City and county leaders unveil plan to guide reopening of local businesses

San Diego is preparing a business reopening plan that is "safe, strategic and specific to our diverse industries,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer says.
San Diego is preparing a business reopening plan that is “safe, strategic and specific to our diverse industries,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer says.

San Diego city and county leaders unveiled proposed regulations Monday that businesses will have to meet before reopening their doors, as well as a plan to help meet those regulations.

The information follows Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that some retail stores across the state can reopen with modifications as early as Friday, May 8. The governor said bookstores, music stores, toy stores, florists, sporting goods retailers and others could reopen for pickup. More-detailed guidelines are expected later in the week.

City and county leaders have said there are steps all businesses should be taking as they move toward reopening.

“We can’t do anything about the stay-at-home order — that is clearly up to the governor,” county Supervisor Greg Cox said. “But what we can do is help make it easier for businesses to reopen safely and smartly and smoothly as soon as possible if they have these [guidelines] to work from.”

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Cox and fellow Supervisor Nathan Fletcher will propose the Reopen San Diego Business Safety Framework, which would require all businesses to develop a Safe Reopening Plan before welcoming customers again.

Safe Reopening Plans are intended to ensure employee and customer safety by increasing sanitation, enforcing physical distancing and encouraging communication with county officials.

The plan unveiled May 4 is designed to help businesses meet the county regulations. The plan was developed by the Responsible COVID-19 Economic Reopening Advisory Group and can be used by restaurants, hair and nail salons and other
businesses as they plan to reopen their doors.

“San Diego is ready to recover and is preparing for a reopening that’s safe, strategic and specific to our diverse industries,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “These guidelines will help get the economy back on its feet and get San Diegans back to work when state and regional orders are lifted.”

The advisory group’s plan includes five focus areas:

  • Employee health: Procure and provide personal protective equipment for employees and commit to voluntary compliance with public health officials on contact tracing and testing.
  • Safe worksite entry: Establish controlled entrance and exit practices to avoid queuing issues and work with the Public Health Department to create processes for checking employees’ symptoms.
  • Workplace distancing and conditions: Evaluate occupancy and capacity to ensure proper physical distancing and keep shifts consistent with the same employees in each rotation or shift.
  • Employee training and compliance: Ensure signage on safety requirements such as hand washing, physical distancing and reporting procedures for employees who become ill.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation: Develop a sanitation plan that includes frequent cleaning of restrooms, workstations and public spaces.

The economic advisory group also plans to provide enhanced guidance specific to industries such as restaurants, spas and construction companies. Those plans are still in development. ◆