TO: All Cleveland APL Employees
FROM: Ron Srnka, Senior Director of Human Resources
DATE: August 24, 2020

REVISED | MANDATORY – UPDATED Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocols

The CDC defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others.” Both the CDC and the Ohio Health Department state that social distancing is the most effective way for people to avoid getting COVID-19.

While the Ohio Stay at Home Order has been relaxed allowing an increasing number of businesses to reopen and some activities to resume, there are still mandates with which we much comply to keep our coworkers, animals, community, and organization safe, healthy, and open.

The following requirements are mandates or best practices that have been advised by the CDC and Ohio Health Department that must be followed by the Cleveland APL team while at work.

  • Allteam members entering the shelter must report their temperatures, symptoms, and respond to COVID-19 questions.*
  • Department-specific temperature logs will be maintained by supervisors.*
  • Anyemployee with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher must stay home. Any employee who develops a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be sent home (see employee health screen form guidelines).*
  • All team members must maintain a social distance of six feet from each other unless performing an essential task that does not safely or humanely permit social distancing.
  • Masks must be worn, unless alone (one person) in an enclosed space or office.
  • Work days for some employees will be staggered as needed to comply with social distancing directives.
  • Employees should maintain at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals whenever possible. In the event two or more employees must be closer than six feet together to provide necessary or essential care to an animal in a safe and humane manner, they MUST wear masks and any other appropriate PPE. Examples include performing veterinary or intake procedures that require animal restraint, carrying/lifting a heavy animal, or euthanizing animals that require more than one person to handle. If you’re not sure, ask a supervisor.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes (into sleeve or elbow, not hands). Do not shake hands or hug other people.
  • Daily deep disinfection of high-contact surfaces, desks and workstations.
  • Avoid sharing work materials, e.g. phones, keyboards, writing instruments, etc. In the event work materials must be shared, disinfect after every use. Sanitize the vending machine and water cooler before and after every use. Use disposable utensils in the break room.
  • Not gathering in groups larger than 10 people and only if social distancing can be maintained.
  • Adhere to 50% of APL building capacity per fire code for the facility.
  • Adhere to individual room and general area capacity limits as posted.
  • Personal out-of-state travel is permitted, but not recommended. Per current public health advisories, the Cleveland APL strongly suggests that employees adhere to the following return to work quarantine recommendations after personal, out-of-state travel:

Per Ohio’s current COVID-19 Travel Advisory, those entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

NOTE: Employees are required to include actual travel dates and destination on “request time off” submissions, for all personal, out-of-state travel.

Employees are required to record testing-positivity rate of the destination state(s) on their departure date and on their date of return to Ohio. The employee’s supervisor will confirm rates prior to the employee’s departure and an employee’s return to the workplace.

(NOTE:  State information also can be found on the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center:

Individual states have a mix of quarantine requirements and recommendations for visitors and residents returning from travels overseas and from other states. Employees considering out-of-state travel should check government websites for their destination and anywhere they plan to stop overnight. 

Employees who fail to comply with the requirements listed above will be subject to corrective action, as described in the Employee Handbook, up to and including termination.

Employees who observe coworkers not complying with these mandated procedures, are asked to contact human resources immediately. Employees who fail to comply with the requirements listed above will be subject to corrective action, as described in the Employee Handbook, up to and including termination.

Employees should notify their supervisor or HR if they have any concerns about the APL’s protocols for social distancing, sanitation, and/or maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. All input provided will be taken into consideration. If found to be consistent with CDC, Ohio Health Department, or other regulatory agency requirements, the APL will revise the plan or specific protocol accordingly.

We are truly grateful for your hard work and dedication to our mission. As we move through our pandemic response, it’s clear that our community needs us, and animals need us. Please, remember that now, more than ever before, a clean and safe workplace is critical to our ability to continue to provide essential services to the city of Cleveland and all of Cuyahoga County.

I sincerely appreciate every one of you. Please think safety! Please work safely!

Ron Srnka, Senior Director of Human Resources
Mobile phone: (330) 304-8379
Work phone:  (216) 377-1620



*Confidentiality of Medical Information Our policy is to treat any medical information as a confidential medical record. In furtherance of this policy, any disclosure of medical information is in limited circumstances with supervisors, managers, first aid and safety personnel, Human Resources and government officials as required by law.