Wednesday, June 3rd, Governor Abbott announced Phase 3 of his plan to open Texas. This announcement included a capacity expansion for office-based employers, which takes immediate effect.
The new expansion states:
- Employers can open the office to the greater of 10 people or 50% of the total office workforce (previously the greater of 10 people or 25%).
Highlights from the previous orders that still apply include:
- The use of standard-size elevators is limited to 4 people at a time with each standing in their own corner to maximize space between riders. Individuals covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act may ride the elevator alone or with only their caregiver.
- Employers should ensure that stairs are available for use by individuals not wanting to ride the elevator.
- Employers with 10 or more employees or contractors present at one time should consider identifying an individual whose responsibility it is to ensure that the health protocols adopted by the office are being successfully implemented and followed.
- All other health protocols included in the earlier May 5th and May 18th orders are still applicable. These include screening employees for symptoms upon arrival or having them self-screen before reporting to the office, sending sick employees home, making hand sanitizer or soap and water available for use, regularly sanitizing high-traffic surfaces and posting signage to alert employees and contractors of recommended hygiene practices. Employees and contractors should continue to practice social distancing and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.
The “Minimum Standard Health Protocols” checklist from the State of Texas provides a complete list of protocols office-based employers need to follow to reopen.
This order from Governor Abbott has an important distinction from the previous orders, there is no expiration date. As the restrictions continue to lift, we will provide further updates through our blog.