The following is intended as a plain-language summary of rules during the COVID-19 emergency and does not replace the need to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) recommends that office workers continue to work at home when possible. If office workers will be in the office, follow the guidelines below.
- Provide masks for employees.
- Require employees and visitors to mask while on site except only:
- If an employee is working alone in a separate office.
- As necessary for the employee to eat or drink during break times.
- Prohibit employees from eating together in a shared space, lunchroom, conference room, or breakroom by removing tables that seat more than one person
- If the employee has a visitor to his or her office or cubicle, both visitor and employee must wear masks for the duration of the visit.
- While working in an open space, including cubicles, all employees must be masked at all times.
- If the office remains open to the public, install plastic barriers between staff and the public.
- For workers in low cubicles and those who work in open office designs, install additional barriers if needed to extend cubicle walls above workers’ heads and to separate those working in spaces with open designs.
- Screen every employee for symptoms before every shift and prevent them from remaining on site if they have cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell.
- It is not necessary to conduct onsite temperature measurement for staff or visitors. If you measure temperatures, use a no-touch thermometer, and do not allow anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher to remain onsite
- Have sick leave policies in place so that employees excluded from the workplace do not lose earnings.
- If an employee develops COVID-19 infection or has a positive test, businesses and other organizations must take additional precautions to stop the virus from spreading further.
- Adjust work assignments to ensure employees can stay 6 feet from each other throughout their shifts.
- If the office remains open to the public, use floor decals or other visual cues to encourage distancing.
- Use non-contact payment methods if possible.
- Remote work is recommended when possible.
- Stagger shifts when possible.
- Limit entry to 2 total persons for every 1,000 square feet of space in the facility.
- In offices where remote work is impossible, employees may continue to work with the density of people required for operations to continue. This density should continue to be minimized to the greatest extent possible.
- Post this temporary occupancy limit publicly.
- Stagger employee break times.
- Substitute telephone or internet-based meetings for in-person staff meetings.
- Prohibit non-essential visitors.
- Place handwashing stations or hand sanitizer at entry and outside communal bathrooms for all staff and visitors with prominent signage promoting use.
- Give staff hourly handwashing breaks.
- Wipe down high-touch surfaces with disinfectant. See CDC guidance for details.
- If possible, increase ventilation in the building by either:
- Opening windows and/or doors on opposite sides of the building and using fans to blow outside air through the building OR
- Optimizing ventilation provided by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system by:
- Having the HVAC system checked to assure that it is working properly. If it can be adjusted, the system should be set to provide at least 6 air exchanges per hour or 25 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of outside air per person.
- Maximizing the amount of outside air circulated by the system.
- Installing filters with minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV) of the highest value compatible with filter rack.
- Educate staff about symptoms and prevention of COVID-19.
- Ask employees who are sick or who have had contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 10 days not to enter and follow CDC quarantine guidelines. Staff without any symptoms may end their quarantine period after:
- Day 10 without testing, OR
- Day 7 after receiving a negative test result (lab-based or rapid) after day 5.
- Persons who have been fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine when exposed to someone with coronavirus if they meet all of the following criteria:
- They are fully vaccinated, and it has been at least 2 weeks following receipt of the last dose in the series; AND,
- They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
- Vaccination is not 100% effective.
- Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should get tested.
- Anyone who is positive for COVID-19 must isolate according to CDC guidelines.
- After vaccination you must still wear a mask, keep your distance & avoid crowds.
- Post prominent signs at entrances and in employee break rooms:
- Encouraging people to cover coughs or sneezes.
- Mandating that employees do not eat together.
- Mandating physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
- Mandating that all staff and visitors wear masks.
- Order of the Secretary of Health Directing Building Safety Measures
- Order of the Secretary of Health Directing Public Health Safety Measures
- Guidance to calculate your isolation and quarantine period (PDF)
- Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
- Call (800) 722-7112 to speak to a health care professional on the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline.