Open Safely Guidelines for Business or Organization

Phase 1 – Business or Organization

Businesses and Organizations must adhere to strict mitigation standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The general operating matrix will require spacing of individuals and small groups, limiting concentration of people, strict use of PPE, and frequent sanitizing. Higher risk individuals (as determined by CDC) should remain vigilant and should continue to shelter at home. The specific requirements and guidelines for this service industry during this Phase are listed below. These requirements and guidelines supplement and do not replace any directives or guidance provided by other state agencies, boards and commissions, or other authorities having jurisdiction. Where conflicts occur, the stricter of the requirements will apply.

Only businesses and organizations with exterior (open-air) public entrances may open under the conditions described below. Mall spaces and other similar enclosed common area entrances are to remain closed. Delivery entrances or “exit only” doors shall not be used for public access. Businesses or organizations requiring assemblies of more than 10 persons in the same space are not included in this phase.

Occupant Capacity and Building Safety:
Existing buildings must maintain the life safety, egress, and fire protection features as required for the current approved occupancy classification (NFPA 101 Life Safety Code). The maximum capacity during the Phase 1 period is limited to 25% of the normal code established capacity and is subject to the social distancing requirements of 6 feet as outlined below. The stricter of these two factors will apply. Specifically: 

  • Maximum capacity to achieve 25% will be based upon 1 person per 400 square feet of gross area of the business or organization, or 25% of the posted capacity by order of State Fire Marshal;
  • One occupant per private individual office is allowed;
  • Open office areas shall be arranged such that a minimum of 6 feet distance between other persons is maintained;
  • Human contact as part of the service provided shall be eliminated;
  • Interior waiting spaces shall be limited to one person, or to one small related group. Appointments are recommended;
  • Conference rooms shall be limited to a maximum of 10 persons. Six-foot distance shall be maintained within the conference room between unrelated small groups;
  • Break rooms shall be limited to temporary access by one employee at a time;
  • Eliminate gatherings in the building while entering, exiting, or moving about; 
  • Telecommuting of employees shall continue wherever and whenever possible.


  • Management and employees shall enforce the maximum capacity and social distancing requirements and manage the movement of people at all times that the building is occupied;
  • Exterior waiting areas, if provided, shall be arranged to not block exits and to maintain social distancing requirements.

Louisiana Department of Health Guidance:
Business and Organization employees shall:

  • Be screened daily for fever or respiratory symptoms and shall be sent home if symptoms exist;
  • Maintain minimum 6 feet distance between each other and clients;
  • Wash hands frequently;
  • Use gloves for contact with money, credit cards or other materials. Gloves must be replaced between each client interaction. If gloves are not available, then hand sanitizer between each client interaction is acceptable;
  • Clean and sanitize all frequently touched items in work areas;
  • Clean and sanitize tables, chairs, tables, and high touch surfaces after every client. High touch surfaces include doorknobs/handles/plates, light switches, counter tops, cabinet pulls, etc.;
  • Clean and disinfect restrooms regularly;
  • Wear gloves to handle money when clearing the register/cash drawer.

Personal Protective Equipment:

Cleaning of Areas and Other Items:

  • Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use disinfectant; 
  • 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 a period of time (see product label).
    • Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
  • 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. 
  • To make a bleach solution, mix:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water, or o 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.
    • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.

Sample Spacing Layout Normal maximum capacity = 24, Phase 1 maximum capacity = 6 (25%)

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