COVID-19 Business checklist - Rhode Island Commerce

COVID-19 business checklist

While the State of Rhode Island is working to keep as many businesses open as possible, we are asking businesses operate within strict paramters to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for non-critical retail, entertainment and other close-contact businesses to close. 

If you still have any questions about your business, please call the Department of Business Regulation at 401-889-5550 or submit your questions online on the Department of Business Regulation’s website.

Minimizing in-person interactions

To work smart, ask yourself:

  • How can you eliminate most in-person tasks?
  • What can be done using videos or teleconferencing?
  • Can you sell your service or product online?
  • Can your product be delivered, picked up or left in a safe lockbox for pick up?
  • Can paperwork be emailed, mailed or dropped off somewhere to be processed?

If your work cannot be done remotely:

  • Can you do emergency services only by appointment, drop off, etc.?
  • If someone must come into the business, can times be staggered to limit the number of people physically present at one time?
  • Can you schedule appointments to limit the number of people in your business?
  • Can it be done outside in small groups while keeping to social distancing and COVID-19 safety guidelines? Can those groups be rotated around the clock?
  • Can you put 5-10 people in shifts around the clock to produce your product?

How can you make essential on-site staff safer?

  • Did you close the lunchroom and stagger breaks outside?
  • Can you separate workers by six feet in each direction?
  • Can your employees/customers do their work/shop and be protected? What ways can you protect everyone?

Health and safety guidelines

Be creative in applying social distancing guidelines to keep both employees and customers safe.

Ask yourself:

  • Have you limited the physical contact between your employees and customers as much as possible?
  • Can shoppers call before coming in to request an item that can be ready at the counter?
  • Do you have spacing set up for lines of customers? Inside and out?
  •  Do you have someone at the door to limit the number of people coming in and out of the store?
  • Do you have hand sanitizer or wipes available for use by your employees and customers?
  • Have you placed as much distance between your employees and customers as you can, especially at checkout?
  • How can you limit the contact between cashier and customer at checkout?
  • Do you take credit cards with limited touch abilities?
  • Are you wiping down doors, handles and surfaces on a very frequent basis?
  • Would gloves and/or masks make sense for very specific tasks?

Screening information

Here is recommended screening information regarding procedures for employees entering the workplace:

Upon entering our workplace every day, all employees will complete a verbal health screening. You will be asked if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: cough, fever of 100.4F, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, chills, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat and diarrhea. You will also be asked if you have returned from international travel or travel on a cruise ship within the last 14 days; if you have traveled domestically (within the U.S.) on an airline within the last 14 days; and if you have had known exposure to someone with, or under investigation for, COVID-19. The questions in these screenings may change as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Rhode Island Department of Health issue further guidance. It is important to note that no information will be recorded as part of this screening process.

Based on your responses, you will either be allowed to enter the facility for the workday or instructed to leave the building and to call your supervisor for further instructions.

For more suggestions, see The U.S. Department of Labor’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.

Quick Links

Unemployment insurance and employer information:
Department of Labor and Training

Tech support during COVID-19:
Tech support help

Jobs available now:
Job board @ Skills for RI

Public health information:
Department of Health