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CDC Recommends Sweeping Changes to American Offices

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CDC Recommends Sweeping Changes to American Offices

Temperature checks, desk shields and no public transit: The guidelines would remake office life. Some may decide it’s easier to keep employees at home.

The New York Times,

5 min read
3 take-aways
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Return to work as safely as possible by heeding new advice from the US Centers for Disease Control.

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As businesses slowly reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Matt Richtel reports on new guidance for companies and their employees from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks remain its top recommendations. Social distancing may require companies to rethink workspace layouts. You may have to say goodbye to the common kitchen, the coffee maker and shared meals. You should also avoid public transit for a while and limit your trips outside your home.


The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidelines to help businesses reopen while preventing further spread of COVID-19.

Advice from the CDC obliges US business to remake the workplace by checking employee temperatures as they arrive at work and either positioning desks six feet apart or erecting plastic shields between work areas. Employees must wear masks at all times to limit spread by asymptomatic carriers, and common areas should remain off limits for gatherings.

The CDC advises companies to open their windows, disinfect surfaces and regularly clean their HVAC systems. It discourages common snack bins and coffee makers and advises replacing them with single-serving, prepackaged choices.

Not all the CDC’s advice is practical. For example, it suggests maintaining six feet of social distance on elevators. It wants windows open, although contemporary office buildings may lack windows that...

About the Author

Author Matt Richtel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times.

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