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June 2, 2020

Re-opening Your Office? How MARIS is Re-opening.

As shelter-in-place orders are being relaxed all over the nation, it's important to remember that while COVID-19 infection rates have been going down in some areas, they are still very high in others. With that in mind, we wanted to share what we're doing at MARIS to re-open in consideration for the safety of our membership, and ourselves. 

Here's a list of steps we're taking, with explanation:

  1. Staff will report to the office on alternating days based upon in office air flow, spending 5 of 10 days in the office and the remaining 5 remote each week until further notice. 
    1. This will decrease MARIS staff's chance of exposure, and still allow for a continuity of service. It is worth noting we've bolstered our communication with the use of Microsoft Teams, allowing for both threaded and chat communications. 
    2. Also please note that an important step MARIS has taken is identifying the air circulation in our building. We've worked with our building maintenance team to determine which offices/areas are on the same air vents, and how air is recirculated, and we are alternating our in-office schedules based on this information.
      COVID-19 is transferred via air droplets from person to person, and knowing airflow is an important step to limiting exposure. 
  2. There will be a forehead thermometer outside our office door. All staff and visitors will be required to have their temperature evaluated prior to being granted access. 
    1. There will be signs just outside of our office instructing what to do, and a provided forehead thermometer. This is important, as it will inform us about who may be symptomatic, and thus, contagious. 
  3. All staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask in the common area of MARIS office space.
    1. Numerous organizations, including the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, strongly recommend the use of masks as a means of preventing the transfer of the COVID-19 virus. 
  4. Individual offices will remain off limits to anyone other than the office occupant.
    1. It's known that the virus is transmitted in areas where people are in close proximity to each other. This step will allow for the social distancing required to prevent the spread of the virus. 
  5. All meetings will take place in common areas and social distance will be maintained during meetings.
    1. See above. 
  6. All surfaces will be sanitized after use and each evening before departing from work.
    1. The WHO believes a primary source of contamination could be from surface contact. Cleaning with disinfectant is an easy way to ensure this doesn't happen. 
  7. All community resources must be sanitized after each use. 
    1. See above. This includes our printer, studio, and supplies closets. 
  8. All members paying will be required to make electronic payments or utilize the MARIS lock-box process for check payments.
    1. The process for paying online or using our lock-box is easy. Please see this information sheet for more details, or contact for help. 
  9. We will keep a log of all people (staff and visitors) every day that enter our office in the event contact tracing is necessary.
    1. Think of this as a guest book. In the unfortunate event that a staff member or visitor is infected, it will be important to trace back where the infection originated, and where it could have spread. 
  10. There will be no in-office training until further notice.
    1. However, keep in mind we've conducted numerous online trainings, and will be conducting many more upon request! Just drop us a line or head to our Education page
  11. The kitchen (refrigerator, coffee maker, microwave, etc.) will be closed until further notice. Please plan your lunch/snacks accordingly.
    1. This is maybe the most challenging one! We love our coffee! However, see above concerning surface contact... it's necessary. 
  12. MARIS will permit staff to operate without a mask at their discretion while in their individual office. Please ensure you take the proper precautions when utilizing the building restrooms and external doors/surfaces. 
    1. Again, considering our attention to the ventilation systems in the MARIS offices, we're confident in this step. We will, however, be wearing masks in the common areas of the building. 

Please email us if you have any questions regarding our re-opening procedures. We're here to help! We appreciate your understanding while we make every attempt to protect our members and employees during this unprecedented time.