Marking almost one year since the city issued a closure order for non-essential workspaces, the city needs to issue plans & guidance to help businesses return to safe environments.
PHILADELPHIA – Marking almost one year since the City of Philadelphia issued a closure order for its non-essential workspaces, Councilmember Allan Domb (At Large) today issued a resolution authorizing the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development to hold hearings to examine Philadelphia’s reopening plans.
The hearings will allow residents, commuters and business owners to understand the action steps the city is taking to provide for a safe reopening for office buildings, city buildings and other high-risk congregate settings not currently operating at pre-pandemic capacity. It will examine best practices and guidelines in a transparent and consistent manner as the city scales back up to full capacity.
“Our city must have a plan in place now to help employers and their employees safely return to their offices and workspaces,” said Councilmember Domb. “Adequate planning requires us to work on these reopening issues while simultaneously scaling up our vaccination capacity. We know that alterations to workspaces will be required. It is up to us to provide employers and building mangers with the needed guidance to ensure a safe transition back to work.”
Councilmember Domb continued, “Philadelphia is far from mass vaccination and herd immunity, but with President Biden’s commitment to vaccinate every American by the end of May 2021, government and business leaders can now begin to plan for the eventual reopening of congregate work settings.”
Communal workspaces such as open offices, cubicles, or other set ups without physical distancing will need adapting in order to return to full capacity. Additional requirements will include upgrades to current ventilation systems, cleaning procedures, hand washing stations, food storage and communal spaces such as conference rooms, kitchens and cafeterias.
The resolution calls for several city departments to participate in the hearings, including Commerce, Health and Public Property.
“As workers return to their office spaces, best practices will also need to be communicated and implemented for safety both now and in the future should another pandemic occur,” said Councilmember Domb.
The hearings will also examine the financial implications of upgrading to a Covid-safe workplace and making recommendations and issuing formal guidelines.
“The overall financial impact of a slow return to work must also be examined, including the possibilities of remote work continuing permanently,” said Councilmember Domb. “We need to be having these discussions now and be ready to immediately put the plans in place.”
Read the resolution: CM Domb Reopening_Resolution
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