The Roundup -

Richland County Health Department Urging Businesses to Revisit their Internal Policies


Richland County – June 10 - The Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Richland County JSEC (Job Service Employees’ Committee) teamed up with members of the Richland County Health Department to hold a Zoom videoconference.

The teleconference focused on answering questions posed to health department staff by local business owners regarding reopening after the Coronavirus shutdown and on revisiting internal policies.

Stephanie Ler, Richland County Public Information Officer, answered questions pertaining to the frequency required of cleaning public bathrooms, wearing masks, and wearing gloves. Ler recommended cleaning bathrooms and commonly touched areas every hour and using masks when you cannot social distance. Ler stated, “Gloves are single use. Use them 1 time only.” She then reiterated the importance of frequent hand washing, especially if a person is dealing with money.

If your business is having trouble accessing hand sanitizer, contact Stephanie Ler at 406-433-2207.

Revisit Internal Policies

Northeast Montana Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Director and Logistics Coordinator, Jessica Gilbert, urged businesses to revisit their internal policies. She recommended businesses look at some of the following areas:

1) Work from home policy – “If you do not have one, maybe take a look at implementing one.”

2) What items will your employees need to have to work from home – tools, computers, etc.

3) Communication policy - How will you communicate with your staff and clients? Do you have a call tree in place?

4) Sick Leave – Is your sick leave policy broad enough or is it too strict?

5) Cleaning policy – Revisit this

6) Trigger Points – What triggers your business to activate a policy?

7) Extended Family Leave – Do you have an extended leave policy for employees who have to stay home with family? Example: When schools closed, kids were required to stay home, and some parents had to stay home with them.

8) Do you know how to access different agencies that can help you find the information or resources your business may need? Examples: Health departments, disaster relief agencies or law enforcement agencies. Do you have their contact information?

9) Emergency Plan – “It’s really important to have an emergency plan in place.”

Gilbert stated, “We recommend an Incident Command Structure. It is a FEMA structure. This allows you to implement that framework within your organization. It helps you identify resources and how to interact with them.” Classes are available online through or

If you have suggestions for future programs, please contact the JSEC at 406-433-1204.


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