Reopen the Bay State and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by complying with safety standards
Published August 5th, 2020
Governor Charlie Baker announced the reopening of the State of Massachusetts on May 18 and has since advised that the state can roll back with reopening should the increase in COVID-19 cases continue. The original plan for reopening intends to have businesses resume operations, help people get back to work safely, and keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control in the Bay State.
Massachusetts and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Massachusetts is one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 in the United States. It is currently one of the highest in confirmed COVID-19 cases with more than a hundred thousand infected among the state’s population. A stay at home advisory took effect on March 24 and all operations except essential businesses were shut down to help mitigate the further spread if COVID-19.
Travelers who are going to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14-days and that individuals who are showing COVID-19 symptoms should not travel to the Bay State. Health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers are exempted from the rule.
Reopening the Bay State
According to the state’s four-phase reopening plan, the trends in public health will determine how the state will proceed with the reopening phases. Sustaining the decrease in viral transmission is vital to proceeding with the rest of the reopening stages. The government provided these guidance that organizations must follow to help keep COVID-19 under control.
In line with Massachusetts’ social guidance is the Safer-at-Home advisory issued on May 18 (replacing the previous stay-at-home advisory) that provides some guidance on how the public should act during the pandemic. Here are some highlights of the advisory:
- Everyone is required to have their face covered if the 6 feet (approximately 2 meters) social distancing cannot be maintained in public.
- Practice frequent and proper handwashing.
- High-risk residents and everyone over 65 years of age should continue to stay at home except when doing essential activities such as going to the grocery or taking care of medical needs.
- Watch out for COVID-19 symptoms and stay at home when not feeling well.
In order for businesses to operate, provided that they are allowed to open for the phase, Massachusetts required businesses to comply with these three prerequisites:
- Self-certify following the COVID-19 control plan template
- Have a compliance attestation poster displayed and visible to workers and visitors
- Display employer and worker reopening posters that describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfection
Protocols for Specific Sectors
In addition to the guidance that businesses are required to comply with, there are sector-specific safety standards applicable to industries in the state. The government of Massachusetts provided checklists to help guide these different sectors on what to do when preparing to reopen and how to stay in operation during the pandemic. Here are some of the checklists provided per sector:
Complying with Government-Mandated Protocols
As one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, the Bay State is working to recover from the social and economic impact of the pandemic and has put in place several mandatory safety protocols to help keep the public safe and prevent a resurgence of the disease. Having safety protocols to follow gives business owners and managers direction on how to stay operational and recover after shutting down for weeks. Following the latest checklists created based on best practices and safety standards during a pandemic also helps the public maintain safety and while being productive. iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a powerful inspection software that features checklists based on safety standards. Feel free to review and download the checklists to help your business reopen and stay operational in Massachusetts.
Please note that these checklists, while created with the latest best practices available, provide basic information only and are not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklists are permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.
Massachusetts Reopening Checklists
Massachusetts COVID-19 Control Plan Template
The State of Massachusetts requires all businesses to comply with safety standards in order to operate during the pandemic. This COVID-19 control plan template is created using iAuditor based on the checklist provided by the government. Answer the list of questions to check how compliant your business is with state requirements.
Massachusetts Manufacturing Checklist COVID-19
This manufacturing checklist is based on the checklist provided by the state to help manufacturing facilities operate while maintaining the safety of workers during the pandemic. Stay productive and operational by being compliant with state requirements. iAuditor checklists can be used on a mobile device for your convenience.
Massachusetts Construction Checklist COVID-19
Construction works in the State of Massachusetts are required to comply with safety standards in order to proceed during the pandemic. Review the following questions to ensure that you are compliant with state requirements. This construction checklist is based on the checklist provided by the government of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Restaurant Checklist COVID-19
Restaurants in Massachusetts are mandated to comply with safety standards in order to remain open during the pandemic. Use this restaurant checklist to help ensure that your establishment is aligned with the requirements for operation. This checklist is created using iAuditor based on the template made available by the State of Massachusetts for restaurant owners and operators.
Massachusetts Retail Checklist COVID-19
Massachusetts requires retail establishments to follow safety standards in order to operate while the pandemic is ongoing. Check how compliant your retail business is with state requirements. Created based on the checklist made available by the State of Massachusetts.
Daily Cleaning and Personal Hygiene Inspection (COVID-19)
This daily cleaning and personal hygiene inspection template can be used during regular cleaning inspections to check if CDC guidelines for cleaning and hygiene are being followed. You can also use this template to assess if the different areas in the establishment are presentable, organized, and sanitized using EPA-approved cleaning agents.
Legionella Risk Assessment Checklist
Use this Legionella risk assessment form to assess facilities that were temporarily shut down. Check if cold and hot water temperatures are maintained properly. Inspect the HVAC and water systems to ensure that they are clean and disinfected to avoid another potential health threat after being shut down.
COVID-19 Safety Checklist for Seafarers (ICS)
As the Bay State, maritime trade is a major industry in Massachusetts and, as such, there’s a need to help ensure that seafarers’ health and safety is protected against the pandemic. This COVID-19 safety checklist for seafarers is created based on the International Chamber of Shipping’s (ICS) ship operator guide. This is checklist can help reinforce the advice provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Temperature Log Monitoring Sheet
Should your business find the need to check employee or visitor temperatures, you can use this temperature monitoring log sheet to record as many temperature checks as needed. This temperature log sheet recognizes 100.3° F as the threshold and prompts a visual cue for 100.4° F and above temperature readings.