KENT COUNTY BACK TO WORK

Employee Resources

Resources for Employees

Employee and Customer Protection

This section provides general employee protection protocols as well as specific measures for retailers and other businesses that serve customers on-site.

PPE & Masks
  • Employees should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when possible. Please see PPE section for specific guidelines.
  • In retail operations customers should use face coverings while in public. Keep in mind that not everyone is able to use a face covering, and those persons should not be turned away.
Social Distancing
  • Practice social distancing, maintaining six feet between co-workers.
  • In retail operations, all persons in the store should maintain a distance of at least six feet between each other. Sales registers should be at least six feet apart.
  • Stores with higher traffic should mark spaces 6 feet apart at the sales registers and outside the entrance to the store.
  • A sign should be posted at the store entry(s) that individuals who have a fever, cough or any sign of sickness should not enter.
EMPLOYEE HEALTH & HYGIENE
  • Employees should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth – do NOT shake hands.
  • Employees who have a fever or are otherwise exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should not come in to work.
  • Employees should wash hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wipes that contain at least 60 percent alcohol frequently throughout the day.
  • Employees who see any safety and health concerns should report them to the employer.
  • If an employee believes their employer is willfully or continuously failing to take the proper workplace precautions to protect employees from COVID-19 exposure, they can contact MIOSHA. Please see Who to Contact for Help section.
Sanitations & Precautions

At Retail Operations

  • Limit cash handling.
  • Encourage customers to use credit/debit cards, tap to pay, Venmo, PayPal or another form of contact-less payment.
  • Sanitize point of sale equipment after each use, including pens.
  • Provide hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes at register locations.
  • Employees, at a minimum, should use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol concentration between customer interactions.

All Operations

  • Regularly sanitize any high-traffic areas, such as doorknobs, counters, etc.
  • Employees should wash hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wipes that contain at least 60 percent alcohol frequently throughout the day.
  • When possible, keep all non-essential doors open to reduce the need for direct contact.
  • Comply with all other orders and guidance issued by public health officials.

Cleaning + Disinfecting

Cleaning

CLEAN SURFACES WITH SOAP & WATER FIRST

It is very important to clean surfaces using soap and water prior to disinfecting. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. High touch surfaces include: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

Disinfecting

Use Effective disinfectants

We recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant. Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend:

  • Keeping surface wet for designated period of time (see product label).
  • Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use.

Water-diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface.

  • Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection, and ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening may not be suitable for disinfection.
  • Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute. 

Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.

Soft Surfaces

For soft surfaces such as carpeted floors, rugs, upholstery and drapes:

  • Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
  • Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant if laundering isn’t possible.
Electronics

For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls and ATMs:

  • Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • If no guidance is available, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.
Laundry

For clothing, towels, linens and other items:

  • Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick.
  • Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
  • Remove gloves and wash hands right away.

How long does the novel coronavirus last on surfaces?

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment includes protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or infection and to prevent spread of possible infection from the wearer to others. PPE used to help prevent the spread of coronavirus may include masks, face shields, gowns and gloves.

Who Should Wear Masks?

All individuals who work indoors within 6 feet of other workers or who interact with clients/customers must wear a non-medical grade face covering if medically able. Additionally, it is recommended that individuals who work outdoors within 6 feet of other workers or members of the public also wear a non-medical grade mask.

Who Should Wear Gloves?

  • Those performing disinfection of common surfaces.
  • Employees handling trash.
  • Employees handling food.

Who Should Wear Face Shields?

Face shields are commonly used in healthcare and manufacturing. They can provide extra protection for those who must work within three feet of another person due to their job requirements. They are not necessary unless you work in healthcare/manufacturing, but they can help.

PLEASE NOTE: Gloves put employees at higher risk of exposure and are not recommended for general protective use for the following reasons:

  • The COVID-19 virus does not harm your hands, so gloves provide no protection, and touching your face with contaminated hands, whether gloved or not, poses a significant risk of infection.
  • Gloves often create a false sense of security for the individuals wearing them. People are more likely to touch contaminated surfaces because they feel the gloves protect them from the virus, when in reality they do not.
  • When wearing gloves, people are less inclined to wash their hands; this is counterproductive and puts others at higher risk. We want people to wash their hands because it is a strong defense against the virus.
  • Proper removal of gloves takes training. If contaminated gloves are not removed properly, employees are exposed to greater risk.

Make Your Own Mask

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in enclosed public settings and work settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Sewn Cloth Face Covering

Materials:

  • Two 10” x 6” rectangles of cotton fabric 
  • Two 6” pieces of elastic (or rubber bands, string, cloth strips or hair ties)
  • Needle and thread (or bobby pin) 
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

1. Cut out two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric, bandanas or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch. Stack the two rectangles; you will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.

2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.

3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight.

Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic head bands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.

4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.

Quick Cut T-Shirt Face Covering (no sew method)

Materials:

  • T-shirt
  • Scissors

Bandana Face Covering (no sew method)

Materials:

  • Bandana (or square cotton cloth approximately 20”x20”)
  • Rubber bands (or hair ties)
  • Scissors (if you are cutting your own cloth)

Know Your Rights

By law, employees in the State of Michigan have certain rights and responsibilities within the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSH Act).

Your place of work MUST

  • Be free of all recognized hazards that can cause death or serious physical harm.
  • Conduct training on COVID-19 including how you may be exposed and ways to protect yourself from exposure.

Employers CANNOT retaliate against an employee for

  • Raising concerns about safety or health conditions in the workplace, including contacting or filing a complaint with MIOSHA.
  • Refusing to do an allegedly imminently dangerous job or task.

ALL workers have the right to

  • Raise a safety or health concern with their employer.
  • Raise a safety or health concern with MIOSHA.
  • File a complaint or contact MIOSHA if they are concerned their employer is not following guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Employees can file a complaint at Michigan.gov/MIOSHAcomplaint or contact MIOSHA at 855-SAFEC19 (855-723-3219).
  • OR to file complaints related to other matters, such as food safety, licensed health facilities, or wages and paid sick leave

Know Your Employee Rights FAQs

PLEASE NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should seek assistance of an attorney for your own unique situation.

Information on Paid Sick Leave from the U.S. Department of Labor
Taking Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19
Permiso pagado por enfermedad y COVID-19

Who to Contact for Help or to File a Complaint

Kent County Health Department

When to contact us:

  • Report Suspected Violations of the Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Orders – Report a Complaint
  • General COVID-19 health and safety questions that have not been answered by your healthcare provider or other resources on this website, call (616) 326-0606 or email us at covid@kentcountymi.gov

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration

This agency can assist critical infrastructure workers who believe their employer is failing to take the proper workplace precautions to protect employees from COVID-19 exposure. Call: 855-SAFEC19 (855-723-3219)

To file complaints related to other matters, such as food safety, licensed health facilities, or wages and paid sick leave

Call the MDHHS COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136.

Call the hotline if you need help finding a complaint form. The hotline is also able to help fill out some complaint forms and connect you with a translator, if needed. The hotline is open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Community & Relief Organizations

Kent County Testing Locations

Kent County Health Department Testing Locations

616-632-7200

Register for Timeslot

Baxter Holistic Health Center
935 Baxter St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Tuesday & Thursday
9:00am - 11:30am
1:30pm - 4:00pm

Other Testing Opportunities

Cherry Health

616-965-8347
Learn More

Metro Health

(616) 252-7200
Learn More

Rite Aid

5995 Kalamazoo Avenue SE
Kentwood, MI 49508
(616) 827-9906
Learn More

WellCare Urgent Care

6460 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
616-591-5995
Learn More

Mercy Health

(833) 247-1258
Learn More

Spectrum Health

833-559-0659
Learn More

Family Fare

Learn More