Beginning June 10, 2020:
Restaurants and bars can reopen for indoor service as long as they:
Gyms, studios and fitness centers can reopen as long as they:
Seated and recreational entertainment and meeting venues can reopen as long as they:
Personal care services (such as hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors) can reopen to provide services indoor as long as they:
This depends on the type of industry or business. Please consult Executive Order 20-74 and Industry Guidance documents for safely reopening.
As businesses and retail establishments work to reopen across Minnesota during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to maintain proper occupant loads.
The information sheets below will help establishments calculate the traditional proper occupant loads as well as occupant loads that are in compliance with Guidance on Safely Reopening Minnesota Businesses. We also have included guidance on using partitions as a way to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Under the Minnesota State Fire Code and Building Code every room or space within a building or structure has an allowed "occupancy load" - the maximum number of people allowed to occupy the room or space at any one time. Occupancy load is based in part on how the room or space will be used. "Assembly occupancy" includes the use of a building or structure, or a portion thereof, for the gathering of persons for purposes such as civic, social or religious functions; recreation; food or drink consumption; or awaiting transportation. For "assembly occupancy" the occupant load must be posted for each room or space. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal has developed materials to assist people in understanding types of occupancy and how occupancy loads are determined for rooms or spaces within buildings and structures.
References to "occupant capacity" or "occupancy" in COVID-19 Guidance, means the "occupancy load" for a room or space within a building or structure based on the requirements of the Minnesota State Fire Code and Building Code for the type of occupancy.
Further, for purposes of the COVID-19 Guidance, reference to "single self-contained space" or "individual areas" means a room or space within a building or structure "that is bounded by any obstruction over 6 feet (1829 mm) in height which at any time encloses more than 80 percent of the perimeter of the area." (Minnesota State Fire and Building Codes). As stated above, for rooms or spaces in buildings or structures that are used for gathering of persons for civic, social or religious functions; recreation; food or drink consumption; or waiting for transportation, the occupancy load is required to be posted in the room or space.
The number of people allowed in a room or space at any one time is the lowest number indicated in response to the following three questions.
The number of people allowed in a room or space may need to be significantly reduced below the percent of occupancy load or the maximum number allowed in order to adhere to physical distancing requirements in the room or space and in areas where people may congregate such as entrances, exits, restrooms, concession areas and ticket counters and to allow for physical distancing between workers and clients, customers, guests, visitors or other workers, as provided in the COVID-19 Guidance.
The COVID-19 Guidance applicable to each type of business must be followed in the development of a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for the venue. For example, if a venue has a restaurant, a bowling alley and a movie theatre, the Plan must fully address the guidance requirements for each type of business as well as address the movement of people through a venue's common entrances, exits, restrooms, concessions, lobbies, ticket counters and other locations where people may bottleneck or congregate.
To allow workers back to work, businesses need to develop a written COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for each of their workplaces. Each preparedness plan must address key health and worker protection components laid out by MDH and DLI. All plans must comply with CDC and OSHA guidelines. Follow the General Guidance for All Businesses.
Businesses are required to sign their plan and circulate it amongst workers, and post it throughout the workplace. Businesses are not asked to submit their plans to state government, though they must provide it upon request.
Additionally, employers must engage in health screening of employees upon entry each day. Data collected in health screenings need to be protected under the ADA.
Retail businesses should use contactless payment and provide contactless fitting and other services whenever possible.
Per CDC guidelines, the following health screening questions should be asked and the data collected needs to be protected under the ADA. If an employee answers yes to any of these questions, they should be sent home.
Businesses can use the MN Symptom Screener as an optional tool to help conduct health screenings.
There are certain core components that need to be included in the Plan that you create and post for your workers. You can find those core components in the General Guidance for All Businesses.
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan templates can be found at dli.mn.gov/updates. The template integrates CDC Guidelines and OSHA’s Guidance. This template is provided as a resource. You are not required to use it, but you must create a written plan based on CDC and OSHA guidance.
The business's senior management responsible for implementation of the plan need to ensure that the Plan is reviewed with all workers and that the Plan is posted at all of the business’s workplaces in locations that will allow for the Plan to be readily reviewed by all workers.
Yes - as of June 29, Critical Sector businesses are required to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
Non-Critical Sector workers should fully comply with their business’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, including industry specific required guidance. For example, restaurant employees are required to wear cloth masks.
No. This is a business decision.
If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, the Minnesota Department of Health will follow up and notify any co-workers of their possible exposure as deemed appropriate.
A prerequisite to reopening is that businesses develop a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that implements CDC guidelines. If your business is unable to follow CDC guidelines to ensure the safety and health of your workers, you should not reopen.
Minnesota OSHA will work with businesses to assist them with their compliance with CDC and MDH Guidelines and OSHA requirements. Requests for assistance from a business in developing a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan can be directed to MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation at 651-284-5060 or OSHA.email@example.com.
If a business is not able to comply with these requirements, they should not reopen. If MNOSHA conducts an inspection and determines the business is not voluntarily complying with CDC and MDH Guidelines and OSHA requirements, MNOSHA may issue an order that prohibits continuation of the business’s operations at the workplace until the non-compliant conditions or practices are corrected. Minnesota OSHA may also issue citations and penalties to the business.
A business may not take adverse action, such as terminating, laying off or other retaliatory action, against a worker for exercising their safety and health rights, including raising safety and health concerns with the business, refusing to work under conditions they reasonably believe are unsafe or unhealthy related to COVID 19, participating in union activities concerning workplace safety and health issues, filing a safety and health complaint or participating in an Occupational Safety and Health investigation.
Any worker who believes that their workplace is not following their Plan or is not following CDC or Minnesota Department of Health guidelines is encouraged to attempt to resolve their concerns directly with the business. If the worker is not successful in that attempt, fears retaliation or has suffered retaliation by the business, the worker should contact Minnesota OSHA at 651-284-5050 or OSHA.Compliance@state.mn.us.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner (EEOC) has advised that, generally, measuring a worker's body temperature is a medical examination. Because CDC and state and local health authorities have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued attendant precautions, businesses may measure workers' body temperature.
Businesses should be aware some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever. You can view additional guidance from EEOC.
Business should remain up-to-date on and follow the most current guidance developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota Department of Health. Businesses may register for email newsletters from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to be informed of updates to this guidance.