Blue Shield of California
COVID-19 Resource Center for Employers, Plan Sponsors, Brokers and Consultants
Employee in mask.

How to reopen safely

As you reopen, you’ll have numerous practical considerations, including HR policies, COVID-19 testing, and how best to communicate with customers and employees.

6 ways to help your employees with reopening

You have a safety plan in place, established new cleaning protocols, and reviewed your workplace policies for necessary updates. Here are a few additional considerations to help your employees feel safe and comfortable with the changes ahead. 

Someone cleaning a table with spray bottle and cloth.

Step 1

Have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Will you have a “pandemic officer” or team who is responsible for leading your COVID-19 response efforts? Do employees know who they can turn to with their questions?

Two people in masks reviewing some paperwork.

Employee communications checklist

Having a detailed employee communications plan can help you share information effectively while also giving your workers more confidence in your plans around reopening. In addition to relying on your standard internal communications methods, consider the following strategies when communicating with employees about returning to work.

Customer communications checklist

A barista in mask and gloves passes a coffee to a customer.

As you reopen, it’s important to have a simple customer communications plan ready. Not only will it help to keep your customers (and employees) safer, but it will also demonstrate your company’s commitment to getting things right – an important bit of reassurance for many. The following communication strategies will hopefully give you, your staff, and your customers more confidence in your reopening.

Blue Shield Spotlight

Mary O'Hara on the challenges of reopening

“We won’t get it all exactly right – nevertheless, we have to take decisive action with imperfect information.”

Mary O’Hara, Chief Human Resources Officer, Blue Shield of California

Woman in mask working at computer.

Prioritizing employee mental health

Months of isolation, general uncertainty, and concerns over COVID-19 have left us all feeling drained. With the return to a physical workplace, your employees may need extra mental health support to manage the transition.

Be on the lookout for common ways mental health problems can manifest themselves, including:

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Taking longer to do tasks

  • Difficulty thinking, reasoning, and deciding

  • Putting off or avoiding challenging work

  • Difficulty juggling tasks and responsibilities

Blue Shield Spotlight

Increased mental health support during COVID-19

Blue Shield is committed to your employees’ physical and mental wellbeing. That’s why we’ve expanded Teladoc® medical and behavioral health coverage to provide members with mental health services via phone, app, or video conferencing – ensuring virtual care to those who need it.

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Blue Shield of California is eager to assist our partners in these challenging times. For more information about how to reopen your business safely, please .

Contact us

If you have more questions, we’re here for you.

  • Small Businesses (1-100 employees):
    Employer Services at (800) 325-5166

  • Large Group Employers (101+ employees):
    Contact your Blue Shield representative

  • Brokers: Producer Services at (800) 559-5905