July 7, 2020

COVID-19 Resources - Re-Opening Retail Centers

Updated: June 8, 2020


With the implementation of “Reopening Oregon” and “Safe Start Washington”, landlords, tenants, and vendors are confronted with many questions about how to responsibly and safely re-open commercial retail centers. Note: combatting the COVID-19 pandemic requires broad participation to be effective. NAI Elliott takes recommended tactics which best facilitate the success of the broad array of tenant businesses in our portfolio.

Oregon Retail Re-opening Guidelines:

Effective May 15th, Oregon counties enter the Baseline Reopening guidelines which includes operation of retail stores, take-out restaurant service, childcare facilities, etc. Note: as of May 14th the three Metro counties (Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington) have not yet applied, and been approved, to proceed to Phase 1 of the reopening protocol.

Oregon Health Authority Retail Guidelines

Oregon Health Authority Restaurant/Bars/Breweries/Tasting Rooms/Distilleries Guidelines

Oregon Health Authority Personal Care Services (salons, barber shops, massage, etc)

Oregon Employment Department – COVID-19 Resuming Business Operations

Current Reopening Oregon County Status

U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Reopening Business

Oregon Health Authority Child Care Operations

Washington Retail SafeStart Guidelines:

Estimated Phase 2 start date of June 1st. Awaiting publication of state guidelines. Current description of Phase 2 includes allowance for “Retail (in-store purchases allowed with restrictions).

Current Washington Safe Start County Status

Washington Essential Business Guidance

“For counties granted variance to move to Phase 2, restaurant operations may resume with limitations after meeting specific criteria, effective May 11, 2020”

Phase 2 Guidance – Dine-In Restaurants and Taverns (May 11th)

Phase 2 Guidance – In-Store Retail (May 12th)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Reopening Business

Retail Recommendations for Tenant Premises:

Opening to the public:

1. Meet all state health authority guidelines for reopening.

2. Thoroughly clean your leased premises per the CDC guidelines prior to re-opening to the public.

3. Ensure your staff is well versed on safety and cleaning procedures using EPA approved disinfectant

4. Follow state guidelines for employees to be provided and wear face coverings and disposable gloves.

5. Establish a policy and signage on customer face coverings. Strongly encouraged by state for customers to wear but not required.

6. Clean you interior HVAC return air diffusers.

7. Add additional sanitation stations for customers and maintain supplies for ensuring adequate refilling.

8. Add plexiglass shields at pay station(s).

9. Eliminate self-serve stations.

10. Promote physical distancing by adding signage for traffic flow and limitations.

11. Wipe down, with EPA approved disinfectant, all high touch elements frequently.

12. Limit number of customers in your leased premises to promote ability to physical distance.

13. Limit the formation of customers lining outside the space and consider your neighboring tenants.

14. Report any concerns or questions to property management promptly.


Note: These recommendations may be a tenant expense and/or require a specific vendor determined by the Landlord.

1. If the HVAC system was deactivated for a closed business, work with property management to employ a qualified technician to assess the system before re-activating.

2. Clean hard surfaces and moving parts of all units with particular attention to coils. (Note: It is not deemed necessary or effectual by industry partners to clean ductwork.)

3. Evaluate the feasibility to replace and/or upgrade existing filters to those with MERV 13 rating (Note: industry standard is MERV 8).

4. Assess air intakes and clean as necessary.

5. Maximize circulation of fresh air in the building. Typical air changes are six per hour and we recommend 10 to 12 per hour. Inform staff that added circulation may result in uncommon hot/cold issues and recognize that additional utility costs may be incurred.

Retail Recommendations for Common Areas:

Garages and Parking Lots:

1. We do not believe blocking off parking spaces will enhance social distancing or prove feasible or practical.

2. Implement a system with conspicuous signage at any common entrance(s)/exit(s) that facilitate social distancing where viable and effective.

Common Area Amenities:

1. For interior common areas :

     a. Utilize stanchions and signage to establish physical distancing for building employees such as security.

     b. Install hand sanitization stations as soon as available and practical.

     c. Remove or restrict occupancy in areas designed for congregation including seating areas and shared workspaces.

2. Use signage to create traffic patterns that facilitate social distancing in necessary amenities including restrooms, bike storage and mail rooms.


1. Assess if the standard frequency of cleaning will be appropriate for building occupancy.

2. Assess if janitorial vendor has access to supplies to restock common area hand sanitizer, disinfecting stations, and restroom supplies.

3. Ensure janitorial employees are trained on EPA guidelines for appropriate product use.

4. Confer with janitorial vendor on cost and availability for post-exposure cleaning. If necessary, solicit quotes from other vendors who specialize in post-exposure disinfecting.

Post-Exposure Cleaning:

1. Before an exposure occurs, identify vendors who can conduct a full disinfecting of common areas and obtain bids. We are seeing a wide variation in bids, especially when cleaning is required on a tight timeline.

2. Employ building measurements to give vendors square footages of common area spaces including hallways, restrooms, lobbies. This can facilitate a bid without requiring a vendor to go onsite.

3. If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is reported, clean all common areas and inform tenants that a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been present in the building and the complete cleaning that will occur. Do not collect or share any personal information of the individual diagnosed with COVID-19.

Common Restrooms:

1. Install signage stating maximum occupancy of the restroom based on a safe social distancing load of 75 square feet per occupant.

2. Post notices with best practices on hand washing.

3. Increase the frequency of sanitizing cleaning and ensure that vendors are utilizing materials compliant with EPA, CDC, and OSHA standards. Increase supply of hand soap to ensure dispensers are full.

4. Assess the viability of UV-C sanitizing lights and implement where possible.

5. Assess the viability of installing touchless faucets and towel and soap dispensers.

6. Add additional waste baskets near both sides of restroom doors to facilitate using a towel to touch handle.

7. Assess the viability of installing automatic door openers or foot openers to facilitate touchless opening of doors.

8. Check P-traps to ensure seals are functioning properly after periods of limited use.

9. Remove, or mark off any extra furniture to facilitate social distancing.


1. If service was increased while buildings were unoccupied or experiencing reduced occupancy, assess the need to retain that increased service.


1. Assess the available resources of established sign vendors to implement a site-wide program that reflects local, state, and federal recommendations.

2. Determine the available budget and prioritize signage focusing on high-traffic, high-touch common areas.

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© 2022 NAI Elliott - All Rights Reserved

© 2022 NAI Elliott - All Rights Reserved


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