Page updated: March 12, 2021

Coronavirus Disease Info., Resources & Best Practices for the Print Industry

We at PIM are completely focused on finding ways to help our printers stay strong. First of all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. While we are not experts in many of the topics below, we know the right people and are ready to make the time to help you figure out the next steps.  We also compiled this list through hundreds of conversations across our region and throughout the country. Therefore, review and read the following tips. We will continually update this page as needed.

Many links will send you to PIM Connect, our members-only resource library and online community. Please contact Ben for login help.

Practical tips for the Print Industry

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic affected everyone and seems to have affected everything. We’ve learned about and lived through social Distancing, sanitizer shortages, Zoom calls, Plexiglass barriers, etc. When can we get back to “normal”?

Printers and manufacturers in the United States are committed to ending the pandemic.

Vaccine Resources for Printers

PIM provides a list of resources for employers and employees about the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Now that vaccines for COVID‑19 are available, getting manufacturers—and more Americans—to receive their shot is one of the most important steps toward ending the pandemic, getting back to life and powering recovery and renewal.

The National Association of Manufacturers

Vaccine Resources by state

North Dakota
South Dakota

Minnesota Vaccine Connector

The Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector is a tool for all Minnesotans who have not yet been vaccinated. The Vaccine Connector will notify you when you it’s your turn for a shot. Sign up to be alerted when you when you are eligible to receive a vaccine and get connected to resources to schedule an appointment.

Iowa Vaccine Information

If you have general questions about the vaccine, call 211.  Resource specialists are available 24 hours a day to answer basic questions.

To find an Iowa vaccine provider near you. 

Nebraska COVID-19 Vaccine Registration

All Nebraskans are encouraged to register on the Nebraska Vaccine Registration website. People can schedule an appointment or sign up to receive a notification when a vaccine is available for them.

NEBRASKA VACCINE HOTLINE: Nebraskans needing vaccine help by phone can call 402-552-6645 or toll-free at 833-998-2275 for more information on the Nebraska COVID-19 vaccination process.

North Dakota Vaccine Locator

North Dakota maintains a Vaccine Locator page. Scroll down to see locations and availability of vaccines. Scroll the table to the right to see information on how to contact these locations.

SD Vaccine Locator

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Requirement for Businesses in Minnesota

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Minnesota implemented requirements for all businesses – this includes Printers. 

All MN Employees Need Right to Know Training Annually

The final piece is training.  All businesses in MN will also need to train all of their employees on the contents of their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.  Also, because COVID-19 is an infectious agent, all Minnesota businesses need to provide all employees with Right to Know training. PIM can help with this process if desired.

Remember, if you would like any assistance with this new requirement or any other safety issue, contact Paul Gutkowski at or Cathy Malinowski at  For example, PIM can assist with writing the Plan for your company, conducting the training, obtaining clarification, etc. 

Nebraska COVID-19 Policy

Nebraska OSHA recommends that all printers in NE create a COVID-19 Policy. This COVID-19 template for printing companies in Nebraska can assist you.  Remember, for the Minnesota printing companies, DO NOT follow this Nebraska template.  For further questions regarding the Nebraska safety requirements contact Paul at

IA, ND, SD COVID-19 Policy

It is recommended that all printers create a COVID-19 Policy. Manufacturers in these states may adopt a policy based on the Minnesota COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (above) or create their own.

Iowa Business Guidance

The Iowa Department of Public Health compiled resources and guidance documents for Iowa Businesses. Included in these documents are posters and testing guidance. These resources can be found the on the Iowa Department of Public Health COVID-19 webpage.

North Dakota Business Guidance

North Dakota’s website, ND SMART RESTART Protocols, contains valuable information for all businesses during this pandemic. Resources include door signs, risk levels, Workplace Assessment and more.

Face Mask Requirements & Guidelines

Expired 1/18/2021 – North Dakota Mask Requirement

The state-wide face mask requirement was allowed to expire on January 18, 2021. Face masks are “strongly recommended” and may be required in airports, bussing and some government buildings. The city of Fargo continues to have a mask requirement.

Minnesota Mask Requirement

Governor Walz issued an executive order requiring all Minnesotans wear a face-covering indoors beginning July 25.  This includes all indoor businesses, including all printers. Workers must also wear face coverings when working outside when it is not possible to maintain social distancing. 

All businesses must update their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to include this face-covering requirement.  In addition, signs must be posted and visible to all people instructing them to wear face coverings. Businesses must require that all workers, customers, and visitors wear face coverings. 

MN Department of Health Mask Mandate Information

There are several exemptions to this mandate. Those who do not need wear a mask include:

  • Individuals with medical conditions, mental health conditions or a disability where wearing a mask is not feasible.
  • When communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or deaf.
  • If the mask would create an unsafe condition.
  • When eating or drinking – as long as social distancing is maintained.
  • When alone in an office or cubicle.

Should employees wear face masks?

Cover smart. Do your part. Slow the spread.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

First of all, there is a difference between face masks (source control) and respirators (PPE). Face masks or surgical masks are loose fitting and provide protection to those surrounding the wearer. Face masks catch droplets and aerosols escaping the wearer. There is some filtration for the wearer, but because fit is different with each mask, there is no way to know how well a face mask will protect you. However, respirators, such as N95 masks, provide a tight seal and protect the wearer from airborne contaminants. In addition, respirators put a burden on your body when used. Because of that, employers must comply with several requirements when employees wear N95 masks at work.

OSHA and CDC require all healthcare workers in contact with COVID-19 patients to wear respirators with protection of at least N95. Employees in the print industry should not wear respirators or N95 masks to protect themselves from catching COVID-19.

Iowa Mask Mandate Lifted

Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted the state’s mask mandate February 7, 2021. She issued a new emergency order that drops rules on face-covering and social distancing in favor of encouraging “reasonable public health measures” to reduce COVID-19 transmission in public places and private gatherings.  Local mask mandates remain in effect in several cities, including Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Dubuque, Iowa City and North Liberty. Some counties such as Dubuque, Johnson and Linn county have mask mandates as well.

Citywide Facemask Requirements

Besides the Minnesota Order requiring facemask usage, some cities, such as Fargo, ND; Omaha, NE; Lincoln, NE; Minneapolis, MN and St. Paul, MN implemented mandatory facemask requirements. The Minneapolis and Omaha requirement applies to areas open to the public. The Lincoln, NE mandate applies to all indoor businesses including printers. The St. Paul requirement does NOT apply to printers or other manufacturers.

Cloth face coverings in public

On April 3, 2020, the CDC recommended the general population should wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Apparently, 35% of people infected with COVID-19 show no symptoms. They could spread the disease to others unknowingly by talking.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face masks such as those that could be made at home, including a surgical mask, or a bandanna. In the Printing Industry, care must be taken that any face covering does not create an additional hazard where the loose ends of a face mask could get caught in print rollers or other moving machinery. In addition, these cloth masks should be washed at least daily or disposed of daily.

Are Employers Required to Provide Face Masks?

Right now (February 10), No. Federal OSHA states that face masks and cloth face coverings are not considered PPE, so employers are not required to pay for them. However, their January 29, 2021 “Protecting Workers, Guidance…” states:

Employers should provide face coverings to the workers at no cost.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act

December 22, 2020

Our partners at LB Carlson reviewed the latest COVID relief bill. They supplied us with information. Stay tuned for updates…

Updates to the PPP and Changes for Second Round of Relief

Borrowers who previously received PPP funding got clarification of several items.

More expenses are eligible

  • Covered operations expenditures (including business software and cloud computing services),
  • property damage costs (costs incurred during public disturbances in 2020 not covered by insurance),
  • supplier costs (that are essential to operations), and worker protection expenditures (to comply with HHS, CDC, or OSHA requirements) would be eligible for forgiveness.

These amendments would not apply to loans that have already been forgiven.

Tax deductions on related expenses are allowed

The bill reverses an earlier ruling and makes expenses deductible. It also confirms forgiveness is non-taxable, and PPP loan forgiveness will increase basis for owners of pass-through entities.

Loans up to $150,000 get a simplified forgiveness application process

Borrowers with loans up to $150,000 will get one-page online or paper form. There will be borrower certifications of the number employees covered by the loan, the estimated amount spent on payroll, and the total amount of the loan. Borrowers must still maintain appropriate documentation.

Borrowers do not have to deduct EIDL advance

Previously, EIDL advances were to be deducted from the PPP forgiveness amount, but that was repealed.


The Act designates $267.5 billion for a second round of PPP funding, and the program specifically sets aside $25 billion for businesses with 10 employees or less as of Feb. 15, 2020. Regulations for this round of PPP funding are required to be released within 10 days of enactment.

New Borrowing Restrictions

  • Changes to employer size and gross receipts qualifications – Only businesses with up to 300 employees (down from 500 employees) and a gross receipt decline by at least 25% for any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019 will qualify for this round.
  • Changes to loan limits – The loan amount is limited to 2.5 times of the average payroll for the last 12 months through date of application or 2019 and is limited to $2 million. For businesses with multiple locations, the aggregated total is limited to $2 million, and loans for affiliated borrowers are limited to $10 million.
  • Changes to eligible nonprofits – 501(c)(6)s now qualify
  • More groups can apply for first-time assistance – Other groups that can apply for first-time assistance through this round of PPP funding include businesses eligible for other SBA 7(a) loans with fewer than 500 employees, sole proprietors, independent contractors, self-employed individuals, and nonprofits.

As with the first round of PPP loans, 60% of the funds must be spent on payroll over the covered period (8 or 24 weeks).

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

What is the FFCRA?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) legislation addressed critical human resources issues. The expanded medical leave was allowed to expire on December 31, 2020. Employers could voluntarily provide expanded leave and receive tax credits until March 31, 2021.

PIA compiled Department of Labor Fact Sheets, and other helpful information. 

FFCRA and EPSLA Guidance

April 1, 2020, the DOL issued temporary rules concerning the Family First Coronavirus Response Act. The new rules can be found at

Paid Sick Time

Under the EPSLA, among other things, employers must immediately provide employees paid sick time when they are unable to work for the following reasons related to COVID-19:

  1. The employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation order.
  2. The worker has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
  3. They are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in 1 or 2, above.  
  5. The worker is caring for their son or daughter if the school or place of care for the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider is unavailable.
  6. The employee is experiencing other substantially similar condition.

Other Sick Leave Requirements

Full-time employees are entitled to up to eighty (80) hours of emergency paid sick leave under the EPSLA.  Part-time employees are entitled to paid leave hours equal to the average number of hours that the employee works over a two-week period.  However, employers do not need to pay more than $511 per day (and $5,110 in the aggregate) for reasons 1-3 above, and $200 per day (and $2,000 in the aggregate) for reasons 4-6 above, which correspond to the limit on tax credits allowed for employers. 

Guidance Under New Temporary Rules

Specifically, § 826.10 of the new temporary rules provide “Subject to a Quarantine or Isolation Order – means for the purposes of the EPSLA, a quarantine or isolation order includes quarantine, isolation, containment, shelter-in-place, or stay-at-home orders issued by any Federal, State, or local government authority that cause the Employee to be unable to work even though his or her Employer has work that the Employee could perform but for the order. This also includes when a Federal, State, or local government authority has advised categories of citizens (e.g., of certain age ranges or of certain medical conditions) to shelter in place, stay at home, isolate, or quarantine, causing those categories of Employees to be unable to work even though their Employers have work for them.”  

Working From Home Guidance

Employees who telework their normal number of hours during a “shelter-in place” or “stay at home” order are not permitted to take paid sick leave. 


Additional Federal Government Supplemental Unemployment

Go to PIM Connect for a good summary as well as a loan calculator from LB Carlson.

Here are links from the Dept. of Treasury about how to apply for a loan under the CARES Act.

As a general matter, the Dept. of Treasury COVID-19/CARES Act links to loan information on their landing page.

SBA Disaster Loan Recovery Program

With the introduction of the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Recovery Program, there are many questions about what the loans do and do not entail. As more details have become clear, Todd Lesley of Bedford Financial crafted a short guide. This guide answers some of the most pressing questions about the Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

  1. No collateral is needed for loans $25,000 or less. Anything larger and the SBA will need to take business collateral. If there is no business collateral though, it’s not necessarily a deal killer. For example, a staffing company typically does not have collateral other than receivables.
  2. Repayment does not start for 12 months.
  3. Rate is 3.75% and terms are between 15 and 30 years.
  4. These are not grants, and the loans DO have to be paid back.
  5. Use of proceeds…fixed debt, payroll, payables, working capital, etc. Not to be used to refinance debt unless it’s another shorter term recovery loan. This is not an expansion loan or business acquisition loan.
  6. If you have a line of credit with a bank that is not being fully utilized you can still apply with SBA for this loan.
  7. You don’t need to provide tax returns on loans $500,000 or less. You will need to sign a form 4506 so that the SBA can get a copy of your most recently filed returns.
  8. They are getting help from FEMA to assist with the application process. The system is overloaded and your application, and while worth the wait, will take some time due to the overload of requests.
  9. It will help to show the economic injury you are suffering or are about to suffer. Historical tax returns would help your case. If you are a seasonal business be sure and show the impact this will have.

Apply Now.       SBA Guide.

PPP Loan Forgiveness

Due to all the questions regarding PPP loans, the US Chamber of Commerce released a Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness.

In addition, LB Carlson released information about PPP Loan Forgiveness.

Specifically, read the PPP FAQ and download the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application.

Small Business Owners’ Guide to the CARES Act

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that are available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA. Senate Guide to Cares Act for Small Business.

Unemployment Benefits

State Resources

Those eligible for unemployment benefits should apply through their state’s unemployment website immediately upon becoming eligible for compensation through the links below.

Iowa  |  Minnesota  |Nebraska  |  North Dakota  |  South Dakota

MN DEED Acknowledges Critical Work of Print

Clarification added March 27, 2020: Workers supporting printing operations that supply Critical Sectors are exempt; other printing workers are not exempted.

IRS Form 7200

Use Form 7200 to request an advance payment of employer credits due to COVID-19. Information and guidance about Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19

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Continue to model your cash position

  1. “Cash is king.” Do you think you have enough? If you come up short, reach out to your lending agency or bank to try and leverage your line of credit.
  2. First, examine your entire Profits and Losses to determine what is essential vs. non-essential. Then look at headcount; who are your top performers? Next, do whatever it takes to keep them, even if they aren’t productive right now. High performers are very difficult to recruit, so do whatever you can.
  3. Next, create redundancy plans for essential employees. Cross-train employees to perform essential functions so the workplace can operate even if key employees are absent. For more information, see Businesses and Employers: COVID-19.
  4. And, if after you leverage your line of credit you still don’t have enough, check out SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan:
    • Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million.
    • The interest rates for this disaster are 3.75 percent for small businesses with terms up to 30 years.
    • Eligibility for these working capital loans are based on the size (must be a small business) and type of business and its financial resources.
    • Loans may be used for:
      • Fixed debts
      • Payroll
      • Accounts payable
      • Other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.
      • The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion.
  5. PIM has more information on SBA loans at our PIM Connect site. Specifically, EIDL Loans provide low-interest loans. Additionally, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan encourages small businesses to maintain payrolls. More information is constantly being added.

6. Additionally, feel free to check out these resources provided by CliftonLarsonAllen. “These resources can help you lay out a strategy to put your organization on its toes versus its heels.”

7. CliftonLarsonAllen also provides a livestream series on Tuesdays and Thursdays to engage in the latest changes related to these uncertain times.

8. Navigate your financial options with CliftonLarsonAllen’s Decision Tree.

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Have you checked your insurance coverage?

As always, consult your lawyer and insurance broker at the same time to see how you are covered for pauses in business or employee topics. This is a complex issue spanning many forms of insurance, each potentially with its own definition of what triggers a reimbursable loss (e.g., what if you have to shut down based on exposure versus actual COVID-19 infections?)

In light of the ongoing developments related to coronavirus and its impact on Minnesota consumers, the Commerce Department shared a Consumer Alert on business interruption insurance and COVID-19.

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What actions will keep COVID-19 out?

Printers and manufacturers are going to great lengths to protect their workforce from infection.

First of all, businesses should stay flexible to work with varying levels of disease transmission. According to OSHA, most businesses and employees will fall under low to medium risk exposure levels. See OSHA’s Guidance for Employers for more information.

CDC Guidelines

Secondly, businesses should review the CDC Guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Remember, CDC offers Guidelines while OSHA and MNOSHA requirements are Mandatory.

CDC published potential workplace mitigation activities according to levels of community transmission.

These include:

  • Allow employees to stay home and notify workplace administrators when sick (workplaces should provide non-punitive sick leave options to allow staff to stay home when ill).
  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly. Provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space.
  • Increase ventilation rates if possible
  • Encourage or enforce employees to wear cloth face coverings such as fabric face masks, surgical masks or non-medical N95 masks (no valve).
  • Actively encourage personal protective measures among staff such as handwashing and proper sneezing etiquette.
  • Ensure hand hygiene supplies are readily available.
  • Implement telework for staff (when feasible), particularly individuals at increased risk of severe illness. (In Minnesota, if an an employee can telework, they MUST work remotely.)
  • Enforce social distancing measures:
    • Increase physical space between workers at the worksite.
    • Stagger work schedules
    • Limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.
  • Consider employee health checks prior to entering building.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. (See PIM Connect for Guidelines and Operating Procedure).

Good Ventilation

Maintain a Healthy Work Environment

There is now data to assume that COVID-19 can be transmitted through the air. That means that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.

Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air.

Consider improving the engineering controls using the building ventilation system. See OSHA’s “COVID-19 Guidance on Ventilation in the Workplace“. This may include some or all of the following activities:

  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space.
  • Increase outdoor air ventilation, using caution in highly polluted areas. With a lower occupancy level in the building, this increases the effective dilution ventilation per person.
  • Increase ventilation rates.
  • Disable demand-controlled ventilation (DCV).
  • Further open minimum outdoor air dampers (as high as 100%) to reduce or eliminate recirculation. In mild weather, this will not affect thermal comfort or humidity. However, this may be difficult to do in cold or hot weather.
  • Improve central air filtration to the MERV-13 or the highest compatible with the filter rack, and seal edges of the filter to limit bypass.
  • Check filters to ensure they are within service life and appropriately installed.
  • Keep systems running longer hours, 24/7 if possible, to enhance air exchanges in the building space.

What have other printers done?

Taking all of this into account, review the following practices businesses have taken:

  • All office teams work remotely (sales team, marketing teams and finance teams as well as back-office). When this isn’t possible, spread out remaining staff as far as possible and hold remote meetings – use remote tools even room-to-room.
  • People should keep 6 feet distance when they talk.
  • Rearrange production areas to accommodate working 6 feet from one another.  This may become the new normal. Any steps you take now to help prevent the spread of infection will most likely be good in the future too.
  • Temperature checks before entering the factory gate (use IR scanning thermometer that does not require touching skin or ear temperature with an alcohol swab in between). Note: there are legal implications for this (see MN Departement of Labor FAQ). According to CDC, a person who shows temperature above 100.4 degrees should not allowed to enter.
  • Enforce masks for everyone indoors.
  • All doors are left open or even removed when appropriate .
  • Increase ventilation rates and increase the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the system.
  • Ensure relative humidity remains between 40-60%. Studies indicate that relative humidity plays a role in controlling the spread of the corona virus.  The optimum range in a building is 40-60 % relative humidity.  With relative humidity in this range, less of the corona virus survives.
  • Buy all no-touch disposal receptacle or remove lids that require contact to open. (However, lids for hazardous waste and used rag cans should not be removed.)
  • Disinfect all touched surfaces between each shift.
  • Eliminate all routine shift hand-off meetings or limit them to just particular people or do them virtually.
  • If you can, move from 1 or 2 shifts to 3 shifts and keep each shift with the same people each day, then if one shift is sick the others are protected. This arrangement can also work by having one crew for part of the week and one crew for the other part of the week.  This may also accommodate shifting child care schedules.
  • Stagger shift start/stop times, break times, and lunchtimes to minimize congregations at the time clocks or break areas.
  • Zone the factory and prohibit employees from wandering into zones where they do not need to be to perform their jobs.
  • Isolate key personnel without whom the factory cannot operate (e.g., boiler operators, wastewater treatment engineers, lead electricians, maintenance, etc.) to prevent them from getting ill.
  • Shutdown the plant when production is not needed (even if you ramp on and off on a daily basis).
  • Every bit of time not spent around other people may eliminate the spread of the virus.

Note: Some of the above recommendations are based on the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Review these ASHRAE guidelines for further information on ventilation recommendations.


In addition, you can print informational posters and hang these in your plant for your employees.

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Do you have OSHA, HR or safety concerns related to coronavirus?

Employers must provide “employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm”.

MN Dept. of Labor Workers’ Compensation COVID-19 Updates

Visit the Minnesota Department of Labor website for the most recent information about Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) changes, cancellations and resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The August 2020 COMPACT Newsletter compiled COVID-19 updates and changes related to workers’ compensation and OSHA recordkeeping. This is a good resource for anyone with workers’ compensation or recordkeeping responsibilities.

Worker Protections related to COVID-19

Minnesota published a 5 page information sheet to show employees what their rights and protections are. This is available in 5 different languages.

Hierarchy of Controls

Since COVID-19 may be spread by those with no symptoms, businesses and employers should evaluate and institute controls according to the hierarchy of controls to protect their employees and members of the general public.

OSHA requires a framework called the Hierarchy of Controls to restrict hazards in a workplace. The first thing to remember is the best way to control a hazard is to systematically remove it from the workplace. In other words, do not rely on workers to reduce their exposure. During a COVID-19 outbreak, when it may not be possible to eliminate the hazard, the most effective protection measures are (listed from most effective to least effective):

  • Engineering controls,
    • Increase ventilation
  • Administrative controls,
    • Telework, working from home
    • Stay home when sick
  • Safe work practices (a type of administrative control),
    • Social distancing – 6 feet apart
  • and PPE as a last resort.

What should you do if an employee is ill with symptoms of COVID-19?

Sick Workers

People with a fever ≥100.4oF, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache or muscle aches could have COVID-19.

The ill person should stay at home and, if possible, have their own room and bathroom to reduce risk to household members. They need to stay isolated at home until their symptoms have resolved and all three of these conditions are met:

  1. Symptoms have improved (this can take up to 14 days) AND,
  2. At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND,
  3. At least three days have passed since fever has gone (without use of fever reducing medications).


Co-workers can report to work as long as they are symptom-free. They will have to carefully follow the health and safety guidelines you have developed for the facility, which should include:

  • Social distancing. For example, staggering start times, break and lunch times, and careful attention to spacing workers six feet apart.
  • Using personal protective equipment appropriate for the job. This could include washable coveralls, boots, latex or leather gloves, and masks (not medical masks used and needed in health care).
  • Washing hands often.
  • Avoiding touching their face, nose, mouth, or eyes.
  • Covering their coughs and sneezes.
  • Monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, other symptoms as listed above). Workers should stop work and self-isolate if they develop symptoms.

Household or Intimate Contacts

Household or intimate contacts are considered at higher risk of developing COVID-19. If a household or intimate contact of a worker develops a COVID-like illness, the worker should stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

In general, co-workers of someone with COVID-19 can continue to work if they do not have symptoms, but they should watch for symptoms and stay home if they develop symptoms. A worker must understand that even with the mildest symptoms, he or she must stay home and there will be no consequences for their job. Employees should seek medical care if their symptoms worsen and they feel it’s necessary. Advise them to call their doctor or clinic before they visit.

Is COVID-19 Recordable?

It depends. OSHA released guidance in 2020. It can be recordable if:

  • There is a COVID-19 positive test.
  • The employee was potentially exposed to COVID-19 at work.
  • Lost work time due to COVID-19.

If you have questions regarding OSHA 300 recordable cases, feel free to contact either Paul Gutkowski at 612-400-6205 or Cathy Malinowski at 612-868-6771.

Inventory PPE

Also, inventory your the PPE you use at your facility. If you have surplus, please consider donating to healthcare workers at the front line of this pandemic. The CDC provides a PPE Burn Rate Calculator that you could use.

Where to volunteer, donate medical supplies in MN

You may be able to help

The Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Minnesota Department of Health, is asking that offers for help be funneled to these two places during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For MN Department of Labor and Industry updates related to COVID-19, visit

Medical Alley Association

The Medical Alley Association supports the needs of the medical community by pairing high-need services and products to those who need those services and products. Therefore, if your company is interested in connecting with the the medical community, COMPLETE THIS ONLINE FORM. Then, Medical Alley staff will review and work to match those in need with your capabilities.

PIM Resources

Do you have questions regarding EHS or COVID-19? First of all, contact either Paul Gutkowski (612-400-6205) or Cathy Malinowski (612-868-6771) with any Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) questions including how COVID-19 may affect the safety of your business.

REmember to check OSHA related resources including OSHA COVID-19 guidance and employee posters in English and Spanish on PIM Connect.

Adriane Harrison from PIA talks about Human Resources updates and guidance during COVID-19.

Gary Jones from SGIA talks about COVID-19 safety topics.

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Have you disinfected areas of your plant?

To reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, businesses are asked to clean and disinfect high touch surfaces including tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets etc.

CDC Recommended Disinfection

  1. An EPA-registered household disinfectant.
  2. A diluted bleach solution or
  3. Clean with a solution of at least 70% alcohol.  

Employees should follow the cleaning chemical instructions to ensure safe and effective use of the product. 

  • While cleaning, employees should wear gloves if available.
    • Ensure your employees are trained in safe glove usage. 
    • Show this video (Youtube link) to your employees so they understand how to safety remove contaminated gloves. 
  • Always wash your hands after removing gloves.  

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Have you communicated with your customers?

This is an unprecedented and uncertain time for businesses, customers and the general population. It is also a very good time to communicate what sets you apart. During the last downturn, businesses who communicated well with their customers fared better than those who stopped communicating. Be there for your customers to ensure they will be loyal to you when things turn around.

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Are you constantly communicating with your employees?

Some people are very worried, others are in denial

Now is the time to communicate regularly and often with employees. Employees will appreciate the information and support.  Especially in this time of great uncertainty, communication just became significantly more important.

Employees are your greatest resource.

What are you doing to provide accommodations for and comfort to those who are at risk, or those who are fearful of being at risk? What communications are you sending? Can you increase the distance your employees need to be near each other? Are you able to make some exceptions for those who may be at risk?

Provide a personal touch to help calm your employees. Also show you respect their efforts and dedication by:

  • Being there.
  • Talk openly about future plans.
  • Reduce closed door meetings.
  • Communicate to staff every day.
  • Make sure employees know you understand their concerns even if all you can do is listen.
  • Ensure managers understand the emotional state of their direct reports.

Stop the rumors

There are some crazy rumors out there. Undoubtedly, clear and continual communication stops the misinformation in its tracks. The WHO provides a website that debunks some common myths and misinformation regarding coronavirus.

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Continue Promoting “Print Is Essential”

75% = Average percent of print jobs/production serving essential supply chains.

PIM sent #Print Is Essential letters to the Governors of Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South and North Dakota. To keep up the pressure, we need to make our essential role clear to officials throughout your region. Please download your state’s letter from the links below and send it to your representatives. In addition, remember to include a message of how and why our industry must remain open to continue to serve our community.

Letters to Governors: 

Iowa Minnesota Nebraska North Dakota South Dakota

Find your state and Local Representatives

Social Media Promotions:

List of the Governor’s usernames, click here

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The need for cybersecurity will never go away. In fact, with an increase in telework, cybersecurity issues should be evaluated. Phishing schemes that take advantage of panic-stricken employees increase during times of emergency. It never hurts to reinforce the need to respond appropriately to strange emails. 

WHO offers a good reference on cybersecurity.

Forbes also released an article warning against internet scams.

In addition, ensure your video conferencing is secure.

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Are we all overreacting?

In case you’re thinking that “social distancing” sounds ridiculous, check out this simulation that illustrates the goal of these restrictions. This shows very starkly why our political leaders are instituting seemingly drastic measures. They are following sound scientific advice.  If you want to see everything about this disease including symptoms, spread rate, comparison to the flu, and so much more, here is the article for you.

What about the future?

If you want to dig deeper and speculate on the future outcomes, McKinsey’s model is a frequently updated resource.  McKinsey models different outcomes based on the rate of spread and public-health/interventions that counties do. 

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Will you look for the opportunities in the midst of these uncertain times?

Printing and manufacturing provides the backbone to the US economy. Therefore, we will reach the other side of this pandemic stronger, smarter and more resilient. Where will your business be?

New Normal?

Just as airline travel changed forever after 911, so too manufacturing and the printing industry will never be the same after this pandemic recedes. Will there be ever more mechanization and will robotics help with repetitive tasks? Do you wonder if production floors will need to be designed with social distancing in mind? Will home and remote workplaces continue? Those businesses that take the opportunity to think beyond today and be completely prepared for tomorrow will be able to take advantage of the increase in business on the other side.

We Can be Stronger Than Before

Do you have the strategic vision to aspire to the opportunity that may be beyond your reach today? Perhaps today is too soon to think about that. However, when the day to day crisis management becomes overwhelming, perhaps thinking about the future might be beneficial.

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PIM State Resources

Official COVID-19 information and resources by state.

North Dakota
South Dakota

PIM Resources

PIM maintains resource pages with links to information, education and useful downloads to help you and your staff during this emergency.

Due to the fast-changing dynamics of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Printing Industry Midwest (PIM) created a folder on our PIM CONNECT system. Add PIM Connect as another valuable resource to keep you informed and offer templates to support your related communications. Consequently, member printers can stay on top of their situation. In the COVID-19 folder, you’ll find:

  • Action Steps
  • Letter to Clients
  • Memo to Employees
  • Note to Suppliers
  • Links
  • COVID-19 Webinar

PIM Connect Youtube Tutorial

National Print COVID-19 Resource Channel

SGIA, NAPCO Media, and Printing Industries of America (PIA), and its affiliates joined forces to launch a powerful resource channel. dedicated to providing the printing and graphic communications industry with up-to-the-minute news and resources on COVID-19 and how to navigate the latest information about the pandemic. The COVID-19 Resource Channel is now live. 

Content on the COVID-19 Resource Channel will be provided daily by industry leaders in subject areas, as follows:

  • State and Local Legislative Updates: Marci Kinter, Vice President, Government Affairs, SGIA
  • National Legislative Updates: Lisbeth Lyons, Vice President, Government & External Affairs, PIA
  • Safety Updates: Gary Jones, Director, Environmental, Health and Safety Affairs, SGIA
  • Economic Impact on the Printing Industry: Andy Paparozzi, Chief Economist, SGIA
  • Human Resource Updates/Guidance: Adriane Harrison, Vice President of Human Relations, PIA

COVID-19 Updates from MPMA

Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association provides many good resources including great webinars.

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What if my state issues a Shelter-in-Place order?

Does Shelter in Place = Quarantine?

Shelter in Place orders were issued by some governors early in the pandemic.

There was a lot of confusion over whether a governor’s executive order to “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” qualifies as a quarantine or isolation to make employees eligible for paid sick pay for purposes of the FFCRA.  The expanded medical leave was allowed to expire on December 31, 2020.

Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021

Additionally, the CAA 2021, extended employer tax credits for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave voluntarily provided to employees until March 31, 2021. However, employers are not required to provide this leave.  

Is your business Essential?


Thanks to the tireless advocacy efforts from Printing Industries of America. On April 17, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) officially listed printers and packagers as the nation’s essential critical infrastructure workforce.

The Department of Homeland Security’s CISA defines Printing as an “essential business”. However, this guidance does not replace local and state stay at home orders. Because of this, please continue to advertise #Print is Essential.

Essential Services
Click for full size image
  • The MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has launched a Critical Service website. Printing & Related Services NAICS number = 3231.


For Businesses During Shelter in Place

    • First, send a letter to your clients informing them of your essential status. (Available to PIM Members on PIM Connect)

    • Second, send a similar letter to your employees informing them of your essential status and include a note for their personal use.  (Available to Members on PIM Connect)

    • Furthermore, review more links on PIM Connect Site.(contact for login help)

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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. The CDC answers frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19.  Download this as a printable PDF document from the MN Department of Health: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (PDF)