General Requirements For Businesses & Entities

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Under the Governor's Executive Order 21-09 issued on March 31, 2021, all businesses and entities situated or operating in the State of Indiana are covered by directives in this Executive Order and include any for-profit, non-profit or educational entity, regardless of the nature of the service, the function it performs, or its corporate or entity structure. 

Hoosier businesses and entities include retail, restaurants, professional services, personal services, cultural and entertainment, public amusement, gyms, exercise and fitness centers, sports and athletic activities, outdoor activities, child care, day camps, adult care, education, health care providers and operations, financial and insurance, social services, charitable and religious, laundry, hotels and motels, manufacturing and production, trades, shipping and delivery, transportation, industrial, labor, infrastructure, media, and governmental. 

All Hoosier businesses and entities are allowed to be open and operate subject to the measures and restrictions in the Executive Order.

If you have visited a Porter County business or entity who is not compliant with these guidelines, you can REPORT A NON-COMPLIANT BUSINESS ONLINE to the Porter County Health Department. Please be sure to read the guidelines below BEFORE filing a report.

COVID-19 Response Plans: All businesses and entities continuing operations or resuming full operations are required to develop a plan to implement measures and institute safeguards to ensure a safe environment for their employees, customers, clients, and members.

The business plan must be provided to each employee or staff and posted publicly.

The plan shall address, at a minimum, the following points:

  • instituting an employee health screening process;
  • employing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the workplace, including regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces;
  • enhancing the ability of employees, customers and clients to wash hands or take other personal hygiene measures such as use of hand sanitizer; and
  • complying with social distancing requirements established by the CDC, including   maintaining six-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the general public when possible and/ or employing other separation measures such as wearing face coverings or using barriers when social distancing is not possible.

Compliance with OSHA Standards: All employers, whether manufacturers, distributors, professional offices, retailers or others, must comply with safety and health standards established and enforced by IOSHA. Employers are subject to specific standards to prevent the exposure or spread of a disease. Additionally, the General Duty Clause requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Guidance for all Businesses/Employers: All businesses and employers are encouraged to adopt and/ or take the following actions:

  • ensure sick leave policies are up to date, flexible, and non-punitive in order to allow I sick employees to stay home to care for themselves, children or other family members. Consider encouraging employees to do a self-assessment each day in order to check if they have any COVID-19 type symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath);
  • actively encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever and symptoms for the requisite time periods recommended by the CDC as set forth here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html   Suspend any policies and do not require a healthcare provider's note to validate the illness or return to work of employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness;
  • promptly separate employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately. Restrict their access to the business until they have recovered;
  • reinforce key messages to all employees regularly (including stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene), and place posters in areas where they are most likely to be seen. Provide protection supplies such as soap and water, hand sanitizer, tissues, and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees;
  • frequently perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, railings, door handles, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Provide disposable wipes so commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees before each use; 

Restaurants, Bars, Taverns, Nightclubs and Other Establishments Providing In-Person Food and Drink Service:  

Restaurants, bars, taverns, nightclubs and other establisments providing in-person food and drink service are encouraged to continue to arrange and maintain seating so that individuals, households, or parties are spaced at least six feet apart from any other individual, household, party and to have patrons remain seated while consuming food and/or drink or when otherwise remaining on the premises.