Like many of you, the Chamber team has been working remotely since March. But, as you may have heard, we have recently started moving into our new office in Park Circle.
We are thrilled with our new headquarters and are anxious to utilize it to its full potential. However, the current challenges have required us to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of our team and members. With it being a new space, and well, our first time dealing with the impacts of a global pandemic, we called upon one of our great partners, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, to help us get back to work safely.
As a leader in the One Region Ready efforts, we knew it was of utmost importance to provide clear safety guidelines that were informed by experts. Roper St. Francis Physician Partners’ Occupational Medicine team understands the importance of reopening businesses with health and well-being as top priorities and were gracious enough to support us as we worked to bring our staff back into the office.
Dr. Edward Galaid, Director of Occupational Medicine for Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH), leads their Return to Work team and held a series of meetings with members of his team and ours. This included an in-depth walk through of our facility to determine occupancy levels, PPE guidelines, cleaning protocols and care management. With a measuring tape in hand, Dr. Galaid and his team examined our space and made realistic recommendations based on guidance from the CDC and DHEC.
Ultimately, RSFH helped us develop a comprehensive “Return to Work Safely” protocol that has greatly increased the Chamber team’s comfort level working in our new space. The guidance is intended to:
- Prevent and reduce transmission among employees
- Maintain healthy business operations
- Maintain a healthy work environment
Craig Self, RSFH vice president & chief strategy and business development officer, said the healthcare system is forging strong partnerships such as its relationship with the Chamber so residents can return to work safely and responsibly and the Lowcountry can continue to thrive.
“In addition to our great responsibility in caring for patients, it’s our duty to assist other businesses navigate this complex and new reality,” said Self, who is also a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “We would be thrilled to assist any other area partners in this important effort.”
The Chamber Return to Work Guidance includes detailed guidelines on when to wear a mask, disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces and health self-checks. Additionally, we have made adjustments to the operations of the office, including:
- Staggering work schedules to limit the number of staff in office at one time, meaning staff are working both remotely and in office
- Seating arrangement has been intentionally spread out to increase physical space between employees
- Limiting access and occupancy in communal areas and meetings rooms, for instance, our Board Room can hold approximately 150 people, but we are limiting to 40 people
The office has been stocked with masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and tissues and we have increased the frequency of our cleaning service. We are also maintaining a high level of flexibility with our team for those that are dealing with childcare, caring for others or who are at increased risk.
The RSFH team was thorough and provided us with a clear foundation to safely return to work. We are extremely grateful for their partnership and support as we work to keep our team and members safe and healthy. Learn more about RSFH’s Return to Work Safely program.