COVID19 Prevention Checklist Industry Guidance

Last updated: Jun 17, 2020

The State of Maine has adopted a staged approach, supported by science, public health expertise, and industry collaboration, to allow Maine businesses to safely open when the time is right. The plan is available at www.maine.gov/covid19/restartingmaine.

This is one of many industry guidance documents the State is preparing for businesses so they can be prepared to meet health guidelines and reopen safely. Please make sure you pair this document with the general guidance document that applies to all industries, which is available on maine.gov/DECD.

Please note: This document may be updated as additional information and resources become available. 

Phase 2: Museums

General Guidance

  • Museums are encouraged to continue to offer and promote digital and remote programming.
  • Require all staff, vendors, and visitors to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from individuals who are not part of their household group whenever possible.
  • Require all staff, vendors, and visitors to wear a face covering where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, per CDC recommendations and pertinent Executive Orders from the Office of the Governor. Face coverings are not required when individuals are alone in personal offices.
  • Limit total occupancy to 5 visitors per 1,000 square feet of visitor-accessible space. (Updated 6/17/20)
    • While 5 visitors per 1,000 square feet is the maximum number at this time, managers should consider the following factors that can increase transmission risk in their building and may decide to set a lower capacity limit, such as 3 per 1,000 square feet, if present:
      • Poor ventilation, i.e. little outside air circulating in
      • Confined spaces that make physical distancing difficult
  • The number of individuals that can gather in a shared space (e.g., a conference room) must not exceed the limit established by the Governor’s Executive Order, currently set at 50 people.
    • Maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet and wearing face coverings are the primary tools to avoid transmission of respiratory droplets between individuals. If an indoor space cannot accommodate the gathering limit without complying with the six-foot distancing requirement, attendance must be limited to allow for such compliance.

Cleaning and Disinfection

Staff

The following guidance refers to all staff types, both paid and volunteer.

  • Staff should consider whether they can work safely in a facility if they have any of these conditions and managers should discuss potential risks for individuals with the following:
    • People 65 or older
    • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
    • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled including:
      • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
      • People who have serious heart conditions
      • People who are immunocompromised: Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
      • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
      • People with diabetes
      • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
      • People with liver disease
  • Require employees to practice good hand hygiene with frequent handwashing, especially after contact with visitors and high-touch surfaces.
  • Conduct business by phone or internet to the greatest extent practicable.
  • Limit in-person gatherings or meetings of employees to the greatest extent practicable.
  • Discourage employees from using colleagues’ phones, desks, workstations, radios,handhelds/wearables, or other office tools and equipment.
  • Where possible, stagger employee shifts and meal breaks to avoid crowding.
  • Adjust seating in break rooms and other common areas to promote physical distancing practices.
  • Permit employees to take breaks and lunch outside, or in such other areas where physical distancing is attainable.
  • Limit interactions between employees and outside vendors or delivery drivers; implement touchless receiving practices if possible.
  • Request that vendors accessing the premises direct their employees to follow all social distancing guidelines and health directives issued by the applicable public authorities.
  • Adjust training/onboarding practices to limit the number of people involved and allow for 6-foot spacing; use virtual/video/audio training when possible.
  • Provide employees training on:
  • Consider employee training in safe de-escalation techniques.

Building and Operational Considerations

  • Ensure adequate supplies (e.g., soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, tissue) to support healthy hygiene practices, including increased cleaning and disinfection procedures.
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, and other methods. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk to staff or visitors.
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.
  • Inform visitors of your COVID-19 policies and procedures in advance, if possible, via website, newsletters, social media channels, newspaper, ticket purchasing site, etc.
  • Place signage at entrances and throughout buildings (particularly high traffic areas such as service counters, information desks, and gift shops) alerting staff and visitors to required occupancy limits, physical distancing requirements, and face covering policies.
  • Consider offering hours for visitors at higher risk for severe illness.
  • Utilize remote ticketing options to manage capacity limitations if possible. Ticket options with timed entry are encouraged.
  • Consider installing non-porous physical barriers such as partitions or Plexiglas barriers to protect visitors and staff. Barriers should be placed at visitor information desks, service counters, and other similar locations where it is not possible to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of physical distance.
  • Limit activities that require staff and/or visitors to enter within 6 feet of another person, regardless of whether physical barriers are installed.
  • It is challenging to maintain physical distancing with large tour groups. Therefore, tours that combine individuals from different households into the same tour group are strongly discouraged. Tour guides must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from visitors.
  • Eliminate lines to the greatest extent practicable. Where lines are unavoidable, ensure 6 feet of distance between individuals. This can be accomplished by demarcating 6-foot distances on floors or walls.
  • Modify building traffic flow to minimize contact between staff, contractors, and visitors. Use floor decals and/or signage to establish travel patterns.
    • Consider one-way entrances and exits, if possible.
    • Consider establishing one-way travel patterns through the museum space.
    • Minimize traffic in enclosed spaces, such as elevators and stairwells and exhibit spaces that do not allow for appropriate physical distancing. Consider limiting the number of individuals in an elevator at one time and designating one directional stairwells.
  • Use floor and/or wall markings to encourage 6 feet of physical distancing in exhibit space, as needed.
  • Redesign coat and stroller self-serve storage areas and put up signage to ensure physical distancing.
  • In order to avoid touching visitors’ personal items in coat check areas, encourage visitors to limit personal items brought into the museum and consider prohibiting bags entirely. Use good hand hygiene when handling visitors’ personal items.
  • Use digital rather than paper formats to the greatest extent practicable. Provide digital copies of visitor guides and other materials.
  • Minimize shared touch surfaces such as pens, tablets, receipts, etc.
  • Discontinue the use of equipment lent to visitors unless they can be properly cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Prohibit use of any interactive or “hands-on” exhibit component that cannot be disinfected after each use. Use signage and physical barriers to prevent use of interactive exhibit components.
    • In later stages of re-opening you may consider installing hand sanitizing stations near these spaces for safer usage.
  • Indoor playgrounds should remain closed at this time. Outdoor playgrounds can be used with appropriate care. Post signage advising the use of hand sanitizer both before and after use of the playground and maintaining physical distancing as much as possible. (Updated 6/10/20)
  • Consider restricting the use of water fountains to refill only with instruction for visitors to wash hands after use.
  • For public health purposes, museums should maintain a list of all visitors and staff, if possible. If a museum learns that an attendee or worker has tested positive for COVID-19, they should promptly notify Maine DHHS, CDC, or a local public health official and assist all such officials as reasonably requested to trace likely contacts and advise contacts to isolate and self-quarantine.
    • Based on current knowledge, a close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated. Close contacts should stay home, maintain social distancing, and self-monitor until 14 days from the last date of exposure.
  • In-museum food service operations should follow state guidance on safe operation of restaurants. Use of prepackaged food and beverages only is encouraged.
  • In-museum retail spaces should follow state guidance on safe operation of retail businesses.

Restrooms

  • Limit restroom occupancy for group restrooms to allow for physical distancing.
  • Clean and disinfect restrooms on a regular and scheduled basis (see General Cleaning and Disinfecting section).
  • Remove any items that do not have to be in the restrooms (e.g., magazines, decor).
  • Consider establishing separate restrooms for staff and visitors.
  • Post handwashing signs in all restrooms.
  • Check with health officials for local ordinances and building codes if you intend to close public access to bathrooms in during initial stages of re-opening.

Transactions

  • Limit cash and paper receipt transactions; Promote “contactless” payment options (e.g., online payments, pay by phone options, RFID credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)
  • Where possible, card readers should be placed in front of physical barriers so visitors can swipe their own cards and enter their codes. Card readers and keypads should be cleaned and disinfected frequently. Hand sanitizer should be made available for visitors before and after transactions.
  • Wash hands or use alcohol based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) after handling cash.

Special Considerations for Children’s Programming

Children’s programming presents unique challenges related to the highly interactive nature of activities and the difficulty of having children maintain appropriate physical distance. Children’s museums should await the release of further guidance before reopening.

COVID-19 Prevention Form

In order to open, businesses must commit to complying with requirements of these checklists by filling out this short online form. Please note that religious organizations and licensed health care providers are not required to use this form.

If you have questions, please contact us at business.answers@maine.gov or 1-800-872-3838.