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Guidance for our nonprofit partners

4 Ways to Reduce Risk for a Safer Reopening

Over the past month, the Community Foundation has been honored to work alongside business and nonprofit leaders, County Public Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel, and infectious disease expert Dr. A. Marm Kilpatrick on the Economic Recovery Council (ERC). The ERC team is helping identify smart practices, reduce risks, and recommend steps to help Santa Cruz County launch a safe and sustained reopening.

Current Research Informs Reopening Best Practices

In terms of safe reopening, the ERC has had the opportunity to hear a review of current research that has been done on transmission across the globe.

What we know now is that the highest risk of transmission – based on contact tracing around the globe – is contact with an infected person that is: sustained for greater than 5 minutes, less than 6’ apart, unprotected by a barrier or mask, and in an enclosed space .

4 Main Things To Reduce Risk

The most current evidence tells us that there are four main things we can do to reduce risk to our employees, clients and our loved ones:

Avoid contact that is sustained, close, unprotected, and in poorly ventilated places.

As you reopen, here’s the best guidance to follow for interactions:

  • Brief (under 5 minutes)
  • Protected
  • Spatially distant
  • Well ventilated

Additionally, please make sure that older workers and workers with preexisting health conditions are in roles that minimize contact with their colleagues and the public.

Additional Precautions to Take

Many people ask about transmission from contact with the virus on surfaces. We cannot eliminate the possibility that there may be risk from surfaces, however, the data currently show that there are very few cases where transmission occurred through contact with the virus on a surface.

We should still, however wash hands frequently and disinfect shared surfaces.

Because We Can't Emphasize This Enough

To summarize, please spread the word: the lowest risk contacts are brief, masked, at least 6’ apart in outdoor spaces.


Additional Information & Resources

  1. Santa Cruz County Coronavirus Website
  2. May 26 Health Order issued by the Health Officer, that includes APPENDIX A checklist in English and Spanish
  3. Links to APPENDIX A that must be completed and posted visibly at each place of business in English and Spanish
  4. Industry Specific Guidance for Reopening from the State of California
  5. Planning guidance in case an employee is exposed to COVID-19