Londonderry Town Hall Plan to Re-open to the Public

Town of Londonderry, New Hampshire Kevin H. Smith, Town Manager Lisa M. Drabik, Assistant Town Manager, May 26, 2020

Editor’s Note:  We would like to thank the Town of Londonderry for sharing its re-opening plan with us.  We felt it was a good template for others to consider.

londonderry logoLONDONDERRY TOWN HALL PLAN TO RE-OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

We hope you and your family are well and have managed to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Town has developed the following “re-opening” plan, which will enable the safe re-opening of Town Hall as follows in concert with public health guidelines as of:

Monday, June 15, 2020 (PUBLIC WALK-INS to the Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office;

All Other Departments BY APPOINTMENT ONLY (until further notice)

NOTE:  In order to minimize foot traffic in Town Hall, to maximize social distancing and to reduce the risk of exposure to both residents and employees, we strongly encourage residents to continue to make use of our online tools and “How To” documents which can be accessed online at any time via our website: www.londonderrynh.org.  Simply navigate to the applicable Department page for a complete list of “How To” complete various online transactions.

To accommodate re-opening the building and in conjunction with our Emergency Management Director, we have developed the following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which will be in effect until further notice. These practices are based upon public health guidelines, and are designed to keep both our employees and the public safe.

Please note that certain departments may need to adapt procedures specific to their facilities and services. We will learn, adjust and adapt as we move forward, and ask for your help and patience during this time.

londonderry front door

PROCESS/FACILITY ADAPTATION PRIOR TO REOPENING

The following shall be in place for the re-opening of Town Hall:

  • Town Hall has been sanitized, and will continue to be thoroughly cleaned every evening.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been established throughout the building, and members of the public are asked to use such hand sanitizer prior to entering any Department.
  • Plexiglass guards have been installed at all customer service counters.
  • Prior to reporting back to work, employees will let supervisors know if they need a cloth mask, and cloth masks will be provided to employees that need them.
  • When possible, workstations will be separated by at least six feet. Wherever needed, 6’ demarcations will be added to areas where people often wait for service.
  • To the extent possible, we will maintain only one public entrance to Town Hall (via the back parking lot), where masks and hand sanitizer will be available to the public.
  • The back stairwell (near the break room/Finance Department) shall be reserved and demarcated for employee (and emergency) use only.
  • All visitors to Town Hall must wear masks. Signage for the public entrance will be posted which includes the following information:

signage

signage

EMPLOYEE REOPENING PROTECTIONS

  1. Monitor Your Health

Employees must be vigilant in monitoring their health, and those who are sick or not feeling well must stay home. Possible symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath
  • Flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches, chills, and severe fatigue
  • Changes in a person’s sense of taste or smell

PRIOR TO LEAVING HOME EACH DAY, employees should ask themselves the following 5 questions:

  1. Have I been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
  2. Do I have a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (100.0° F) or above (please take your own temperature every morning at home, and if you are unable to do so, we have touchless thermometers available at Town Hall) or have I felt feverish (chills, clammy) in the last 72 hours?
  3. Am I experiencing any new respiratory symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath?
  4. Am I experiencing any new muscle aches or chills?
  5. Have I experienced any new change in your sense of taste or smell?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES, the employee should STAY HOME, and notify their supervisor and HR via phone, email or text.  HR will then assist you with getting a test, evaluating your return to Town Hall, and the application of our leave policies.

2.  Adherence to CDC and State of NH Public Health Guidelines

CLOTH FACE COVERINGS (hereinafter “MASK”)

face mask

  • An employee must don a mask any time you are unable to maintain a 6’ distance between you and your co-workers and/or someone from the public.  
  • Care should also be taken when putting masks on and taking them off; for example, hands should be washed or disinfected prior to putting a mask on and taking one off.
  • While in an office with closed doors or working alone or at distance from other staff, masks can be removed. Masks must be worn in hallways and common areas.
  • Care should be taken to keep your mask clean and uncontaminated.

AVOID OR MINIMIZE FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT WHEN POSSIBLE

  • Unless it is necessary for face-to-face contact when responding to an inquiry from the public, please respond via telephone or email. Please refrain from communicating with the public via text because the Town is subject to Right-to-Know requests and retrieving texts may require inspection of an employee’s telephone.
  • Unless it’s necessary for face-to-face contact with co-workers, consider a phone call or email, even if your offices/workspaces are next to each other.  
  • If an in-person conversation occurs, remain at their door if applicable or maintain a 6’ distance whenever possible, and if not possible, you must wear a mask (for example, if you are picking up mail or other documents in the clerks’ office space, dropping off items to individual desks, etc.).
  • Maximum use of electronic meetings shall continue until further notice. Employees should avoid congregating in any area of all facilities unless social distancing can be maintained.
  • Staff should stagger breaks and maintain social distance (6’) and when possible, breaks should be taken separately.
  • Employees should continue to encourage and help the public to use on-line resources to the maximum extent, and to the extent possible, work to minimize the time spent conducting in-person transactions with the public and each other (e.g. keep non-task-related conversation to a minimum).

CONTINUE TO PRACTICE GOOD HAND HYGIENE AND OTHER CLEANING

  • Continue to practice good hand hygiene, washing your hands often, especially after using shared equipment, and try to avoid touching your face, nose or mouth.
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette. This includes coughing and sneezing into a tissue or your elbow rather than into your hands.
  • Although we employ a cleaning crew in the evening, employees should conduct regular cleaning of shared surfaces and shared equipment during the day. Employees are responsible for wiping and disinfecting touch surfaces in their vehicles, equipment and office space as well as shared equipment in common spaces, i.e. copies, printers, kitchens. When in doubt, wipe it down. Cleaning supplies will be located in common areas. If you cannot find them, please ask your supervisor for assistance.

BE PREPARED AND BE FLEXIBLE

Supervisors have been instructed to plan for potential COVID cases in the event we experience higher than usual absenteeism. This may include rotating groups of employees to work from home/work on-site, so we ask for your continued flexibility regarding work arrangements.

Please keep in mind that these protocols will be in place until further notice. We thank you in advance for your cooperation – working together, we hope to have a safe and healthy re-opening to the public. Again, please note that departments may need to adapt procedures specific to their facilities and services. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any suggestions as to how we may help to keep our employees and residents safe and well!