Reopening California: Gov. Newsom outlines COVID-19 office guidelines for Californians to return to workplaces

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
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Gov. Newsom said the state has developed guidelines for office buildings to reopen if workers are not able to do work from home.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom outlined plans to open businesses back up in California. Much of the Bay Area are still under strict guidelines but the wheels are turning.

REOPENING CALIFORNIA: Newsom gives guidelines to reopen dine-in restaurants, malls, offices and more in CA

Twitter went so far as to say they will allow employees to work from home forever. Newsom said the state has developed guidelines for office buildings to reopen if workers are not able to work remotely. In order to open, companies must follow these new rules:

  • Train employees on safety and self-screening
  • Do temperature and/or symptom screenings daily for employees
  • Redesign office spaces to allow for 6 feet of spacing between workers
  • Close or restrict common areas
  • Do extra cleaning on high-traffic areas like break rooms, elevators, etc.
  • Require employees to disinfect personal work areas
  • Require employees to avoid handshakes
  • Adjust or modify hours to allow people to better space out
  • Consider installing systems to bring more outside air in

For a full list detailing these guidelines you can go here.

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Jared Oliva has been working from home for the past two months. The startup he works for is in San Francisco and is now waiting for the county to give the green light to workers.

"Our company in that specific office in San Francisco can go back to work two weeks after that date," says Oliva, who believes that times have changed. "Everything has changed. I think hybrid will be the norm. I don't see a lot of people going back into the office right away."

Carl Guardino is CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and says that this pandemic has been eye-opening for those in charge who see so many of their workers successfully doing so from home.

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He is optimistic about what is to come. "I truly believe that we're going to have a lot less traffic and a lot clearer skies because a lot more of us, as CEOs and employers, are going to realize that folks are just as effective working remotely."

For those who have to go back to the office, Governor Newsom is calling for added safety measures including daily temperature screenings for workers, better social distancing in office areas, and extra cleaning.

Oliva enjoys working at home, where he says he is more productive but he does also say there are some tech perks that he's excited about getting back to.

"Kind of the norm for a lot of them is that you get catered meals for lunch and it is as nice as it sounds. That is something I definitely miss," says Oliva.

Oliva does say that he uses BART and Caltrain to get to San Francisco from Milpitas. He, along with many of his friends and coworkers, are very concerned about getting back on those trains. He questions if social distancing is even possible on board.

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