Employer Preparedness Plan Requirements Checklist

Employers must develop and implement a plan that addresses the following components and post it publicly. 

If workers can work from home, they must be allowed to work from home. 

Make sure sick workers stay home

1. Establish health screening protocols for workers at the start of each shift, such as temperature taking or a health screening survey.

2. Identify and isolate workers with COVID-19 symptoms and those who have been exposed, and send them home.

3. Establish communication protocols when workers have been potentially exposed.

4. Establish worker sickness reporting protocols.

5. Evaluate and adjust sick leave policies to reflect the need for isolation and incentivize workers who are sick to stay home.

6. Provide accommodations for vulnerable populations. 7. Clearly communicate sick leave policies to all workers. 

Increase social distancing: Workers should be at least six feet away from each other 

  1. Maximize the use of telecommuting.
  2. Stagger shifts and breaks; create additional shifts.
  3. Evaluate traffic patterns to reduce crowding at entrances, in hallways, etc.
  4. Limit gatherings of workers.
  5. Ensure physical distancing in workplaces, including at workstations, production lines, etc.
  6. Limit non-essential worker interaction across floors, buildings, campuses, worksites, etc.
  7. Increase physical space between workers and customers, such as using a drive-thru or partitions. 

Worker hygiene and source control

1. Ensure workers regularly wash their hands. Ensure handwashing and/or hand-sanitizer facilities are readily available and stocked.

2. Provide recommended protective supplies, such as non-medical cloth masks, gloves, disinfectants, guards, shields, etc.

3. Post handwashing and “cover your cough” signs.

4. Encourage use of source control masks, such as non-medical cloth masks.

5. Prohibit on-site food preparation and sharing. 

Cleaning and disinfection protocols

1. Routinely clean and disinfect all areas, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment, machinery, tools, controls, etc.

2. At least daily, clean all high touch items like doorknobs, handles, light switches, surfaces, etc.

3. Ensure availability of hand sanitizer and approved cleaning products.

4. Decontaminate the workplace if a worker becomes ill with COVID-19. 

All workers – management and employees – must be trained in these protocols.

Click here to print.

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Template & Instructions

Baudette Disaster

Executive Order 20-40, issued by Gov. Tim Walz on April 23, 2020, requires each business in operation during
the peacetime emergency establish a “COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.”

A business’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan shall establish and explain the necessary policies, practices and
conditions to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health
(MDH) guidelines for COVID-19 and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards
related to worker exposure to COVID-19. The plan should have the strong commitment of management and be
developed and implemented with the participation of workers. The Minnesota Department of Labor and
Industry, in consultation with MDH, has the authority to determine whether a plan is adequate.

Your COVID-19 Preparedness Plan must include and describe how your business will implement at a minimum
the following:
1. infection prevention measures;
2. prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
3. engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
4. housekeeping, including cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination;
5. communications and training for managers and workers necessary to implement the plan; and
6. provision of management and supervision necessary to ensure effective ongoing implementation of
the plan.

This document includes a sample COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that meets the criteria listed above. No business
is required to use this model. If you choose to use this model, you must adapt it to fit the specific needs of your

Click here to print a sample COVID-19 Template


Lake of the Woods Small Businesses Now Eligible For DEED Small Business Emergency Loans

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has established a loan program to provide a source of working capital to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loans will:

• Range from $2,500 to $35,000 and will be based on the firm’s economic injury and the financial need.
• Be interest-free.
• Be paid back monthly over five (5) years and the first payment will be deferred six (6) months with potentially partial forgiveness.
• Be provided to only Minnesota-based businesses.

The Lake of the Woods EDA is here to help and will connect you with resources for state, local, and regional support.  As details become clearer, we will keep our businesses informed.  For more information on DEED’s Small Business Emergency Loans, click here.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that Minnesota small businesses are now eligible to apply for disaster assistance.

• This program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits.
• These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.
• The current interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75%.
• These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years.

You should speak with your primary lender to help you decided if this is the right program for your situation, other resources may be a better fit for your needs.

UPDATE: Lake of the Woods EDA

Lake of the Woods EDA is offering eligible businesses emergency micro-loans to help provide short term working capital. Loan max is $10,000, Interest rates are 0%. For more information contact: Ryan Zemek at rzemek@hrdc.org, or 218-760-4729.

Disaster Response Resources Lake of the Woods

Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. The Lake of the Woods EDA (EDA) recognizes that we’re all affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the impacts everyone is facing, our small business community and its employees are being hit especially hard. The EDA in coordination with its partners are monitoring resources made available for businesses as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

  • First, don’t lose hope. While things seem to change daily, and we don’t know how long this will last, this too will see an end. Eventually, we will return to normal, or at least a “new normal.” Your priority should be to take care of yourself and your family, but we also need to continue to take care of each other in our communities.
  • Second, contact your lenders, suppliers, vendors, landlords, etc. and develop a plan for extended or modified payment terms. Explain your situation and ask for assistance. They will more than likely work with you to come up with a short-term solution. Again, everyone is in this together.
  • Third, get things done that you’ve been too busy to accomplish. Get your financials in order, deep clean your space. Complete an in-depth inventory. Test out new ideas and approaches. Update or get a website.

Below is a summary of current resources and legislation (both approved and being considered) for businesses, pertaining to COVID-19. This is a remarkably fluid situation as more information becomes available, we will pass it on. If there is anything we can do to help your business at this time please let us know!

Lake of the Woods EDA

The Lake of the Woods EDA is in the process of developing an emergency microloan program. For more information contact: Ryan Zemek rzemek@hrdc.org, or 218-760-4729

U.S. Small Business Administration Loans Available Soon

The State of Minnesota is working to make all counties eligible for Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Loans, but we aren’t eligible quite yet. Loans can be used to pay fixed debts, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. We will share SBA loan application information as soon as it becomes available.


Sales Tax Grace Period

Restaurants, bars and other businesses impacted by the temporary closures now have a 30-day grace period in paying sales and use tax, under a grace period announced yesterday by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. This means that affected businesses with a monthly Sales and Use Tax payment due March 20, 2020 will have until April 20 to make that payment. These customers should still file their return by March 20. Penalties or interest will not be assessed during the grace period. Find out more at the Minnesota Department of Revenue website.


If you had to let employees go, let them know what is available to them: https://www.uimn.org/a…/needtoknow/news-updates/covid-19.jsp

Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the impact may apply for the Unemployment Insurance Shared Work Program. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs – retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits.


MN Department of Employment and Economic Development

Regular updates on available business resources from the State of Minnesota, resulting from legislation being currently drafted in St. Paul, will be posted on the following page: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/ Be sure to visit the FAQs link on the previous link for additional information.

Federal Legislation – Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The legislation guarantees free coronavirus testing, enhances Unemployment Insurance, strengthens food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding to states. In addition, the legislation creates two new paid leave programs that every business under 500 employees and all government employers must implement for their employees.


Business Spotlight: Fish Flys | Aerial Photography and Videography

Over the last few months, you may have seen our series of videos featuring stories of local residents and life in Lake of the Woods County. We were very fortunate to have some great aerial shots in our videos that were provided by Fish Flys, an aerial photography and videography company located right here in Lake of the Woods! This month we wanted to spotlight Fish Flys and tell you more about owner Daniel Fish’s story. 

Daniel Fish is originally from the Lake of the Woods area and graduated from Warroad High School in 2003. After graduation Daniel left for 10 years to attend college and work in North Dakota Spent five years in Grand Forks attending the university, one year working in Fargo and five years working in Bismarck. Despite an advancing career, something was missing and Daniel and his wife Brittany decided to move back to Lake of the Woods. 

“Lake of the Woods has always been home to me.  I have family that was born, raised, and still lives in the area.  When I was little riding my bike in the streets of Roosevelt, I always felt safe.  There were always neighbor kids riding together and everyone always looked out for each other.  That’s something I want my kids to experience.”

Upon moving home Daniel worked for Lake of the Woods County and Electric Cooperative, but a love of technology and appreciation for the community inspired Daniel to start a side business providing clients with aerial photography and videography services. Founded in 2017, Fish Flys specializes in aerial photography and videography of home/event/cabin/land from the air.  Other services provided include ground photos/videos, video production for events, real estate, weddings, advertisements, stock footage.

While a full-time job, his business, and a young family keeps him busy, Daniel and his wife Brittany both enjoy the plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities Lake of the Woods provides. His advice for anyone considering Lake of the Woods? 

“Take the leap. Come up and see what the area is really like.  Visiting is one thing, but living here, becoming part of the community, has a sense of belonging. “

To find out more about Fish Flys, or to inquire about service check out www.fishflys.com or find it on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/FishFlys Instagram: @fish_flys, or Email Daniel, daniel@fishflys.com.

Reed McFarlane Awarded 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award

Reed McFarlane, Lake of the Woods Schools, was recognized by The Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals Association (MASMS) and awarded the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual conference held on October 3, 2019.

This award is in recognition of Mr. McFarlane’s outstanding dedication and commitment to educational facilities.

The Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals (also known as MASMS) is a professional organization committed to promoting excellence in the operation and care of educational facilities.  It is a group of over 900 individuals in the areas of facilities/grounds/health & safety/operations for Minnesota K-12 and Higher Education organizations. It is a member-oriented, problem solving, professional group committed to facilities management.