Preparedness & Response Plan

City of Battle Creek Safe Start
COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

The City of Battle Creek is working safely. This plan outlines the processes we are following to continue providing city services, while protecting the health and safety of our team members, neighbors, and visitors.

Plan sections

Click each section link to jump to that part of the plan. The full PDF document is at this link.

Introduction
In order to respond to the current state of emergency related to the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and to comply with relevant state and local orders related to COVID-19, the City has prepared the following COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan (“Plan”). This Plan may be updated as this situation evolves or as state or local orders, or federal guidance, related to COVID-19 are issued or amended.

General Overview
The following COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan has been established for the City of Battle Creek (“City”) in accordance with city policy, state statute, and the requirements in the most recent Epidemic Orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Emergency Rules issued by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and also in accordance with Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”). Appendix A, as amended from time to time, contains a summary of Emergency Rules for workplace safeguards issued by the State of Michigan for all employers.

Basic Infection Prevention Measures

Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick Individuals

Additional Workplace Protections

Employee Classifications

Appendix A: MIOSHA Emergency Rules

Appendix B: COVID-19 Essential Workplace Screening Tool

Appendix C: Employee Return to Work Plan

Appendix D: COVID-19 Visitor Screening Tool

Appendix E: Facility Disinfectant Best Practices

Appendix F: Other Resources


Basic Infection Prevention Measures 

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Enhanced Hygiene 
Employees are instructed to wash their hands frequently, to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissue or the inside of their elbow, and to avoid touching their faces. Employees will be provided with access to places to frequently wash hands or to access hand sanitizer, including upon entry and at construction sites. Signs regarding proper hand washing methods will be posted in all restrooms and throughout each facility. Hand shaking is prohibited to ensure good hand hygiene. 

Workers are prohibited from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If sharing such items or spaces is unavoidable, then workers should wipe down any and all items and spaces prior to sharing it with another worker.

Sick Leave Policies
Employees are permitted to take paid leave consistent with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the City’s applicable PTO policies. Questions regarding leave shall be directed to Human Resources. Any on-site employee who appears to have a respiratory illness may be separated from other employees and sent home. 

Remote Work 
Remote work will be considered (with in-person work prohibited) for all employees who are not essential to operations, and whose job duties reasonably allow them to telework. Remote work is not guaranteed. All remote work must be coordinated and authorized by department managers and approved by the City Manager and Human Resources Director. Business-related travel is restricted to essential travel only.

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting (reference Appendix E)
Increased cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment will be performed routinely using products containing EPA-approved disinfectants. Employees will be provided with access to gloves, towels and cleaning solution so that any commonly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, push plates, desks, keyboards, phones and handrails are wiped down daily. Janitorial/custodial staff will continue to thoroughly disinfect all facility bathrooms and other areas as arranged in the contracts or job descriptions. When choosing cleaning chemicals, the City will consult information from the EPA regarding approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. The manufacturer’s instructions for use of all cleaning and disinfection products will be strictly adhered to.

In the event that an employee or member of the public that has been in the facility in the last seven days tests positive for COVID-19, the following procedure will be followed: 

  • When a person has visited our facility and has been identified as having COVID-19: 
    • Notify HR and facility personnel immediately that an individual who has been in City facilities in the last seven days has tested positive for COVID-19. 
    • If necessary and practical, close off areas visited by the ill person(s). Open outside doors and windows and use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the area. 
    • Cleaning staff, as selected by the Facility Manager or their designee, should thoroughly clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment (like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines) used by the ill person(s), focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces. 
    • If it has been more than seven days since the person(s) with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.

Enhanced Social Distancing 
Supervisors will direct employees to perform their work in a way to reasonably avoid coming within six feet of other individuals. Where possible, employees may be relocated or provided additional resources in order to avoid shared use of offices, desks, telephones, and tools/equipment. Ground markings, signs, or physical barriers may also be used, if needed. The number of employees permitted in any breakroom or lunchroom will be limited to ensure social distancing restrictions. Employees should remain in their assigned work areas as much as possible. 

In an effort to limit traffic congestion, building hours may be limited so that the public and employees are not arriving at and exiting the building at the same time. Facility Managers will provide visual indicators of appropriate spacing for employees outside of facilities in case of congestion. Where possible, Facility Managers will assign dedicated entry point(s) for screening employees to reduce congestion at the main entrance. In addition, departments are encouraged to stagger staff start and end times and lunch breaks, when possible, without disrupting service. 

The City will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") and OSHA guidance with respect to prevention and mitigation measures. We have posted various posters within the workplace to inform employees of recommended prevention and mitigation measures. City will check the OSHA and CDC websites regularly for updates about recommended hygiene and mitigation measures. Finally, the City will adopt any additional infection-control measures that are reasonable in light of the work performed at the worksite and the rate of infection in the surrounding community.

Employees are encouraged to avoid in-person meetings. When possible, conduct meetings via phone or other electronic methods such as Zoom. When required, in-person contact should be conducted with PPE and appropriate social distancing.


Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick Individuals 

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Employee Screening Before Entering the Workplace
The City has implemented a screening protocol to identify known or suspected cases of COVID-19 among employees and isolate them from the remainder of the workforce. At the beginning of each day or at the start of each work shift, the City will screen employees for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as required by executive order. Employees are directed to promptly report any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 to their supervisor and Human Resources before and during the work shift. A sample Employee Entry Screening Questionnaire is attached as Appendix B.

A screening questionnaire will be completed by all employees before they are permitted to enter the workplace each day. Employees are encouraged to complete the questionnaire electronically prior to arriving to work, however, if this is not possible, stations will be provided at a designated location at each building for employee screening. In addition to a screening questionnaire, some departments may require a temperature check before entry. Any individual taking employee temperatures will be required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment. If an employee fails the screening process, the employee will not be allowed to enter the premises until cleared to return to work (see Appendix C Employee Return to Work Plan). Employees refusing to complete the screening process may be subject to discipline.

Self-Monitoring for Symptoms
Employees are encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure. Coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing are common symptoms of COVID-19. The CDC has also advised that other symptoms include fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. See CDC Watch for Symptoms list.

Procedures for Reporting Illness
Suspected Cases
An employee will be considered to have a Suspected Case of COVID-19 if: 

  • They are experiencing any of the following principal symptoms of COVID-19, not otherwise explained by a known medical or physical condition:  
    • Fever of at least 100.4 F or chills
    • Shortness of breath 
    • New uncontrolled cough 
    • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Or any two (2) of the following principal symptoms of COVID-19, not otherwise explained by a known medical or physical condition:
    • Muscle pain or body aches including abdominal pain
    • Sore throat
    • Fatigue
    • New onset of a severe headache
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • They have been in “close contact,” meaning for 15 minutes total or more, you have been within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive, or displays the principle symptoms of COVID-19, within 48 hours of the onset of their illness or symptoms; or you were notified by a public health official that you were in close contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19. 

If an employee believes that they qualify as a Suspected Case (as described above), they must:

  • Immediately notify their Supervisor and contact Human Resources. 
  • Seek immediate medical care or advice. 
  • Remain home until they are no longer infectious according to the latest guidelines from the CDC (see Employee Return to Work Plan - Appendix C) and; 
  • If quarantined, by a public health official, until released by the public health official. 

If an employee experiences any of the principle symptoms of COVID-19, that ultimately are determined by a licensed medical professional to be unrelated to the virus, they may return to work once cleared by that licensed medical professional to do so.

If an employee qualifies as a Suspected Case, then the City will: 

  • Ensure that the employee’s work area is thoroughly cleaned.

Confirmed Cases
An employee will be considered a Confirmed Case of COVID-19 if the employee has tested positive for COVID-19. 

If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 they must: 

  • Immediately notify their Supervisor and contact Human Resources about testing positive. 
  • Remain out of the workplace until they are no longer infectious according to the latest guidelines from the CDC and they are released from isolation by the public health official. 

If an employee qualifies as a Confirmed Case, then the City will: 

  • Immediately contact the Calhoun County Public Health Department and within 24 hours, any co-workers, contractors, or suppliers who may have come into contact with the person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within 48 hours before the onset of that individual's illness. 
  • Ensure that the entire workplace, or affected parts thereof (depending on the employee’s presence in the workplace), is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 
  • If necessary and practical, close the work area, until all necessary cleaning and disinfecting is completed. 
  • Communicate with employees about the presence of a confirmed case, the cleaning/disinfecting plans, and when the workspace will reopen if closed.

Becoming Sick at Work
The City will physically isolate any employees with known or suspected COVID-19 from the remainder of the workforce. Any on-site employee who appears to have a respiratory illness may be separated from other employees and/or other individuals and sent home. If such a situation arises, the City will identify a designated area with closable doors to serve as an isolation room until such potentially sick employees can be removed from the workplace. Personnel entering any designated area will be strictly limited.

PPE
The City will provide any required PPE in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidance as well as any state and local orders. Employees, when medically able, are required to wear masks in any indoor shared spaces. Masks are also required when workers cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in non-public workplaces including city vehicles. The City will also consider face shields when workers cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace. The City also requires employees to use PPE and hand sanitizer on public transportation.


Additional Workplace Protections 

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Engineering Controls
The City will implement the following engineering controls:

  • Physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards, where feasible.

Administrative Controls
The City will review and implement any other necessary administrative controls as appropriate.

  • Monitor public health communications about COVID-19 recommendations and ensure that workers have access to that information. Frequently check the CDC COVID-19 website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.
  • Collaborate with workers to designate effective means of communicating important COVID-19 information.
  • Consider strategies to minimize face-to-face contact (e.g., online payment systems, drop boxes, phone-based communication, telework).

In-Home Services
When required to provide in-home services, employees must complete the daily health screening as described in Section III Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick Individuals. In addition, employees will:

  • Limit direct interaction with customers by using electronic means of communication whenever possible.
  • Prior to entering the home, inquire with the customer whether anyone in the household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or has had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. If so, the business or operation must reschedule for a different time.
  • Limit the number of employees inside a home to the minimum number necessary to perform the work in a timely fashion.
  • Wear gloves when practical and dispose of in accordance with guidance from the CDC.

Non-Essential Travel
All non-essential travel is discontinued until further notice.

Visitors
The City will follow State of Michigan and/or CDC guidelines regarding the use of masks by members of the public. Signs will be posted on entrances informing visitors of what is expected. If a visitor is seen not following posted guidelines, staff should remind them of the current guidelines, but not prohibit the visitor’s entrance to the building. Staff should avoid confrontation if a visitor becomes argumentative, and contact police as needed for assistance.

Working with Insurance Companies and State and Local Health Agencies
The City will work with applicable insurance companies and state and local health agencies to provide information to workers and customers about medical care in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak. 

Continue to Follow Existing OSHA Standards
The City will continue to adhere to all applicable existing OSHA standards and requirements.

Training
The City will coordinate and provide training to employees related to COVID-19. At minimum, the City will provide training as required under state emergency rules and the following:

  • Workplace infection-control practices.
  • The proper use of personal protective equipment.
  • Steps the employee must take to notify the business of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • How to report unsafe working conditions.

Training will be implemented as soon as practicable after employees return to work. Online training, if available, will be completed within one day of return to work.

Record-keeping
The City shall maintain the required record-keeping under state emergency rules. The following records are required to be maintained:

  • Required employee training.
  • Employee screening.
  • An accurate appointment record, including date and time of service, name of client, and contact information when providing in-home service.
  • Cleaning and disinfection at city facilities.
  • When an employee is identified with a confirmed case of COVID-19, any required notifications that are made.

Records will be maintained for at least one year from the time of generation.

Responsibilities 

Facility Managers
A Facility Manager will be designated for each city facility regularly staffed by employees. The designated Facility Manager will be responsible for implementing, monitoring, and reporting on COVID-19 control strategies developed as part of this plan. Facility Managers or their designated substitutes will be available on-site at all times when employees are present. 

The Facility Manager will also be responsible for the cleaning and disinfecting of their assigned building, including but not limited to: 

  • Ensuring a professional cleaning is completed prior to the re-opening of the building to the public. 
  • Working with janitorial/custodial staff to ensure they are thoroughly disinfecting all facility bathrooms and other areas of facilities arranged in their contracts or job descriptions. 
  • Providing cleaning supplies to employees and departments within their assigned facility. 
  • Encouraging best practices for facility disinfecting and PPE as listed in Appendix E. 
  • Ensuring proper signage at entrances. 
  • Distributing PPE to Supervisors. 

Human Resources 
Human Resources will be responsible for updating this plan and communicating to affected employees any change in the plan, or information as it relates to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in the workplace.

Human Resources will be responsible for enforcing the provisions of the plan. 

Human Resources will investigate all known COVID-19 positive cases involving employees to determine if they are reportable under MIOSHA guidelines. 

Supervisors
Supervisors will be responsible for reviewing this plan with their staff and ensuring their staff adhere to the directives above including but not limited to a daily review of employee screening.

Distributing PPE to staff. 

Employees
Will be responsible for reading and understanding the requirements of this plan and completing training as identified and required. 

Are encouraged to report unsafe working conditions to their immediate Supervisor, the Occupational Health & Safety Specialist (Brendan Pizzala, bmpizzala@battlecreekmi.gov) or Human Resources (Michelle Hull, mrhull@battlecreekmi.gov). In addition, an employee may make a confidential report using the City’s Workplace Conditions Reporting Tool.


Employee Classifications 

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The City will implement appropriate protections based on each job classification’s risk level. OSHA’s classification system and How to Protect Workers at Different Classifications will be consulted in determining proper PPE.