Today, we have officially entered Phase One of reopening, and as one would expect, there is much anticipation for things to “go back to normal.” We want to stress that this is going to be a very gradual move back into normalcy, and we want to ensure that you understand what this phase entails.
There are still severe measures being taken to help flatten the curve, so we want to encourage you to maintain these regulations. If you are a business, it is a good idea to print this blog off and go over it with your employees. It is only natural that there is still some degree of difficulty with a new normal, and to create a habit, one must consistently remind themselves of the ruleset.
One way we stay strong and focused on these regulations is reminding ourselves about the bravery of the first responders and medical staff that are working so hard to keep patients healthy and safe. It is a simple way to stay motivated as well as embolden the significance of the points below. As always, if you have questions or concerns, our lawyers remain at the ready to help.
Effective today, May 4, 2020, Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-112, shall entail the following:
Restaurants and Food Establishments. Restaurants and food establishments may allow customers to eat and drink on the premises, as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines and limit their occupancy to 25%. This 25% calculation does not include employees. Outdoor seating in a restaurant is permitted only if customers are 6 feet apart, and there are ten people or fewer in one area. Bar counters must remain closed.
Bars, pubs, and nightclubs. Bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive 50% of their gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages shall continue to suspend the sale of such beverages for on-premises consumption.
Congregation limitation. No more than ten people shall congregate in any public space that does not allow for social distancing.
Travel and Isolation. If you have traveled on a cruise, traveled to any international destination, or have been in any area with a significant presence of COVID-19, you must isolate yourself for 14 days upon return.
Gyms and Fitness Centers. Gyms and fitness centers shall remain closed.
Retail Stores. Retail stores may open as long as they operate at 25% capacity and abide by the safety guidelines established.
Museums and Libraries. Museums and libraries can open as long as they operate at 25% capacity, but all interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, must remain closed.
Medical Procedures. Elective medical procedures may resume. Ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental offices, orthodontic offices, endodontic offices or other health care practitioner offices can perform procedures if
- the facility can be converted to assist with the treatment of COVID-19 patients in a surge capacity situation;
- the facility has adequate personal protective equipment;
- the facility has not sought additional federal, state, or local government assistance regarding personal protective equipment supplies; and
- the facility has not refused to provide support to or engage with assisted living facilities or long-term care residential providers.
Recommendations during this Phase One:
- Act Reasonably. Courts will look to the reasonable person standard when evaluating the actions of business owners and their compliance with the administrative orders, so do your absolute best to adhere to the safety guidelines set out.
- Administrative Orders. Owners should print out a copy of the most recent order and go over it with their employees.
- Be Consistent. Business owners must be consistent with their actions and the procedures they implement from this moment forward.
- Consider releases. There are releases you can create for both clients and customers (hair salons, doctors’ offices, gyms, and medical spas). This will not eliminate all liability, but it will show that you have made both employees and customers aware of any possible dangers.
- Establish Policies. Every business should have a policy in place for not only their employees but for their clients and customers as well. (ex. when and how you allow your employees to work)
- Medical Information. Medical information collected from your employees must remain private. HIPAA law must still be adhered to, even if an employer is only taking temperatures of its employees.
- Stay Safe. Business owners must continue to adhere to the administrative orders so that you can remain open. (Keep masks on and remain 6 feet apart)
- Insurance Agent. We recommend giving your insurance agent a call to discuss what you must do to remain covered under your policy.
- Workers’ Compensation. Workers’ compensation claims are “no-fault”, so we recommend that you ask your insurance agency whether there is some type of coverage preclusion for your specific policy or whether you can get a rider (an insurance policy provision that adds benefits or amends the terms of your insurance policy).
- Keep Records. Keep a record of all the safety measures you have implemented in your business and all that you require of your employees. This may come in handy if any issue should arise in the future.
It is important to remember that the safety of the public is essential at this time, so make sure you are adhering to the social distancing guidelines, as well as any current or future Administrative Orders executed. Should you have any questions or want to discuss a matter you are currently dealing with, we encourage you to give The Orlando Law Group, PL a call at 407-512-4394 today, to schedule a consultation.
We hope you all stay safe and healthy.