The City of Albany is working closely with Alameda County Public Health to monitor and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Albany City Council declared a local emergency at their Council meeting on March 16th, 2020 and the City of Albany has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Alameda County's Shelter-in-Place Order remains in effect for all non-essential activities, as defined by the order. We understand that the Coronavirus outbreak may present challenging conditions for your business. While our first priority is the health and safety of our residents, we understand that local businesses are essential to our community.
Below is a list of resources to help local businesses and workers experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. Resources are available at the national, state, and local levels, and range from technical assistance, to unemployment and health insurance information, to financial loans. We will continue to update this table as more resources become available. Please also take a look at resources and information offered through the Albany Chamber of Commerce, Solano Avenue Association, and the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.
NEW: A new website, OnwardCA.org, matches workers unemployed due to COVID19 to open jobs.
Financial Resources (loans, tax info, grants)
Best Practices and
Workplace Health and Safety
If your business is able to remain open, continue taking precautions to avoid the spread of disease, including:
- Implement plans to continue your essential business functions in case you experience higher than usual absenteeism, including assessing essential business functions, cross-training personnel, and identifying alternative suppliers.
- If your operations allow, shift to remote work or online services. We understand that some businesses can more easily operate remotely than others. If you provide professional services, you may be able to offer them remotely. The U.S. General Services Administration website provides an array of resources to help guide employers in offering and managing telecommuting or remote work.
- Adopt staggered shifts and practice social distancing (employees should be 6 feet apart as much as possible). Ask employees to adjust working hours to reduce the number of people in an office at one time. Offer tele-services, if possible.
- Implement procedures to ensure the health and safety of your employees and customers, and educate customers on the precautions you’re taking. One helpful resource for customer communication is Facebook’s Business Resource Hub, which has guides and tools for customer support and engagement during the coronavirus crisis.
- Emphasize the importance of healthy behaviors. Post signage to remind employees and customers to:
- Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds (Download WHO poster here)
- Avoid touching their face with unwashed hands
- Cover coughs with a tissue or elbow and promptly dispose of tissues
- Perform additional surface cleaning following CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection, especially of frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, and workstations. If you think there has been potential exposure at your facility, you may need to close your facility to disinfect it thoroughly.
- Provide adequate resources for good hygiene, including:
- Ensure soap is well stocked
- Provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water aren't available, such as in common spaces and conference rooms
- Make it easy for employees to follow health recommendations by providing tissues and no-touch disposal bins
- Provide disposable wipes for employees so they can wipe down keyboards, phones, and remote controls before each use
- Require employees to wear gloves
- Actively remind workers to stay home if they are sick, and send them home if they come to work ill. Adopt non-punitive sick leave policies and don’t require a doctor’s note. If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, inform fellow employees of their possible exposure but maintain confidentiality.
- Consider additional measures to promote hygiene, including:
- Discourage the use of cash when possible
- Ask customers to insert credit cards themselves, and wipe touchscreens regularly
- Ask customers to wash hands or use hand sanitizer before entering your business
Information about the outbreak is changing rapidly. Below are resources to help you stay informed: