identified and shared with the customer to establish trust:
1. Identify the sources of information your business operations will follow. Those may include guidelines by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and county health departments, national associations or independent organizations specific to your business.
2. Identify the customer experience and understand what high frequency touch points will be
unavoidable. Make sure there are sanitization stations near any touch point staff may not be able to frequently clean and disinfect.
3. If possible, encourage and make accessible online any transaction or safety waiver from the
customer’s personal mobile phone.
4. Create appropriate signage in professional language outlining the social distancing guidelines on your business.
5. Inform and train employees on increased cleaning procedures and protocol. Make sure staff has proper personal protective equipment and understands how to safely put on and remove gear. Make sure your staff understand the symptoms of COVID-19 and know how to act if they detect or exhibit symptoms
6. Communicate with potential customers the steps your business is taking to ensure their safety. However, do not advertise unsubstantiated claims, such as “Covid-Free” (example on the following page.)
Here at INSERT NAME, your health and safety is a top priority. We are following as closely as possible recommendations by the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, State and Local authorities and national associations. Employees and guests will practice social distancing and be required to wear personal protective equipment. We are frequently cleaning and disinfecting high-touch points with products approved by the EPA for eliminating COVID-19 and providing access to extra sanitation point throughout our property. Should you have any questions please feel free to call us at PHONE NUMBER or email us at EMAIL.