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TEMPLATE Coronavirus Written Procedure for Food Establishment Operations

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The following procedure has been developed for businesses to ensure safe and healthy operations for employees and guests during the Coronavirus pandemic. This document serves as a template ‘written procedure’ for dine-in service required by the state for reopening. The procedure addresses:  

  • employee health and safety  
  • service and operational changes during each phase of operation  
  • cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection  

No restaurant may operate until they can meet and maintain all the requirements in state’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 Restaurant, Tavern, Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Reopening Coronavirus Requirements. No reopening inspections are required prior to a restaurant reopening provided they meet and maintain all state requirements.  This written procedure is provided as a helpful resource to businesses only. Each business is responsible for knowledge and understanding of the state requirements.  

The restaurant/tavern operating during Phase 2 and Phase 3 has a general obligation to keep a safe and healthy facility in accordance with state and federal law, and comply with the following Coronavirus worksite-specific safety practices, as outlined in Governor Jay Inslee’s “Safe Start – Stay Healthy” Proclamation 20-25., and in accordance with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. See addition resources below.  

This document serves as a written procedure for dine-in service that complies with health and safety measures as established by the state’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 Restaurant/Tavern Reopening Coronavirus Requirements. The procedure involves limiting capacity and onsite dining to comply with each phase restrictions listed below.  

As of July 24, 2020 all indoor dining in breweries, wineries, taverns and distilleries is prohibited until Phase 4. If a brewery or winery also has a restaurant license, it may continue restaurant operations pursuant to all other safety requirements. Additionally, all alcohol sales must end at 10:00 pm and all vending and game areas, including billiards, darts and video games are prohibited until Phase 4. Indoor dining is limited to members of the same household until Phase 4. 

Phase I   Phase II   Phase III   Phase IV  
  • Take out & delivery service only  
  • Onsite dining areas closed with tables & chairs stacked  
  • Essential services only  
  • Restaurants and taverns <50% capacity indoors or outdoors 
  • Table size limited to no more than 5 people  
  • Indoor dining limited to same household. 
  • No bar area seating  
  • Restaurants and taverns < 50% capacity  
  • Table size limited to no more than 5 people  
  • No bar area seating  
  • Full capacity  
  • Gatherings < 50  
  • Nightclubs may reopen  
  • Concert venues may reopen  
  • Bar seating may open  

All Establishments: 

Restaurants, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries must ensure strict adherence to all measures established by the Governor’s guidance, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention: General Requirements and Prevention Ideas for Workplaces and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations at https://www.doh.wa.gov/Coronavirus/workplace. All businesses are required: 

  • Adopt a written procedure as least as strict as the state requirements and complies with health and safety requirements and guidelines established by state L&I and DOH. 
  • Develop a coronavirus exposure control, mitigation and recovery plan at each site. 
  • Designate a site-specific Coronavirus supervisor to monitor health and enforce site plan. 
  • Make a copy of the plan available at all locations for inspection by state and local authorities.   

Failure to meet the requirements may result in sanctions up to, and including, license suspension. 

 

In addition, all establishments are required to adhere to the following measures: 

  • Post signage at the entrance to the business requiring customers to use cloth face coverings. 
  • Make customers use cloth face coverings when interacting with their staff. 
  • Hand sanitizer available at entry for all staff and patrons (assuming supply availability).  
  • If the establishment does not offer table service (i.e. wait staff), they must have protocols in place to ensure adequate social distancing at food and/or drink pick-up stations, and within their seating area.  
  • Tables must be placed far enough apart when measured from occupied chair to occupied chair, to ensure guests seated at a table are a minimum of 6 feet away from guests at adjacent table, or there must be a physical barrier or wall separating booths or tables. 
  • Alcohol service, delivery and consumption, including beer, wine, and spirits, must end at 10:00 p.m. until Phase 4. 
  • No bar area seating is permitted. This is the area with a bar table/counter where patrons sit or stand side-by-side. If an establishment has bar area seating it must be closed off to prohibit use.  
  • Customers must wear a cloth face covering anytime they are not seated (while being seated or leaving, or while going to the restroom) and while they are talking at tables and not eating.  
  • Single use menus or reusable menus that are sanitized after each use are required.  
  • Minimize the number of staff serving any given table. It is strongly recommended that one staff person take a table’s order, bring all of their beverages/food/utensils, take their payment, etc.  
  • All establishments must have implemented a plan to ensure proper physical distancing in lobby/waiting areas/payment counters.  
  • Standing is prohibited in any area of establishment, except for the lobby/waiting area and then must be done while maintaining 6 feet of distance between patrons.  
  • All live entertainment is prohibited.  
  • For liquor licensees who want to add outdoor seating to their premises, please go to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) website to access the Liquor Alterations Request Form. Submit completed forms to Liquor Alterations  

 

For Restaurants: 

Guest occupancy is limited to 50% of maximum building occupancy or lower as determined by the fire code.  

  • Outdoor seating is permitted but must also be at 50% capacity. Outdoor seating does not count toward the building occupancy limit and must follow all health and safety requirements. 
  • All parties and tables must be limited to five guests or less.  
  • Indoor dining is limited to members of the same household.  
  • For outdoor seating, a temporary structure may be used. Outdoor structures (temporary or permanent) should have no more than two walls to provide appropriate ventilation. The limitation on walls applies to both rigid and flexible walls.  
  • All table condiments (ketchup, soy sauce, etc.) must be single-use or sanitized after each use.  
  • Buffets and salad bars are permitted and must follow Department of Health guidance.  

 

For Taverns, Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries: 

  • No indoor service is permitted until Phase 4.  
  • For outdoor seating, a temporary structure may be usedOutdoor structures (temporary or permanent) should have no more than two walls to provide appropriate ventilation. The limitation on walls applies to both rigid and flexible walls.  
  • Guest occupancy is limited to 50% capacity.  
  • All parties and tables must be limited to five guests or less.  
  • If a brewery or winery also has a restaurant license, it may continue restaurant operations pursuant to the safety requirements for restaurants 

Facility Plan for Equipment and Physical Structure (reopen plan for closed businesses) 

  • Ensure utilities are working (electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation/air conditioning, and fire suppression)  
  • Flush water system and all plumbed food equipment for a minimum of 5 minutes   
  • Flush and clean soda, beer, and wine tap lines  
  • Ice makers should be fully emptied, pipes drained, and the equipment washed, rinsed, and sanitized   
  • Assess and discard food that is no longer safe (e.g., expired, or spoiled foods)   
  • Check to ensure all equipment is functioning properly and maintaining proper temperatures   
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize all food contact surfaces   
  • Continue services previously discontinued (pest control services, trash, and recycling services)   
  • Thoroughly clean and repair all physical facilities including floors, walls, and ceilings   

Facility Plan for Employee Health & Safety 

This plan is developed for employee health and safety while working during the Coronavirus pandemic to address the following items:  

  • Designate a site-specific Coronavirus supervisor at each job site to monitor the health of employees and enforce the Coronavirus job site safety plan  
  • A worker may refuse to perform unsafe work, including hazards created by Coronavirus. It is unlawful for their employer to take adverse action against a worker who has engaged in safety-protected activities under the law if their work refusal meets certain requirements  
  • Employees who choose to remove themselves from a worksite because they do not believe it is safe to work due to the risk of Coronavirus exposure may have access to certain leave or unemployment benefits. Know and understand the responsibilities of employers to provide high-risk individuals covered by Proclamation 20-46 with their choice of access to available employer-granted accrued leave or unemployment benefits if an alternative work arrangement is not feasible. See additional resources in the Resources section of this document.  

Training:  

  • Educate workers in the language they understand best about coronavirus and how to prevent transmission and the employer’s Coronavirus policies   
  • Employees are trained on known signs and symptoms of Coronavirus:   
  • Provide Handout: Coronavirus & Retail Food Establishments Employee Health & Decision Strategies 
  • Employees are trained on proper hand hygiene including proper use of hand gels and when, where, and how to wash   
  • Establish cleaning schedule to include frequent cleaning and sanitizing with emphasis on commonly touched surfaces  
  • Train employees on any new chemicals used and any correlating Material Safety Data Sheets  
  • Training on any changes in reservations and/or guest logs, service, menus, payment, and social distancing  

Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and materials: 

  • All employees are provided and required to wear cloth facial coveringswhen not working alone on the job site unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection under Department of Labor & Industries safety and health rules and guidance. Refer to Coronavirus Facial Covering and Mask Requirements for additional details. A cloth facial covering is described in the Department of Health guidance, https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/ClothFacemasks.pdf.  
  • Gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate or required to employees for the activity being performed (bussing tables, cash register, shared tools, etc.   
  • Disposable gloves where safe and applicable to prevent transmission on tools or other shared items.   
  • When strict physical distancing is not feasible for a specific task, other prevention measures are required, such as use of barriers, minimize staff or customers in narrow or enclosed areas, stagger breaks, and work shift starts  
  • Ensure frequent and adequate hand washing by providing adequate maintenance of supplies   

Screening:   

  • Develop employee illness policies and procedures  
  • Screen workers for Coronavirus symptoms prior to each shift and ensure employees know the symptoms of Coronavirus illness   
  • Follow the official Washington State Department of Health guidelines here. 
  • Ensure sick employees stay home or immediately go home if they feel or appear sick  
  • Exclusion of Ill Workers: Please follow the Employee Health & Decision Strategies to determine when food workers should stay home, self-quarantine, and return to work  
  • Cordon off any areas where an employee with probable or confirmed Coronavirus illness worked, touched surfaces, etc. until the area and equipment is cleaned and sanitized  
  • Follow the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC to deep clean and sanitize  
  • If notified of a positive Coronavirus employee:   
  • Have the worker self-isolate at home and bring this document to their attention.  
  • Identify coworkers that may have been exposed to the COVID 19-positive worker (include from 48 hours before the worker’s onset of symptoms through their last work shift)   
  • Notify workers of a positive COVID case in the workplace (maintaining confidentiality of individual)   
  • Pre-screen all workers for symptoms prior to each shift in the form of a daily log.  It is recommended to keep the record for 30 days   
  • Ensure handwashing sinks are stocked with soap and paper towels and hand sanitizers are available   
  • Ensure 6 feet of distance between employees in both back and front of house   
  • When strict physical distancing is not feasible for a specific task, other prevention measures are required, such as use of barriers, minimize staff or customers in narrow or enclosed areas, stagger breaks, and work shift starts.  

Cleaning:   

  • Establish a housekeeping schedule that includes frequent cleaning and sanitizing with a particular emphasis on commonly touched surfaces  
  • Increase the frequency that you disinfect surface touchpoints (keypads, door handles, etc.) and shared spaces (bathrooms, common areas)  
  • Do not share headsets, phones, drinks, or food   

Distancing: Ensure employees and visitors maintain proper social distancing of 6 feet of separation.   

  • Stagger work schedules as much as possible to reduce employee contact with each other  
  • Requiring cloth facial coverings for employees. This is not a substitute for 6-foot social distancing  
  • When strict physical distancing is not feasible for a specific task, other prevention measures are required, such as use of barriers, minimize staff or customers in narrow or enclosed areas, stagger breaks, and work shift starts  

Facility Plan for Customer Health & Safety 

  • Develop a site plan to minimize contact and ensure social distancing of at least 6 feet throughout the facility  
  • Plan must ensure social distancing in lobby/waiting areas and payment areas  
  • Tables must be six feet apart when measure from occupied chair to occupied chair to ensure dine-in guests are a minimum of six feet from guests at an adjacent table, or there must be a physical barrier or wall separating booths or tables   
  • Bar tops seating is closed in all phases, but dining tables and seating booths in 21+ sections are allowed and follow the same dine-in measures of social distancing, table spacing, barriers to separate booths, etc.  
  • Set facility limit to 50% of building occupancy or lower as determined by the fire code  
  • Ensure service that limits tables to parties of 5 guests or less  
  • Buffets and salad bars are permitted, provided they adhere to new safety guidelines. Click here for more information.  
  • Provide hand sanitizer at all entrances for staff and guests (assuming supply availability)  
  • Post signage in public areas of physical distancing requirements   
  • Post signage (entrance & interior) requiring guests wear cloth face coverings when arriving, leaving, or visiting the restroom. Customers must wear a cloth face covering anytime they are not seated (while being seated or leaving, or while going to the restroom) and while they are talking at tables and not eating.  
  • Keep a log of all guests who voluntarily provide contact information, including customer names, phone, email, and time they entered/dined at the facility. Maintain the log for 30 days to help with contact tracing.  
  • This information will not be used for any other purpose, including sales or marketing. If this list is not used within 30 days, it must be destroyed.  

Menus, ordering and paying 

  • Single-use, no contact or menus that can be sanitizied after each use are required for in-person dining  
  • Clean and disinfect touchpoints hourly, including all surfaces at each table turning  
  • Minimize the number of staff serving a table.   
  • Consider one staff person take a table’s order, serving beverages/food/utensils, taking payment, etc.  
  • Any condiments (ketchup, soy sauce, etc.) on tables must be single-use or sanitized after each use  
  • Disinfect all touchpads after each use   
  • Maximize pick-up or delivery services   

Facility Plan for Cleaning, Sanitizing, & Disinfecting 

A plan should be developed for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting during the Coronavirus pandemic that addresses the following items:  

  • Cleaning: Use soap and water to clean food and non-food contact surfaces. Cleaning is a necessary first step for sanitizing and disinfecting chemicals to work  
  • Sanitizing: Use an EPA registered product (such as chlorine, QUAT or iodine) at a concentration appropriate for sanitizing food contact surfaces  
  • Disinfecting: Use EPA Registered product at a concentration that has been shown to be effective against Coronavirus for disinfecting frequently contacted touchpoints and non-food contact surfaces at the appropriate frequency:  
  • Every hour when operating in Phase I  
  • Every 2 hours or between each dining group when operating in Phase II & III  
  • Every 4 hours or between each meal service when operating in Phase IV  
  • Designate a single person at your facility to be responsible for the safety plan. 

Resources: 

General Requirements and Prevention Ideas for Workplaces and the Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations at https://www.doh.wa.gov/Coronavirus/workplace.  

Employees who choose to remove themselves from a worksite because they do not believe it is safe to work due to the risk of Coronavirus exposure may have access to certain leave or unemployment benefits. Employers must provide high-risk individuals covered by Proclamation 20-46 with their choice of access to available employer-granted accrued leave or unemployment benefits if an alternative work arrangement is not feasible. Other employees may have access to expanded family and medical leave included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, access to use unemployment benefits, or access to other paid time off depending on the circumstances. Additional information is available at https://www.lni.wa.gov/agency/outreach/paid-sick-leave-and-coronavirus-covid-19-common-questions.  

All issues regarding worker safety and health are subject to enforcement action under L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).  

 

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