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Use of Respirators, Facemasks, and Cloth Face Coverings in the Food and Agriculture Sector During Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the
spread of the virus and to help people who are unaware they have the virus from spreading it to others.

This has led to questions from the Food and Agriculture Sector about what respirators, disposable facemasks, such as surgical
or medical masks, or cloth face coverings are most appropriate for various settings.

  • Respirators protect wearers from breathing in hazardous contaminants in the air.

  • Disposable facemasks, such as surgical or medical masks, are not respirators and do not protect
    the wearer from breathing in small particles, gases, or chemicals in the air.

  • Cloth face coverings, whether provided by the employer or brought from home by the worker, are not respirators or disposable facemasks and do not protect the worker wearing them from exposures.

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Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Food Safety Checklist

FDA is providing a food safety re-opening checklist for previously closed retail food establishments or those that have been open with limited service related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This checklist addresses key food safety practices for retail food establishments to consider when re-opening and restarting operations. This is not a comprehensive list. We encourage retail food establishments to partner with local regulatory/health authorities to discuss the specific requirements for their retail food establishment prior to re-opening.

Additional references:

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Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We encourage retail food establishments and their employees to follow these best practices and refer to the CHECKLIST – Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic for more details. Work closely with State and local regulatory/health authorities where the business is located to ensure all requirements are met.


    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and common use areas more frequently, such as door knobs and handles, display cases, check-out counter, order kiosks, grocery cart handles, restrooms, and waiting areas. Clean and sanitize equipment like ice machines and ice bins.
    • Prepare and use sanitizers and disinfectants according to label instructions.
    • Avoid high-touch containers and items like ketchup bottles, utensils, salt/pepper
      shakers, and reusable menus by using single service items, when possible.

    • Restrict the number of workers, customers and visitors in sit-in dining areas, bars and in shared spaces like kitchens, break rooms, waiting areas, and offices to maintain at least a 6-foot distance between people.
    • Increase spacing for customers and increase utensil disinfection and cleaning frequency at self-service stations/buffets.
    • Minimize contact at check-out and pay stations. Mark 6-foot distances with floor tape and temporarily move workstations to create more distance, consider installing partitions, if feasible.

    • Maintain food time and temperature controls.
    • Initiate “no touch” deliveries and payments.
    • ZONE Designate pick-up zones.

    • Ensure premises are operational and in good working order.
    • Clean, disinfect, and sanitize throughout the facility before re-opening.
    • Monitor for pests.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Personal Protective Equipment Preservation Best Practices

This guidance summarizes best practices for national implementation to sustain personal protective equipment (PPE) while ensuring the protection workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response.

The objective of the COVID-19 National Strategy for Addressing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Shortage is to
ensure protection against COVID-19 for healthcare workers, first responders, and patients by implementing three pillars of practice: reduce – reuse – repurpose. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic response and associated PPE shortages, implementation of contingency and crisis capacity plans may be necessary to ensure continued availability of protective gear.

This fact sheet amplifies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strategies on conventional,
contingency and crisis capacity strategies for optimizing PPE. All U.S. healthcare facilities should begin using PPE
contingency strategies now and may need to consider crisis capacity strategies if experiencing PPE shortages.

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6 Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use

Step 1: Check that your product is EPA-approved

  • Find the EPA registration number on the product. Then, check to
    see if it is on EPA’s list of approved disinfectants at:

Step 2: Read the Directions

  • Follow the product’s directions. Check “use sites” and “surface types” to
    see where you can use the product. Read the “precautionary statements.

Step 3: Pre-clean the surface

  • Make sure to wash the surface with soap and water if the directions
    mention pre-cleaning or if the surface is visibly dirty.

Step 4: Follow the contact time

  • You can find the contact time in the directions. The surface should
    remain wet the whole time to ensure the product is effective.

Step 5: Wear gloves and wash your hands

  • For disposable gloves, discard them after each cleaning. For
    reusable gloves, dedicate a pair to disinfecting COVID-19. Wash
    your hands after removing the gloves.

Step 6:  Lock it Up

  • Keep lids tightly closed and store out of reach of children.

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Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

“This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan. In addition, the Act’s General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1), requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Material contained in this publication is in the public domain and may be reproduced, fully or partially, without
permission. Source credit is requested but not required.

This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.

Voice phone: (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: 1-877-889-5627″

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Reopening: Guidance for the Bar Industry

“The bar industry has been incredibly challenged by stay- at-home or shelter-in-place orders across the United States. The majority of bars that derive over 50 percent of sales by alcohol, have been forced to close and furlough or lay-off employees. Most states are not allowing bars to reopen at full operation as shelter-in-place restrictions are being relaxed.

Some establishments have come up with unique solutions by offering drinks to-go as some states begin to
allow alcohol sales for off-premise consumption.”

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Reopening: Guidance for the Warehouse and Logistics Industry

“Small and medium warehouse and logistics companies have been very challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have been forced to lay off or furlough key staff members, which may complicate re-opening as states start to relax shelter-in-place and stay-at-home restrictions.

With such restrictions beginning to lift, warehouse & logistics owners are faced with difficult questions that must be addressed before reopening.”

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Reopening: Guidance for Worship Services and Religious Gatherings

“A house or place of worship is any building or other place where people gather and perform activities associated with a religion. Places of worship can include churches, temples, monasteries, synagogues, mosques, and similar places of worship. The reopening of houses or places of worship during the continuing threat of the novel coronavirus should not be interpreted as lessening of the threat of the virus. Failure to adhere to appropriate safeguards, including local, state and federal guidance during such services, could result in the continued spread of the virus. Some urban religious facilities are residence to viral and antibody testing of undocumented and indigent people for the novel coronavirus, SARS CoV-2 virus.

This document focuses on those houses of worship where people gather for religious services, rather than religious services found in the home. Other activities associated with religious organizations can include schooling, temporary sheltering and/or feeding for the needy, business meetings, conferences, retreats, and other social gatherings for cultural and sporting activities. Many of these same recommendations provided in this document can apply to these extended venues.”