COVID-19: Prevent the Spread at Your Business


The following strategies help remind your employees, customers and business partners that you are acting in their best interest.

View reopening recommendations and guidelines specific to your industry here.

** Due to the current number of COVID-19 cases in our communities, Outagamie County is asking employers to help with contact tracing. Learn more on their website **



Encourage customers to wear a mask or other face covering. The CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in the same household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

  • Post signage on your building entrance to remind customers. Get this free download from the CDC.

Discourage customers from visiting your business if they have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Post signs on your doors asking people not to enter your business if they have any of the following symptoms: cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, sore throat, or a new loss of taste or smell.

When possible, offer low-contact services or curbside pickup.

Cleaning - increase the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.

Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.

  • Use this COVID-19 Customizable Flyer to let your customers know what steps you're taking to protect against the spread of COVID-19.



Make sure that all employees who come to work are familiar with your organization’s policies and the precautionary measures being implemented. Have conversations with employees if they express concerns. Some people may be at higher risk of severe illness. This includes older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions.

Social distance in the workplace.

  • Avoid crowded work settings
  • Use conference calls and video conferencing in lieu of face-to-face meetings
  • Space employees farther apart
  • Cancel non-essential travel
  • Use staggered shifts to have fewer employees in the workplace at the same time
  • Promote working from home
  • Wear a mask. The CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in the same household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Keep a well-stocked supply of tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. Place them in easy to access spots.

  • Encourage employees to keep these items at their desks too.

Promote hand washing.

Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies.

Work with your cleaning staff to make sure workspaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently and correctly.

Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.

  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
  • In businesses, custodial staff should use disinfectants and sanitizers regularly in high-risk areas – bathrooms, cafeterias, kitchens, drinking fountains, sink and door handles, shared workstations; preferably, when employees are not present. Follow the disinfectant/sanitizer label directions; overuse does not provide any additional protection and can expose employees to harmful chemicals. Follow the label directions. If disinfecting is targeted against a microbe causing a specific illness (e.g. influenza, Norovirus, COVID-19, etc.) then use an EPA registered disinfectant that is certified as effective against that organism. The Selected EPA – Registered Disinfectants webpage list is located 


For an employee with COVID-19 symptoms:

The employee should not come to work; they should isolate at home (see guidelines below); and get tested immediately. They should isolate themselves until they are able to get their test taken AND until they get their result back.

  • The COVID-19 Community Testing Site is now available to anyone, with or without symptoms
    • Fox Valley Technical College, 1825 North Bluemound Drive, Appleton (Enter the FVTC campus using the north entrance off Bluemound Drive)
  • If the test is negative, they are released from isolation upon a negative test result AND after they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
  • Employers should offer paid sick leave so staff members do not have to decide between a paycheck and working while sick. Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare providers may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.

For an employee who has been in contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19:

The employee should not come to work and they should quarantine at home (see below guidelines for isolation/quarantine) for 14 days while monitoring symptoms. Testing for COVID-19 is recommended, although a negative test does not guarantee you have not been exposed or will not develop an infection.

  • If the test is negative (with or without symptoms), the employee must fulfill the rest of the 14-day quarantine. Quarantine is 14 days from the last day they had close contact with someone with COVID-19. If there is a breach in quarantine and someone is named a contact again, the quarantine time would start over.
  • Employers should offer flexible leave policies. Staff may need to stay home to care for sick household members or for children if schools are canceled. Make plans for staff to work from home or take leave.

For an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19:

  • The employee should be in isolation until 10 days have passed since symptom onset, AND symptoms are improving, AND they are fever free for 3 days without the use of fever reducing medications.  If someone never developed symptoms, the individual should stay in isolation for 10 days from their test day. 

If an employee is in isolation or quarantine, they should stay home except to get medical care and adhere to the below guidelines:

  • Monitor symptoms. If they have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels and utensils
  • Wear a cloth face covering when around other people, if able
  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more information:


Your company’s policies are only as strong as:

  • your neighboring company
  • your personal neighbor
  • your customers and vendors entering your business
  • your supply chain (if they can’t operate, you can’t operate)
  • your spouse and their employer, and
  • the greater community.

Please share your strategies and policies with us, your Chamber of Commerce, and your vendors. Click here to email us.


Additional Resources:

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Guide to Preventing & Managing COVID-19 Outbreaks in the Workplace