Maryland Offices Are Permitted To Be Open With Restrictions

Cole Schotz
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Cole Schotz

Although a few counties and cities of Maryland continue to impose additional restrictions, Maryland, including Baltimore City, has lifted its stay-at-home order and is proceeding with its three stages of reopening as outlined in Maryland Strong: A Road to Recovery. Nevertheless, Maryland encourages those employees who are able to work at home to continue to do so whenever possible.  When working in a professional office, however, Maryland recommends certain best practices.  For office buildings, Maryland recommends the following:

  • Clean and disinfect the offices per CDC guidelines.
  • Open or remove doors where possible to minimize touch points.
  • Remove high-touch shared items or sanitize between uses (e.g., kitchen appliances)
  • Provide automatic hand sanitizer stations near touch points (e.g., elevators).
  • Install automatic soap dispensers in kitchens and restrooms.
  • Rearrange desks and seats in meeting rooms to allow six feet of distancing.
  • Consider designating and posting one-way foot traffic direction signs in main circulation routes.
  • Mark increments of six feet on floors where lines form.
  • Post signs on walls and place stickers on floors of elevators describing where to stand.
  • Open doors and windows for fresh air.
  • Replace air filters more frequently, using the highest filtration level available.
  • Designate one location for deliveries, disinfecting items and restricting to only assigned employees.
  • Encourage the use of face masks.
  • Communicate these precautions to tenants.

For employers offering professional services, Maryland recommends the following:

  • Implement a daily screening process that includes asking employees health questions recommended by CDC and Maryland Department of Health (e.g., did you lose your sense of smell or taste?).
  • Consider temperature testing employees.
  • Instruct sick employees to follow CDC and MDH guidelines regarding home isolation.
  • Conduct telephone or video conferences.
  • Limit attendees at in-person conferences.
  • Consider alternate work hours (e.g., split or staggered schedules, longer days/shorter weeks)
  • Stagger lunch hours and use of kitchens.
  • Encourage the use of face masks.
  • Encourage distancing of six feet.
  • Communicate these precautions to employees.

Currently, Maryland has progressed to the second stage.  Hopefully, the implementation of these recommendations will allow Maryland to not only enter into stage three but also finally graduate to business as usual.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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