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Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Retail Part 4 of 4

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Retail Businesses

These updated workplace safety standards, and in conjunction with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, for Retail Businesses are posted in advance of their effective date to allow Retail Businesses time to prepare to operate in compliance with these mandatory health and safety standards. Retail Businesses remain subject to the previously issued October 29, 2020 safety standards until these revised workplace safety standards go into effect on November 6, 2020.

Hygiene Protocols

  1. Disinfect shared equipment, such as cash registers, intercoms, tagging machines before use by another employee
  2. Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, wherever possible and encourage frequent handwashing; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  3. Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  4. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol shall be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for both workers and customers
  5. Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers
  6. Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of hygiene and safety protocols

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Stock up on cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  2. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers stations throughout floor areas for both workers and customers

Cleaning and Disinfecting 

  1. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  2. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)
  3. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  4. Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, baskets, carts, staff break rooms)
  5. In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
  6. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible
  7. Once returned or tried on by customers, remove clothing from service for 24 hours (before it can be returned by staff and handled by another customer)

Recommended Best Practices

  • Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Retail Part 3 of 4

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Retail Businesses

These updated workplace safety standards, and in conjunction with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, for Retail Businesses are posted in advance of their effective date to allow Retail Businesses time to prepare to operate in compliance with these mandatory health and safety standards. Retail Businesses remain subject to the previously issued October 29, 2020 safety standards until these revised workplace safety standards go into effect on November 6, 2020.

Staffing And Operations

The following workplace specific guidance is organized around four distinct categories covering Staffing and Operations.

  1. Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene 4 and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:
    1. Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings
    2. Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks
    3. Importance of not coming to work if ill
    4. When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe 
    5. Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus 
  2. Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following: 
    1. Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough,shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting ordiarrhea 
    2. Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
    3. Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official
    4. Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home
  3. Adjust workplace hours and shifts (leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points
  4. Businesses should reduce operating hours to allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning
  5. Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas
  6. Workers shall not appear for work or complete a shift if feeling ill
  7. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  8. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  9. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of any positive case at the workplace, the employer must immediately notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located. Employers must assist the LBOH with contact tracing efforts, including advising likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of theLBOH
  10. Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  11. For in-home delivery of products, such as furniture and appliances, screen customers for symptoms prior to workers entering the house. Delay delivery if customer indicates potential COVID-19 positive person in the household
  12. Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas
  13. Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  2. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  3. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing
  4. Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Retail Part 2 of 4

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Retail Businesses

These updated workplace safety standards for Retail Businesses are posted in advance of their effective date to allow Retail Businesses time to prepare to operate in compliance with these mandatory health and safety standards. Retail Businesses remain subject to the previously issued October 29, 2020 safety standards until these revised workplace safety standards go into effect on November 6, 2020.

Social Distancing and Capacity Limits

The following workplace specific guidance is organized around four distinct categories covering Social Distancing and Capacity Limits.

  1. Require face coverings at all times for all workers and customers, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability
  2. Each business must monitor customer entries and exits and limit occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:
    1. 50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
    2. Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to 10 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible space
    3. In any case, no enclosed space within the building shall exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
    4. All occupancy counts and calculations shall include customers, staff, and other workers
  3. Operators of enclosed shopping malls and other indoor, multi-tenant retail spaces must monitor customer and worker entries and exits to common areas and limit occupancy of common areas at all times to 50% of maximum permitted occupancy levels
  4. Within enclosed shopping malls and other indoor multi-tenant retail spaces:
    1. Retailers or restaurants serving food shall adhere to the latest restaurant protocols. Food court seating may be open provided that restaurant protocols, including spacing and cleaning of tables, are followed. In accordance with the COVID-19 Order No. 53 restaurants and food courts must close to the public no later than 9:30 pm and may not re-open to the public before 5:00 am the following day, although restaurants may continue to provide take-out service after 9:30pm.
    2. Any additional seating areas must remain closed 
    3. Any children’s play areas must be closed
    4. All arcades must follow the standards for Arcades and Other Indoor and Outdoor Game and Recreation Businesses 
  5. If the store offers delivery, curbside pickup capabilities, or limited “appointment only shopping,” customers should be encouraged to use those methods before coming into the store
  6. Grocery stores and retail stores with a pharmacy department must provide dedicated hours at least one hour each day of operation, in the early morning, for adults 60 years of age and older. These hours must be conspicuously posted
  7. Other retail stores are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined by the CDC
  8. Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible: 
    1. Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow social distancing
    2. Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height) 3
    3. Install physical barriers for checkout stations where possible, otherwise maintain 6 feet distance where not possible
    4. Install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the stores if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom) 
    5. Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation 
  9. Establish directional aisles to manage customer flow for foot traffic, if possible, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to the store, one-way aisles). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies
  10. Contactless payment methods are encouraged
  11. Self-serve, unattended buffets, topping bars, and other communal serving areas (such as salad bars) must remain closed. Retailers must eliminate any open free samples or tastings. Self-serve beverage stations must comply with the following guidelines:
    1. Hand sanitizer must be made available next to beverage stations and operators must instruct customers to use before pouring beverages
    2. Only straws and stirrers individually wrapped in cellophane or paper are allowed
    3. Cups and lids must be from single pull dispenser or other method to minimize contact
    4. Sweeteners, sugars and creamers must be individual packets
    5. Floor markers must be installed to achieve social distancing 
    6. Use of personal mugs and cups are not allowed
    7. Frequent disinfecting of the beverage station must take place, even during busy times
  12. Individual retailers must not allow sampling or application of personal goods (makeup, perfume, lotion) unless they provide single-use applicators or have a no-touch option.
  13. In Phase 3 Step 1, fitting rooms may be opened for use by businesses for which their operation is necessary.
  14. In Phase 3 Step 2, fitting rooms may be open for use by all retail businesses.
  15. Any clothing tried on by a customer must either be quarantined for 24 hours or thoroughly steam cleaned prior to returning to the floor
  16. Stagger staff lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Retail Part 1 of 4

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Retail Businesses

These updated workplace safety standards for Retail Businesses are posted in advance of their effective date to allow Retail Businesses time to prepare to operate in compliance with these mandatory health and safety standards. Retail Businesses remain subject to the previously issued October 29, 2020 safety standards until these revised workplace safety standards go into effect on November 6, 2020.

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for Retail Businesses are issued to provide owners and operators of Retail Businesses and workers and customers with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as retail stores transition from curbside pickup and delivery only to browsing and in-store transactions with restrictions.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the owner or operator for each retail business is accountable for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

Facilities Permitted to Open to the Public by Community Status

  • Food Courts
    • Open, but required to close between 9:30 pm – 5:00 am except for take-out
    • Open, but required to close between 9:30 pm – 5:00 am except for take-out
  • Fitting Rooms
    • Open in businesses for which their operation is necessary
    • Open for all retail stores

Standards for Responsible Retail Businesses in Massachusetts

  1. In accordance with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, Requiring Early Closing for Certain Businesses and Activities, no retail business may sell or provide alcohol of any kind between the hours of 9:30 pm and 5:00 am and no entity operating under a marijuana retailer license may sell adult use cannabis or adult use cannabis products of any kind between the hours of 9:30pm and 5:00 am.
  2. No activity in Retail Businesses can occur without meeting these sector specific COVID-19 workplace 2 safety standards for Retail Businesses. These standards apply, until rescinded or amended by the State, to all Retail Businesses except for Farmers’ Markets, which shall continue to be governed by Department of Public Health Guidance. These standards supersede and replace earlier issued Department of Public Health guidance governing grocery stores and pharmacies. 
  3. These standards do not supersede the updated stay at home order issued on Friday, November 6th. It is critically important that everybody follows the new order which can be found on the Mass.gov website. 

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - New Orders And Advisories, Part 2 of 2

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Beginning on Friday, November 6, 2020, all residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10pm and 5am.

COVID-19 case numbers in our state are rising and the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations and COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) census have more than doubled over the past 2 months.  Social gatherings are contributing to these increases.  Left unchecked, the current COVID-19 case growth poses a risk to our healthcare system.   Intervention is warranted to moderate case growth and preserve hospital capacity.  It’s more important than ever to follow guidance from local, state, and federal officials on how to stop the spread of the virus.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Masks And Face Coverings

All persons in the Commonwealth over the age of five years old are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering over their mouth and nose when in a public location, weather indoors or outdoors. Mask or face coverings are encouraged but not required for children between the ages of two and five.

Public locations include any place open to the public including, but not limited to:

  1. Grocery stores
  2. Pharmacies and other retail stores
  3. Public transportation, taxis, in other ridesharing vehicles
  4. Public streets and ways
  5. Locations that host indoor or outdoor events, activities, or performances

Masks or cloth face coverings are also required when in a carpool with non-household members.

NOTE:  Medical–grade masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders. 

Customers, visitors, attendees, etc. refusing to wear a mask or cloth face covering for non-medical reasons are to be declined entry to the facility. 

Masks And Face Coverings - Exceptions

  1. Any person with a medical or disabling condition.
  2. In situations where a face covering would impede communication by or with persons with hearing impairments or similar disabilities.
  3. When alone in a vehicle or only with other household members
  4. Places of employment - Employees who request accommodations to not have to wear a face covering while at work due to a medical or disabling condition must provide their employer with documentation to verify the condition.
  5. Schools - Students unable to wear a face covering due to a medical or disabling condition and are expected to participate in in in-person learning must provide documentation verifying the condition.

Limitations To Gatherings

The following limitations apply to indoor and outdoor gatherings including, without limitation, all social, community, civic, public, and leisure events as well as conferences, conventions, fundraisers, and other similar events or assemblies. Members of the same household, one assemble together with no other non-household members present, do not constitute a gathering and are not be subject to these limitations.

Social Distancing

In addition to the capacity restrictions all participants in indoor and outdoor gatherings, including gatherings at private residence,must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from every other participant in the gathering, except where participants are members of the same household. A gathering shall violate his provision wear, no matter the number of participants present, conditions or activities at the gathering are such that it is not reasonably possible for all participants to maintain this degree of separation. 

Gatherings At Private Residences

Indoor gatherings at private residences and in any other place not falling within the definition of an event venue or public setting are limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in any other place not falling within the definition of an event venue or public setting are limited to a maximum of 25 people.

Gatherings At Event Venues And In Public Settings

Indoor gatherings at event venues or in public settings are limited to a maximum of 25 people.

The following capacity limitations shall apply to outdoor gatherings at event venues or in public settings:

  1. In lower risk communities or in any successor order gatherings at event venues or in public settings are limited to a maximum of 100 persons in a single venue or space.
  2. In communities that do not qualify as lower risk communities, gatherings at event venues or in public settings are limited to a maximum of 50 persons in a single venue or space.

Exceptions To Limitation Restrictions

  1. Religious activities provided that such gatherings follow the COVID-19 safety rules and capacity limitations for Places of Worship
  2. Outdoor gatherings for the purpose of political expression 

Notification Of Exposure Risk

For outdoor gatherings in lower risk communicate communities where more than 50 attendees are anticipated, the operator of the event venue shall provide notice to the local Board of Health in the municipality where the gathering is located at least one week before the event is scheduled, or otherwise as soon as possible where one week notice is not practical due to the nature of the event.

For events held in public spaces like parks were more than 50 attendees are anticipated, the event organizer shall be responsible for providing this notice.

Time Limitation

All gatherings, no matter the size or location, must end and participants must disperse by 9:30 PM, with the exceptions of religious gatherings and political gatherings. 

Face Coverings

Masks or face coverings are encouraged at all gatherings private and public.

Contact Tracing

If a host or event venue is notified that an event attendee or event worker has tested positive for COVID-19 the event host or event venue must immediately notify the Local Board of Health in the municipality where the event took place. Host and event venues must assist the Department of Public Health and Local Board of Health with contact tracing in case investigations, including, upon request, providing list of attendees at social gatherings and their contact information. Event hosts and venues who fail to timely report positive cases or “cooperate with contact tracing and case investigations may be subject to the penalties. 

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - New Orders And Advisories

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Beginning on Friday, November 6, 2020, all residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10pm and 5am.

COVID-19 case numbers in our state are rising and the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations and COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) census have more than doubled over the past 2 months.  Social gatherings are contributing to these increases.  Left unchecked, the current COVID-19 case growth poses a risk to our healthcare system.   Intervention is warranted to moderate case growth and preserve hospital capacity.  It’s more important than ever to follow guidance from local, state, and federal officials on how to stop the spread of the virus.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Updated Stay-At-Home Advisory

It is critically important that everybody follows the steps listed below, not just for their own health and safety, but for the health and safety of their family and loved ones as well. The following are excerpts from Governor Baker's executive order which can be downloaded from the Mass.gov website. 

NOTE: In order to comply with this advisory, between the hours of 10pm and 5am, you must:

  1. Only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up take-out food, or receiving deliveries.  If you do leave home, practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others and wearing a face covering.
  2. Not have gatherings in your home with anybody outside of your household.
  3. Comply with all Governor’s Orders, including orders requiring face coverings, limiting gatherings, and mandating early closure of businesses.
  4. Practice social distancing and avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others if you go outside to get fresh air.
  5. Use remote modes of communication like phone or video chat instead of visiting friends or family.

Taking these steps is critical to preventing the spread of the virus, protecting the lives of you and your loved ones, and preserving our acute care hospital and other health care systems’ capacity.

Early Closure of Businesses And Activities

All businesses, facilities, or activities included within the categories listed below must close their premises to the public each day no later than 9:30 PM and may not re-open their premises to the public before 5 AM the following day (the “mandatory closing period”). Except as otherwise specifically permitted, during the daily mandatory closing period, businesses, facilities, or activities within the categories listed below may not admit customers, patrons, or members of the public to their premises or otherwise offer, provide, or permit in-person, on premises services or activities.

Operations of affected businesses, facilities, or activities may keep their premises open to employees and other workers during the mandatory closing period and otherwise conduct business activities and operations that do not involve admitting customers, patrons, or members of the public to the premises.                                                    

Businesses, facilities, and activities subject to the daily mandatory closing period: 

  1. Restaurants, take-out and delivery of food and non-alcoholic beverages may continue
  2. Arcades and other indoor and outdoor recreation
  3. Indoor and outdoor events
  4. Indoor and outdoor theaters, movie theaters, and performance venues
  5. Drive-in movie theaters
  6. Youth and adult amateur sports activities
  7. Golf facilities
  8. Recreational boating and boating businesses
  9. Outdoor recreational experiences and educational activities
  10. Casinos, horse racing tracks, and simulcast facilities
  11. Driving and flight schools
  12. Zoos, botanical gardens, wildlife reserves, and nature centers
  13. Close contact personal services
  14. Fitness centers and health club
  15. Indoor and outdoor pools
  16. Museums, cultural and historical facilities, guided tours

Categories of businesses, facilities, and activities listed above are each authorized and directed to amend all relevant rules, guidance documents, and protocols to incorporate the mandatory closing period requirement.

Restriction On Service And Sale Of Alcohol

During the daily mandatory closing period no person, business, organization, establishment, premises, or service holding or operating under a license issued pursuant to the general laws may sell, serve or provide alcohol of any kind to any person or entity. This restriction applies to all retailers, restaurants, private clubs, catering halls, events, and delivery services license to offer alcohol services or retail sale pursuant to the general laws.

Retail Sale Of Adult-Use Cannabis

During the daily mandatory closing period no individual, business, organization, establishment, premises, or entity holding or operating under a marijuana retailer license may sel adult-use cannabis or adult-use cannabis products of any kind to any person or entity.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Places Of Worship, Part 3 of 3

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Places Of Worship

These sector specific COVID-19 safety standards for Places of Worship and Religious Services are issued to provide instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as the number of persons attending in-person services increases.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of a Place of Worship is responsible for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements.

Contributions And Communal Food, Drink, And Sacraments

  1. Places of worship are encouraged to modify the means to collect any financial contributions from attendees so as to eliminate shared contribution trays and baskets and to minimize contact. Consider setting up a no-touch method to collect contributions, and encouraging contributions through mail or electronic means
  2. Places of worship are encouraged to modify communal rituals, like taking communion or passing of the peace, so as to limit contact with others. Consider distributing, where applicable, prepackaged communion or sacraments
  3. Places of worship shall not have communal gathering pre or post service (e.g., coffee hours or other food services)
  4. Places of worship may allow small gatherings (such as support group meetings) to be held with 25 persons or fewer
  5. Places of worship running food pantries or other prepackaged food distribution may continue to do so 

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Places of worship are encouraged to modify the means to collect any financial contributions from attendees so as to eliminate shared contribution trays and baskets and to minimize contact
  2. Consider setting up a no-touch method to collect contributions, and encouraging contributions through mail or electronic means
  3. Places of worship are encouraged to modify communal rituals, like taking communion or passing of the peace, so as to limit contact with others
  4. Consider distributing, where applicable, prepackaged communion or sacraments

Nurseries and Childcare

Any childcare services should follow the latest EEC child-care guidance, available on the EEC Reopening Site.

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Arrange the physical space to promote physical distancing
  2. Eliminate materials that increase the likelihood of transmission

Cleaning and Disinfecting and Hygiene Protocols

  1. Places of worship shall be cleaned and disinfected between each service, including disinfection of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, microphones, shared instruments)
  2. If a Place of worship learns that an individual with COVID-19 attended a service or otherwise entered the place of worship, it shall conduct a deep cleaning and disinfecting consistent with the Centers for Disease Control guidance
  3. Places of worship shall ensure that attendees and workers have access to handwashing facilities, including soap and running water, and allow workers sufficient break time to wash hands, as necessary. They are also encouraged to make alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol available, if possible

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible
  2. Post visible signage throughout the building to remind attendees of hygiene and safety protocols

Notification Of Positive Case 

If a Place of worship learns that an attendee or worker or other worker has tested positive for COVID-19, it shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the place of worship is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Places Of Worship, Part 2 of 3

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Places Of Worship

These sector specific COVID-19 safety standards for Places of Worship and Religious Services are issued to provide instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as the number of persons attending in-person services increases.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of a Place of Worship is responsible for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements.

Social Distancing Seating

  1. Seating
    1. Attendees who are not part of the same immediate household must be seated at least 6 feet apart. Members of the same immediate household are permitted to sit together and less than 6 feet apart
    2. If there is fixed seating, rows should be blocked off and kept empty to allow for sufficient distancing between rows 
    3. Places of worship are encouraged to place tape or other visual distancing markings on seating to delineate 6 ft separations and to post signage indicating the maximum number of persons permitted per row 
    4. Promote ventilation for enclosed spaces where possible. For example, consider opening windows and doors to allow airflow
  2. Entering and Exiting
    1. Places of worship are encouraged to take steps to encourage orderly entering and exiting of services in a manner that encourages social distancing. For example: 
      1. Signage or floor markings should be posted to have one-way aisles or otherwise direct attendees to follow certain pathways for entering and exiting the service
      2. If a line forms outside of the service, those waiting should be directed to maintain social distancing. Tape or other markings on the ground outside of Places of worship should be placed to encourage attendees to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet
      3. Staff should direct people in high traffic areas to help maintain social distancing
      4. Officiants or other staff should direct successive, row-by-row exiting

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Places of worship are encouraged to modify the means to collect any financial contributions from attendees so as to eliminate shared contribution trays and baskets and to minimize contact
  2. Consider setting up a no-touch method to collect contributions, and encouraging contributions through mail or electronic means
  3. Places of worship are encouraged to modify communal rituals, like taking communion or passing of the peace, so as to limit contact with others
  4. Consider distributing, where applicable, prepackaged communion or sacraments

Face Coverings

  1. All attendees and staff must wear face coverings or masks in accordance with COVID-19 Order No. 31 and the Department of Public Health’s Guidance while inside and while entering and exiting places of worship or otherwise participating in in-person services, except where a person is unable to wear a face covering or mask because of a medical or disabling condition
  2. A leader or celebrant engaged in conducting the service or making an address may remove his or her face covering while doing so, provided that he or she is able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other persons present; installation of protective, plexi-glass or other transparent barriers is recommended for lecterns and other points of address 3
  3. For children between age 2 and 5, the wearing of a face covering or mask is at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian. Children under the age of 2 should not wear a face covering or mask
  4. A person who declines to wear a face covering or mask because of a medical or disabling condition shall not be required to produce documentation verifying the condition
  5. Place of worship may refuse entry to a person who refuses to wear a face covering or mask for non-medical reasons

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Attendees should use  anything that covers your nose and mouth.
  2. Attendees face coverings should be multiple layers
  3. Attendees masks should fit snugly, be secured with ties or ear straps, and not restrict breathing.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Places Of Worship, Part 1 of 3

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Places Of Worship

These sector specific COVID-19 safety standards for Places of Worship and Religious Services are issued to provide instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as the number of persons attending in-person services increases.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of a Place of Worship is responsible for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements.

General Standards

These standards apply to all Places of Worship and Religious Services, and all services and activities including regular and holiday services, weddings, funerals, wakes, support group meetings, and other related gatherings.

Places of Worship shall communicate to members and workers that they should not attend services in person if any of the following are true:

  1. Member or worker is experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  2. Member or worker has had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic
  3. Member or worker has been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Persons who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home.

Places of Worship are encouraged to hold services virtually or outdoors and to ensure that attendees who are not from the same immediate household are spaced at least 6 feet apart. When conducting services, places of worship must abide by the following requirements.

Occupancy Limitations 

For indoor services, places of worship must monitor member entries and exits and limit occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:

  1. 50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
  2. Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 10 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible space
  3. In any case, no enclosed space (e.g. a single room, basement) within the building may exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
  4. All occupancy counts and calculations shall include attendees, staff, and other workers 

If feasible, places of worship are encouraged to arrange online sign-up for services in advance in order to monitor and limit the number of attendees

Recommended Best Practices

  • If feasible, places of worship are encouraged to arrange online sign-up for services in advance in order to monitor and limit the number of attendees

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Office Spaces Part 4 of 4

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Office Spaces

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for Office Spaces are issued to provide businesses and other organizations operating within general use office spaces and workers in these office spaces with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the office space is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements. The operator of the office space is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements. 

According to the state of Massachusetts no activity in office spaces can occur without meeting the following sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply to all businesses and other organizations operating in general use office space until rescinded or amended by the State.

Cleaning And Disinfecting

  1. Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards
    Ensure adequate ventilation
    Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
    Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
    Avoid mixing chemical products
    Label diluted cleaning solutions
    Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets

  2. Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use
    1. Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards
    2. Ensure adequate ventilation
    3. Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
    4. Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
    5. Avoid mixing chemical products
    6. Label diluted cleaning solutions
    7. Store chemicals safely according to the warning labels
  3. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  4. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)
  5. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  6. Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, elevator buttons, staircases, vending machine, bathrooms)
  7. Clean shared spaces (e.g., conference rooms) between use and supply cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  8. In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
  9. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible
  10. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  11. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)
  12. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, elevator buttons, staircases, vending machine, bathrooms)
  13. Clean shared spaces (e.g., conference rooms) between use and supply cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes) In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
  14. Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted:
    1. Use bleach containing 5.25%–8.25% sodium hypochlorite. Do not use a bleach product if the percentage is not in this range or is not specified.
    2. Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions for the surface, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute.
    3. Ensure proper ventilation during and after application.
    4. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.
    5. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. This can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in.
  15. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    1. 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) of 5.25%–8.25% bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
    2. 4 teaspoons of 5.25%–8.25% bleach per quart of room temperature water
  16. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.
  17. Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.
  18. For electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines, remove visible contamination if present.
    1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
    2. Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics.
    3. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Office Spaces

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for Office Spaces are issued to provide businesses and other organizations operating within general use office spaces and workers in these office spaces with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the office space is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements. The operator of the office space is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements. 

According to the state of Massachusetts no activity in office spaces can occur without meeting the following sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply to all businesses and other organizations operating in general use office space until rescinded or amended by the State.

Staffing and Operations Cont.

  1. Workers must wear face coverings when social distancing of 6 feet is not possible, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability
  2. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible; external meetings should be remote to reduce density in the office
  3. Employers should establish adjusted workplace hours and shifts for workers (if working in person, leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points
  4. Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas
  5. For guidance on business-sponsored travel, refer to the Commonwealth's current out-of-state travel order: mass.gov/MAtraveler. Employers are strongly discouraged from allowing business related travel to destinations other than those appearing on the Department of Public Health’s list of COVID-19 lower risk States. Employers that permit employer-paid or -reimbursed travel to those States should take measures to ensure employees comply with this order. Employers are also urged to strongly discourage their employees from taking leisure travel to destinations not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk States
  6. Workers must stay home if feeling ill
  7. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home or arrange an alternate work assignment
  8. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  9. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
  10. Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  11. Offices should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning
  12. Allow water fountains to be used as refill stations only, provided that social distancing can be maintained. Workers should bring their own water bottles
  13. Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service. Examples include: 
    • Cafeterias: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible; external meetings should be remote to reduce density in the office
  2. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home or arrange an alternate work assignment
  3. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  4. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!