Restaurants Best Practices: What To Do To Address a COVID-19 Test Positive

According to the restaurant National Association, “The restaurant industry, more than any other industry in the nation, has suffered the most significant sales and job losses since the COVID-19 outbreak began. So far, more than 8 million restaurant employees have been laid off or furloughed, and the industry will lose $80 billion in sales by the end of April.”

That is why as states start to plan a re-opening schedule, businesses need to be more vigilant than ever. The risk for your employees or customers to be exposed to the virus and for you to deal with a COVID-19 Test positive remains very high. In the event that one of your restaurant locations has a confirmed case of COVID-19 exposure, here are the steps you need to take to ensure the safety of your customers and employees:

Restaurant Sanitizing Procedures Checklist_download

What To Do If An Employee is COVID-19 Test Positive 

1. Notify workers’ compensation carrier

  • Place the employee on workers’ compensation leave (with pay);
  • Record the infection in the employer’s OSHA 300 log and complete 301A or comparable form.
  • Notify other employees (make sure to keep the name of infected person anonymous, use title and shift information).

2. Track & Trace

  • Carefully and quickly investigate to identify who may have come in close contact with the confirmed patient.
  • Employees should monitor for temperature change, any COVID-19 symptoms, and report back to their manager if any occur. These include (but are not definitive and some employees will be asymptomatic) fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat. All information obtained must be maintained as a confidential medical record.
  • If an employee is symptomatic, they need to remain at home.

3. Implement Emergency Cleaning/Sanitization Procedures

  • Immediately implement enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols, cleaning all restaurant surfaces where the employee performed work or touched. Close the business.
  • Hire a professional cleaning team to decontaminate the facility. Conduct a thorough cleaning, either overnight or forcing a shut-down of pick-up/delivery services if necessary. Here is information on how to choose a professional cleaning service.
  • Communicate with your employees how the cleaning service works to ensure they feel safe about coming back to work. Knowing that you’ve hired a professional cleaning crew actually puts employees at ease.
  • Continue to implement enhanced cleaning/ sanitization procedures.
  • As a reminder, Employees should always continue to wear masks, gloves, and keep social distancing of 6ft (when possible, crowded kitchen environment is not super conducive to social distancing).

What To Do If a Customer or A Supplier Tests Positive 

  • If the customer or a health official notifies you of potential exposure, try to capture the date/time they were in your location to pinpoint when the exposure happened.
  • Track who was in contact and potentially exposed.
  • Implement immediate cleaning procedures listed above.
  • Contact other customers (if info is available). This seems counter-intuitive, but it is better they hear it from you than from an outside source. In that same communication, tell them about enhanced cleaning and professional decontamination services so that they know you are committed to their safety.

Just as you are dedicated to your employee’s and customer’s safety – Quest is dedicated to making sure that your business stays open.

We offer professional decontamination services to not only help prevent COVID-19 outbreak from spreading but also helps your employees and customers stay safe, and help your business stay open.  Don’t wait for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases to cripple your operation.


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