The Town of Babylon has developed a model reopening plan that will help businesses get back to work as quickly as possible while protecting both employees and customers. The reopening guidance covers an array of businesses slated to reopen once authorized by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Governor’s announcement is expected to take place on Wednesday, May 27.
“This must-read guidance is vitally important to businesses of all sizes and industries. It will ensure that they are better equipped to handle the new normal,” said Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “We want businesses ready at the starting line so they can reopen in the safest and most efficient way when Babylon is finally back to business. I thank all of our partners in government Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, Councilmen Anthony Manetta, Terry McSweeney and DuWayne Gregory for their rapid response in assembling a working group and compiling these recommendations.”
The guidance will help businesses prepare for phase one and two of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s reopening plan for the Long Island region, which includes construction manufacturing, and retail and wholesale trade. The guidance will be made available on the Town’s website and social media and will be available to all business owners. The Town of Babylon Industrial Development Agency, under the direction of Chief Executive Officer Tom Dolan, will conduct a remote canvass of all of Babylon’s businesses to make sure all businesses that can be, are ready for day one of the reopening.
The Villages of Amityville, Babylon and Lindenhurst have joined in the effort and will also make the guidance available to the villages’ downtown businesses.
“I commend the Town for its efforts and thank them for working quickly and diligently in making these resources available,” said Babylon Village Mayor Ralph Scordino, the former head of the Suffolk County Village Officials Association. “This is the smartest approach to reopening our lovely downtown. By working together, we are prepared for this reopening.”
“We are all looking forward to getting to a point where we can get our businesses back open, with the safety and health of our residents the main concern,” said Amityville Village Mayor Dennis Siry. “The Village is willing to help however we can and be creative to help our businesses get back on their feet and get our downtown and Village back into the great momentum we had going towards our overall revitalization. We appreciate all of the efforts and initiatives from the Town that are geared towards helping us navigate through these trying times."
The Village of Lindenhurst is excited to partner with the Town of Babylon to help our business community get back to work,” said Lindenhurst Mayor Michael Lavorata. “With this partnership, we are able to directly support he businesses needs for accurate information and guidance on how to move forward post the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The guide includes the following recommendations:
· Develop a testing plan for employees and implement strict rules for sick or at-risk individuals, including enforcing quarantines when necessary. Also, require mandatory self-reporting and self-isolation upon known virus exposure.
· Emphasize social distancing, including no in-person meetings in the office for at least a specified time. Encourage the use of technology for remote mediations, hearings, arguments and depositions.
· Wear masks
– both at work and when traveling to and from the office. Discourage the use of mass transit.
· Decide which employees will return to the workplace and encourage those who can continue to work effectively from home to do so until the governor announces that the threat has sufficiently passed to allow for a more general return.
· If scientific data supports immunity, persons who were diagnosed with and recovered from COVID-19 may be exempt from the general work-from-home recommendation.
· Limit the number of people coming into the office at the same time, limit unnecessary employee movement within the office and develop one-way foot traffic patterns if possible.
· Stagger workstations, limit touchpoints and install barriers for employees at locations with heavy foot traffic. Develop sanitizing and cleaning protocols in accordance with recommended CDC and OSHA guidance.
· Develop strict customer and visitor policies, including restricting visitors from branch offices. Lawyers and staff should bring their own food.
· Establish reasonable restrictions on use of restrooms and restrict the use of office common areas including joint refrigerators and office printers and copiers.
These guidelines will be amended as new challenges arise and strategies develop.The Town of Babylon Industrial Development Agency also created a short tutorial video which helps to better outline the key steps for businesses to take to foster a safe return to the office. The video can be viewed here.