Medical Partners

COVID-19 Protocols For Retail

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Retail Federation (NRF) have implemented guidelines with regards to protecting the health and safety of America's workers and workplaces during COVID-19. These are recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthy workplace.

No Wait Medical Partners focuses on the need to follow appropriate guidelines during work shifts and while at home.

Employer Responsibilities

Assess the hazards to which your workers may be exposed; evaluate the risk of exposure; and select, implement, and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure.

1. Implementing Basic Infection Prevention Measures

-Hand Hygiene

  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including providing employees and customers with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol should be provided. Regular hand washing or using of alcohol-based hand rubs are necessary. Employees should always wash their hands when they are visibly soiled and after removing any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Provide resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene, including tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces. Post hand washing signs in restrooms. Ensure clean toilet and hand washing facilities. Fill hand sanitizer dispensers regularly. Disinfect frequently touched items, including door pulls and toilet seats often.

-Respiratory Etiquette

  • The importance of covering coughs and sneezes should be emphasised. Employees should wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.

-Enhanced Sanitation

  • Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the environment. When tools or equipment must be shared, provide and instruct workers to use alcohol- based wipes to clean tools before and after use. When cleaning tools and equipment, employees should consult manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, PPE).

  • When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should consult information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels from List N, or that have claims against emerging viral pathogens, or that have label claims against the coronavirus for cleaning frequently touched surfaces like tools, handles, and machines. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19, based on data for harder to kill viruses.

  • Develop a disinfection schedule or routine plan, especially for high contact areas like restrooms. Ensure sufficient stocks of cleaning and disinfecting supplies to accommodate ongoing cleaning and disinfection. High touch areas should be cleaned and disinfected (e.g. doorknobs, display cases, equipment handles, PIN pads, checkout counter, cash register) more frequently. As well, consider closing restrooms to the public.


2. Transmission Barriers

-Physical Distancing

  • Have measures (e.g. tape on floors/sidewalks, partitions, and signage on walls) to allow a 6-foot distance between employees and customers and minimize face-to-face contact.

  • For employee spaces such as kitchens, break rooms, and offices, the number of people should be restricted so there can be a 6-foot distance between people. Stagger shifts if possible.

  • In-store announcements for traffic flow and queuing protocols can remind customers to social distance. Limit party sizes and occupancy according to state and local law.

-Vendor Safety

  • Notify vendors of revised protocol.

  • Transition to contactless delivery.

  • Stop access to warehouses for non-employee truck operators.

-Contactless Shopping

  • Online, contactless payment, self-checkout, pickup, and delivery options will reduce transmission likelihood.

  • Remove beauty and fragrance testers.

  • Limit self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations while encouraging drive through, delivery, and curb-side pickup.


  • Establish a procedure for returned items. Consider storing the returned item separately in a sealed container for employees with PPE to handle, process, and disinfect. Isolate the item for a safe time before putting it up for sale on the floor. Consider modifying or suspending current policies for returns and exchange.

-Contactless Shopping

  • If reopening, sanitize before customer use and after each customer.

  • Have hand sanitizers or wipes for customer use before trying on items. Inform customers that masks should be kept on while trying items.

  • Items that have been used in a fitting room should be separated, disinfected (e.g. steam cleaned) and stored for a safe period before returning it to the sales floor.

3. Faculty

Check state and local guidelines for which businesses are permitted to open and at what capacity.

Business hours should support social distancing, staff ability to rest, sanitize, and restock inventory, and pickup from customers. Consider offering exclusive early hours to seniors and other high-risk people.

Signage should cover social distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and staying home while sick with COVID-19-like symptoms, especially at public entrances. Industry specific guidelines should be posted in easily visible locations. Post signs if quantities for certain items are limited to prevent hoarding.

Ventilation such as air ducts and vents should be clean, free of mold, and operational. Increase outdoor air circulation by opening windows, doors, and using fans.

Consider limiting entry to people wearing CDC approved face covers, with exemptions according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Several states require masks to be worn in indoor spaces open to the public when not spaced 6-feet apart.

Self-service containers and items requiring frequent hand contact should be removed from use, or appropriately washed, cleaned and sanitized, and changed after each customer/party is served (e.g. seating covers, table cloths, linen napkins, throw rugs, condiments such as ketchup bottles and salt/pepper shakers, and reusable menus). If there are not enough single-service and single-use articles available, all reusable food service items should be are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher. High-touch areas and equipment cleaned should be and disinfected (e.g. doorknobs, display cases, equipment handles) more frequently.

Food contact surfaces and counters should be cleaned and sanitized after use. Common use areas such as restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more frequently.

Minimize the time food is in the danger zone (between 41 F and 135 F).

4. Training and Education of Staff

Provide workers with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviors (e.g., cough etiquette, proper hygiene practices, and care of PPE). Employees should wear cloth face coverings in the workplace.

Train workers who need to use protecting clothing and equipment, and on how to put it on, use/wear it, and take it off correctly, within the context of their current and potential duties. Training material should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers.

Workers should be trained on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 with an explanation of how the diseaseis potentially spread, including the fact that infected people can spread the virus even if they do not have symptoms. Employees should know when to stay home to prevent spread.

Emphasis should be placed on the need for workers to report any safety and health concerns.

Train employees with new or altered duties. Consider training staff in safe de-escalation strategies for customers violating health and safety rules or shoplifting.

5. Support for Employees

Mental health support should be provided to all workers, including access to an employee assistance program (EAP) if available. Emergency communications plans should be developed, including a forum for answering workers' concerns and internet-based communications, if feasible.

No wait medical could help retail business find a third-party mental health provider upon request.

6. Screening

CDC recommends that employers conduct daily health checks, for example, symptom and/or temperature screening of employees before they enter the facility.

If implementing in-person health checks, they should be conducted safely and respectfully. Employers may use social distancing, barrier or partition controls, or PPE to protect the screener. Health checks should be conducted in a way that helps maintain social distancing guidelines, such as providing multiple screening entries into the building. Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure. No Wait Medical Partners ensures ongoing follow-up of employees sent home who may be at risk.

Confidentiality of the medical records should be maintained. To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, employee health screenings should be made as private as possible, and determinations of risk, should not be made based on race or country of origin.

Verbally screen in appropriate languages to determine whether workers have had a fever, respiratory symptoms (e.g. coughing, shortness of breath) or other symptoms in the past 24 hours.

At the start of each shift, take the temperature of workers to identify anyone with a fever of 100.4 F or greater; if they have a fever, do not let them enter the facility. Screeners should be are trained to use temperature monitors that are accurate under conditions of use and wear appropriate PPE.

Other screening questions include asking whether the employee has been in contact with someone who is known to be infected with COVID-19 or if they have been in contact with someone who travelled internationally or been on a cruise within the past 14 days.

Considering screening guests before they enter the facility.

7. Absenteeism

Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.

Employees who have symptoms should notify their supervisor and be encouraged to stay home, and a note from their healthcare provider does not need to be provided in order to validate illness, or their ability to return to work. Sick leave policies should be flexible and consistent with public health guidance, and employees should be made aware of these policies. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with No Wait Medical Partners. Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting employees and customers.

Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and consult with No Wait Medical Partners regarding the mandatory precautions. Policies should permit employees to stay home to care for sick family members, including sick children or children who are in schools or day care centers that have been closed, or who have immunocompromised family members, and are afraid to come to work because of fear of possible exposure. Workers' concerns about pay, leave, safety, health, and other issues that may arise during infectious disease outbreaks should be addressed, and employers are encouraged to work with insurance companies (e.g., those providing employee health benefits) and state and local health agencies to provide information to workers and customers about medical care in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

No Wait Medical Partners will provide daily follow up on employees who are self-isolating at home, and on what their expected return to work dates will be.

8. Contact Tracing and Tracking

No Wait Medical Partners enables safe and timely triage, testing, monitoring, contact tracking and containment of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive employees. No Wait Medical Partners contributes to limiting exposure and risk management and enables contact tracing for suspected COVID-19 positive employees.

Cases of COVID-19

In the event of a sick worker, close off areas used by person who was sick. Clear the area and wait 24 hours, or long as possible, before disinfecting anything the worker has touched using EPA approved disinfectants. Increase circulation by opening windows and doors if reasonable, given food safety regulations.

Trace the worker's coworker contacts from 2 days before symptom onset to identify other exposed workers. Inform those employees if there is a case of confirmed COVID-19 while keeping confidentiality according to the ADA. In a confirmed case, notify the landlord and relevant state health or environmental safety departments.

Critical Infrastructure

Following potential exposure to COVID-19, critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work at their regular duties if they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented, including continued screening for symptoms. If tested, their results must be negative for them to continue working.

If the worker has had a potential exposure:

  • Pre-Screen: Before starting work and ideally before entering the facility, employers should measure the employee's temperature and assess symptoms.

  • Regular Monitoring: Employees should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer's occupational health program. If an employee becomes sick during the day, send them home immediately.

  • Wear a Mask: The employee should always wear a face mask while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. In the event of shortages, employers can approve of employee supplied cloth face masks. Test the use of face masks to ensure they do not interfere with workflow.

  • Social Distance: The employee should practice social distancing (i.e. keep 6-foot distance) as work duties permit in the workplace.

  • Disinfect and Clean workspaces: Increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

Guidelines for Employees

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have implemented guidelines on how employees can protect themselves and their co-workers from COVID-19. Employees are encouraged to forward any questions or concerns that they may have to No Wait Medical Partners.

Protecting Yourself and Others

-Hand Hygiene

  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or if soap and water are not immediately available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rubbing hands until they are dry. Avoid touching your face.
    COVID-19 Guidlines

    Click here to watch the video

-Respiratory Etiquette

  • Follow the proper guidelines for covering coughs and sneezing (i.e., sneezing or coughing into a tissue or into the upper sleeve). Always wear a face mask while in the workplace, and the mask should cover your nose and mouth. Learn how to properly put on, use/wear, and take off protective clothing and equipment.

  • If possible, wear cloth face coverings protect others in case the wearer is unknowingly infected. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on babies and children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, or anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without help.

-Social Distancing

  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing as work duties permit, and avoid physical contact with others, including other employees, contractors, and visitors.

  • Use alternatives ways to shake hands upon entry, and it is important to not touch your face (i.e., mouth, nose, eyes).

  • Drive to work sites or parking areas individually, when possible, an avoid having passengers or carpools.


  • Clean and disinfect all shared areas and equipment routinely, using alcohol-based wipes to clean tools before and after use.

  • Before preparing or eating food, always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety.

  • Use gloves to avoid direct bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.

COVID-19 Guidlines

Click here to view PDF

What should I do if I become ill?

Notify your supervisor and No Wait Medical Partners immediately, complete the self-assessment (self-checker).

Critical infrastructure work role

Following potential exposure to COVID-19, critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work at their regular duties if they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented, including continued screening for symptoms. If tested, their results must be negative for them to continue working.

Potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, including the 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.

After potential exposure:

  • Take your temperature before work (should be under 100.4 F or 38 C).

  • Always wear a face mask.

  • Stay 6-feet apart from others in the workplace as work duties permit.

  • Stay home if you are sick.

  • Do not share objects (e.g. headsets) used near the face.

  • Do not share objects (e.g. headsets) used near the face.

Resources for Employers and Employees

Below are some resources on government approved guidelines around proper hygiene and cleaning practices, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-19.


Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic (FDA guidelines)

Considerations for Restaurants and Bars (CDC guidelines)

Coronavirus Retail Restrictions by State (NRF guidelines)

Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19 (EPA guidelines)

EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2020). List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) (CDC guidelines)

General Business Frequently Asked Questions - Suspected or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in the Workplace (CDC guidelines)

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (OSHA guidelines)

Hand washing guidelines (CDC guidelines)

What You Need To Know About Handwashing (Video)

Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 (CDC guidelines)

Information on conducting Hazard Assessments (OSHA guidelines)

Information on the use of cloth face coverings (CDC guidelines)

Operation Open Doors (NRF guidelines)

Protection of yourself and others against COVID-19 (CDC guidelines)

Respirator Safety (United States Department of Labor. 2009) Video

Resuming Business Toolkit for Employers (CDC guidelines)

Self-assessment tool for employees (CDC guidelines)

Symptoms of COVID-19 (CDC guidelines)

Use of respirators, facemasks, and cloth face coverings in the food and agriculture (FDA guidelines)

Use of Respirators, Facemasks, and Cloth Face Coverings in the Food and Agriculture Sector during Pandemic (FDA guidelines)

When to screen (CDC guidelines)