Medical Partners

COVID-19 Protocols For Restaurant & Food Services

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Fort Lauderdale Government have implemented guidelines with regards to protecting the health and safety of America's workers and workplaces during COVID-19. These are recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthy workplace.

No Wait Medical Partners focuses on the need to follow appropriate guidelines during work shifts and while at home.

Employer Responsibilities

Assess the hazards to which your workers may be exposed; evaluate the risk of exposure; and select, implement, and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure.

1. Implementing Basic Infection Prevention Measures

-Hand Hygiene

  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol should be provided. Regular hand washing or using of alcohol-based hand rubs are necessary. Workers should always wash their hands when they are visibly soiled and after removing any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Provide resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene, including tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces. Post hand washing signs in restrooms. Ensure clean toilet and hand washing facilities. Clean and disinfect portable job site toilets regularly. Fill hand sanitizer dispensers regularly. Disinfect frequently touched items, including door pulls and toilet seats often.

-Respiratory Etiquette

  • The importance of covering coughs and sneezes should be emphasised. Employees should wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.

-Enhanced Sanitation

  • Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the environment. When tools or equipment must be shared, provide and instruct workers to use alcohol- based wipes to clean tools before and after use. When cleaning tools and equipment, employees should consult manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, PPE).

  • When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should consult information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels from List N, or that have claims against emerging viral pathogens, or that have label claims against the coronavirus for cleaning frequently touched surfaces like tools, handles, and machines. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19, based on data for harder to kill viruses.

  • Develop a disinfection schedule or routine plan, especially for high contact areas like restrooms. Ensure sufficient stocks of cleaning and disinfecting supplies to accommodate ongoing cleaning and disinfection.


2. Physical Distancing

Have measures (e.g. tape on floors/sidewalks, partitions, and signage on walls) to allow a 6-foot distance between employees and customers and minimize face-to-face contact.

For employee spaces such as kitchens, break rooms, and offices, the number of people should be restricted so there can be a 6-foot distance between people. Stagger shifts if possible.

Limit self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations. Space tables and stools with a 6-foot distance between. Encourage drive through, delivery, and curb-side pickup. Limit party sizes and occupancy.


  • Ventilation such as air ducts and vents should be clean, free of mold, and operational. Increase outdoor air circulation by opening windows, doors, and using fans.

-Customer Limits

  • Restaurants, bars, and other vendors licensed to sell alcohol for on-site consumption may operate at 50% of their indoor capacity as stated on their DPBR license, excluding employees. Bars areas may be open with seated service except for counties Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade where bar counters must remain closed. Full capacity outdoor seating is permitted if social distancing is applied (ex. tables are 6-foot apart). It is recommended that no group gathering be more than 50 people.

3. Faculty

-Self-service/High Touch

  • Self-service containers and items requiring frequent hand contact should be removed from use, or appropriately washed, cleaned and sanitized, and changed after each customer/party is served (e.g. seating covers, table cloths, linen napkins, throw rugs, condiments such as ketchup bottles and salt/pepper shakers, and reusable menus). If there is not enough single-service and single-use articles available, all reusable food service items should be are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.

  • High-touch areas and equipment cleaned should be and disinfected (e.g. door knobs, display cases, equipment handles) more frequently.


  • Food contact surfaces and counters should be cleaned and sanitized after use.

  • Common use areas such as restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more frequently.

-Food Procedures

  • Minimize the time food is in the temperature danger zone between 41 F to 135 F.

  • Before service or cooling, cooked foods must reach proper internal temperatures.

  • Check the temperature of rapidly cooling foods.

  • Train employees with new or altered duties.

For establishments that have 50% or more of their gross revenue selling alcoholic beverages, on-site consumption of alcohol is prohibited. These vendors can continue to sell alcoholic beverages in sealed containers for consumption off-premises. Vendors licensed as restaurants can continue to operate and serve on-site food and beverage if 50% or less of their gross revenue comes from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption.

4. Training and Education of Staff

Provide workers with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviors (e.g., cough etiquette, proper hygiene practices, and care of PPE). Employees should be encouraged to wear cloth face coverings in the workplace.

Train workers who need to use protecting clothing and equipment, and on how to put it on, use/wear it, and take it off correctly, within the context of their current and potential duties. Training material should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers.

Workers should be trained on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 with an explanation of how the disease is potentially spread, including the fact that infected people can spread the virus even if they do not have symptoms.

Emphasis should be placed on the need for workers to report any safety and health concerns.

5. Support for Employees

Mental health support should be provided to all workers, including access to an employee assistance program (EAP) if available. Emergency communications plans should be developed, including a forum for answering workers' concerns and internet-based communications, if feasible.

No Wait Medical Partners is available to provide psychological supports, including mental health support, and psychoeducation.

6. Screening

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that employers conduct daily health checks, for example, symptom and/or temperature screening of employees before they enter the facility.

If implementing in-person health checks, they should be conducted safely and respectfully. Employers may use social distancing, barrier or partition controls, or PPE to protect the screener. Health checks should be conducted in a way that helps maintain social distancing guidelines, such as providing multiple screening entries into the building. Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure. No Wait Medical Partners ensures ongoing follow-up of employees sent home who may be at risk.

Confidentiality of the medical records should be maintained. To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, employee health screenings should be made as private as possible, and determinations of risk, should not be made based on race or country of origin.

Before the employee enters the restaurant, each shift, managers/supervisors should screen for risk factors. If the employee agrees to any of the following statements, they may not enter establishment until a period of at least 14 days has elapsed (from the time the contact occurred).

  • Have been in contact with someone who is known to be infected with COVID-19.

  • Have been in contact with someone who travelled internationally or been on a cruise within the past 14 days.

  • Have been in contact with someone who returned from travel to any area known to have high numbers of positive cases or community spread of COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Additionally, employees may not enter if they:

  • Are infected with COVID-19 without two consecutive negative tests, separated by 24 hours.

  • Are showing signs, symptoms, or self reporting a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.

7. Absenteeism

Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.

Employees who have symptoms should notify their supervisor and be encouraged to stay home, and a note from their healthcare provider does not need to be provided in order to validate illness, or their ability to return to work. Sick leave policies should be flexible and consistent with public health guidance and with No Wait Medical Partners, and employees should be made aware of these policies. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with No Wait Medical Partners. Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting employees and customers at a restaurant or bar.

Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and consult with No Wait Medical Partners regarding the mandatory precautions. Policies should permit employees to stay home to care for sick family members, including sick children or children who are in schools or day care centers that have been closed, or who have immunocompromised family members, and are afraid to come to work because of fear of possible exposure. Workers' concerns about pay, leave, safety, health, and other issues that may arise during infectious disease outbreaks should be addressed, and employers are encouraged to work with insurance companies (e.g., those providing employee health benefits) and state and local health agencies to provide information to workers and customers about medical care in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

No Wait Medical Partners will provide daily follow up on employees who are self-isolating at home, and on what their expected return to work dates will be.

8. Contact Tracing and Tracking

No Wait Medical Partners enables safe and timely triage, testing, monitoring, contact tracking and containment of suspected or confirmed COVID 19 positive employees. No Wait Medical Partners contributes to limiting exposure and risk management and enables contact tracing for suspected COVID-19 positive employees.

Guidelines for Employees

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have implemented guidelines on how employees can protect themselves and their co-workers from COVID-19. Employees are encouraged to forward any questions or concerns that they may have to No Wait Medical Partners.

Protecting Yourself and Others

-Hand Hygiene

  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or if soap and water are not immediately available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rubbing hands until they are dry. Avoid touching your face.
    COVID-19 Guidlines

    Click here to watch the video

-Respiratory Etiquette

  • Follow the proper guidelines for covering coughs and sneezing (i.e., sneezing or coughing into a tissue or into the upper sleeve). Always wear a face mask while in the workplace, and the mask should cover your nose and mouth. Learn how to properly put on, use/wear, and take off protective clothing and equipment.

-Social Distancing

  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing as work duties permit, and avoid physical contact with others, including other employees, contractors, and visitors.

  • Use alternatives ways to shake hands upon entry, and it is important to not touch your face (i.e., mouth, nose, eyes).

  • Drive to work sites or parking areas individually, when possible, an avoid having passengers or carpools.


  • Clean and disinfect all shared areas and equipment routinely, using alcohol-based wipes to clean tools before and after use.

  • Before preparing or eating food, always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety.

  • Use gloves to avoid direct bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.

COVID-19 Guidlines

Click here to view PDF

What should I do if I become ill?

Notify your supervisor and No Wait Medical Partners immediately, complete the self-assessment (self-checker).

Resources for Employers and Employees

Below are some resources on government approved guidelines around proper hygiene and cleaning practices, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-19.


Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic (FDA guidelines)

Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic (FDA guidelines)

Considerations for Restaurants and Bars (CDC guidelines)

COVID-19 Resource Center. (FRLA guidelines)

Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19 (EPA guidelines)

EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2020). List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) (CDC guidelines)

General Business Frequently Asked Questions - Suspected or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in the Workplace (CDC guidelines)

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (OSHA guidelines)

Hand washing guidelines (CDC guidelines)

What You Need To Know About Handwashing (Video)

Information on conducting Hazard Assessments (OSHA guidelines)

Information on the use of cloth face coverings (CDC guidelines)

Protection of yourself and others against COVID-19 (CDC guidelines)

Respirator Safety (United States Department of Labor. 2009) Video

Restaurants and Bars During the COVID-19 Pandemic (CDC guidelines)

Resuming Business Toolkit for Employers (CDC guidelines)

Self-assessment tool for employees (CDC guidelines)

Symptoms of COVID-19 (CDC guidelines)

Use of respirators, facemasks, and cloth face coverings in the food and agriculture (FDA guidelines)

When to screen (CDC guidelines)