The following suggestions are for your consideration in response to the COVID- 19 outbreak as each employer finds himself navigating with an individualized response.

Maintaining a safe workplace is each employer’s first concern.

Common Areas and Test Drives
• Post reminder signs in all washrooms to wish your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water.
• If possible, provide hand-sanitizers or sanitizing wipes for all employees, customers, and visitors at workstations and at the dealership’s entrances and service area.
• Provide tissues for employees, customers, and visitors to use for a cough or a sneeze. Remind and request all to discard of the tissue after use.
• Suggest washing hands or using a hand sanitizer before and after each test drive.
• Consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual or the OEM for cleaners that can and cannot he have used on the vehicle—both inside and outside—as door handles are used by employees and customers and steering wheels, seats, and dashboards, etc. are frequently touched.

Cleaning Contractors
• Verify that the dealership’s cleaning contractors are using adequate cleaning supplies with frequent and special attention to common areas.
• Consider changing air filters and using HEPA filters in the central AC/Heat system.

Employee Concerns
• An employee who is experiencing flu-like symptoms or feeling ill should be asked to remain at home or sent home and encouraged to see a doctor.
• An employee who has been exposed by a family-member, friend, or via a meeting should remain at home.
• An employee who works within 3 to 6 feet with an infected or ill employee may need to be quarantined for the CDC suggested 14-day period. Facilitate environmental cleanup of the workspace and any potentially contaminated areas. Use your best efforts not to identify any infected employee by name.
• Do not inquire of any employee as to whether he or she has a compromised immune system or chronic health condition that would make that person more susceptible to complications of the flu. Asking a disability-related question or requiring a medical examination of an employee without symptoms is not allowed under the ADA.

Telecommuting
• If conducive to the job, flexible work arrangements and telecommuting may be an option.
• A system to verify hours worked should be in place if telecommuting is permitted.
• Consideration regarding accessing or transmitting company information that includes personal confidential information must be secured as inappropriate exposure of dealership and customer data is an issue.
• Personal devices may not secure company documents and such devices may be more susceptible to breaches.
• If an employee’s device is not equipped with security software and updates, telecommuting may not be an option.
• Prohibiting use of WIFI is also be a consideration. Additional resources are the CDC website and the DSHS website