Date: April 1, 2020
To: Waco-McLennan County Businesses
From: Shawn Nixon, Operations Section Chief
Subject: Best Practices for Essential Business
Businesses and employers can help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 in McLennan County. We
encourage employers to plan and respond in a flexible way to varying levels of disease transmission in the
community and be prepared to refine their business response plans as needed. According to the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most American workers will likely experience low (caution) or
medium exposure risk levels at their job or place of employment. All employers need to consider how to best
decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in their workplace. This may include activities in one
or more of the following areas: a) reduce transmission among employees, b) maintain healthy business
operations, and c) maintain a healthy work environment.
Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and
stay at home. Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work
until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers. Employees
who are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow
CDC recommended precautions.
Thank you to our essential businesses for the services you are providing in this difficult time. We strongly
recommend the following precautions to protect yourself, your employees, your patrons, and the broader
• Offer delivery options or curb service
• Limit the number of patrons allowed inside at a time, based on the size of the facility and social
This will require monitoring and enforcement, including to promote social distancing and safe hygiene practices
among patrons who are waiting outside. Businesses should be creative in developing social distancing plans
that meet their unique needs, and firm in requiring employees and patrons to abide by them. Even at essential
businesses, everyone who can work from home should do so. Only employees who need to be physically
present should come to work. It is strongly advised that you make hand sanitizer, and surface cleaning products
easily available to all employees.
Businesses can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and enforce social distancing requirements by:
• Post signs on the front door and throughout the business, reminding patrons to practice good health
habits and maintain a six-foot distance apart.
• Enforce the six-foot rule. Imagine a person lying horizontally between you and another person – that’s
six feet. Keep that distance between you and others. A full-size bed is also 6-feet long. Consider
putting down strips of tape in check-out lines to indicate where customers should stand.
Implement an exclusive shopping hour for seniors and those at-risk to protect the citizens who
suffer most if they contract the virus.
• Provide hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, tissues, and signs encouraging their use for patrons.
Provide gloves for employees.
• Clean surfaces that people touch often like doorknobs, counters, phones, faucets, shopping carts, and
baskets. Financial institutions that are only conducting business via the drive-thru windows should
remember to clean the transport tubes often.
• Ensure that all employees frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
• Install sneeze guards or plastic barriers between staff and the public. Place produce and other nonpackaged food behind barriers and have staff handling these with gloves on.
• Communicate with your patrons via signage and regular social media posts regarding any changes in
hours or other important updates.
• Business owners or managers who have questions about the order and restrictions can call the WacoMcLennan County Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 hotline at (254) 750-1890. Residents or
employees who believe a business is in violation of these restrictions are urged to call the EOC COVID19 hotline as well. Restaurants may operate under the order solely to provide food through online,
delivery, pickup, or walk-in ordering. Dine-in services are strictly prohibited.
We urge businesses to follow these recommendations to protect the health of both employees and the public.
Thank you to all of our business owners and staff for doing your part to keep Waco and McLennan County
healthy and our store shelves stocked. We need you now more than ever.