Use this information to protect your business and employees. Stay alert to the cleanliness of your stores and the health/needs of your employees by following the suggestions below. For detailed information on re-opening, see JA’s Back to Business Toolkit.

Stay Prepared

By now you’ve implemented strategies to protect your staff from COVID-19. As stay-at-home orders continue to loosen, it’s critical to keep these measures in place. During a COVID-19 outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand washing should be encouraged and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.

Have a plan to deal with high levels of employee absenteeism and how it will impact your business operations. The CDC recommends taking time, for example, to cross-train staff and identify top business priorities if you have less staff. If possible, you should also consider breaking staff into teams that can work at different times and/or days, limiting exposure to employees if someone should test positive for COVID-19.

Review your sick leave policies to ensure they are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies. If necessary, consider implementing an emergency sick leave policy. For more on Paid Sick Leave and FMLA, reference our Government-Issued Guidance or visit the Department of Labor's workplace guidance.

See the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers here.

Stay Informed and Communicate

For You and Your Staff

Keep updated on the latest developments around the outbreak by visiting your state and local health departments, the National Retail Federation’s Coronavirus Resources for Retailers here and the CDC’s website here. Also see the CDC’s recommendations for Reducing the Spread of COVID-19 in Workplaces.

Make sure you clearly communicate health policies and procedures around COVID-19 to your staff. Jewelers of America has provided a sample letter that retailers can use, outlining common sense recommendations such as staying home when sick and properly washing hands on a regular basis.

For Your Customers

Send a message to your customers to communicate transparency and compassion. Promote what you are doing within your business to keep you, your employees and your customers safe. Be sure to include how you are cleaning your stores. Jewelers of America has provided a sample letter to customers, describing to them the steps and procedures you should be implementing. For more detailed information on communicating with customers as you re-open, visit Communication: Community and Connection in JA’s Back to Business Toolkit.

Make products like hand sanitizer available to customers and employees. Be ready to respond if customers need information and want to be reassured that sick employees are staying home.

Consider alternative ways to conduct business:
  • Set appointment times so customers can work with a sales associate one-on-one.
  • Virtual visits – Set times to speak with customers via FaceTime or other virtual mediums.
  • Promote your e-commerce platforms for those who are wanting to shop from their own homes.

If Employees Become Sick

Separate sick employees: CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and customers and be sent home immediately.

Employees who are well but who have  been exposed to someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19 should follow the CDC’s guidelines for community exposure. Exposure is being within 6 feet for a prolonged period of time..

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For more information see the CDC’s Guidance on Suspected or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in the Workplace.
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