Pro Tips: What You Need to Know About Coronavirus (COVID-19) March 04,2020

by Allison Dodd, Partner, Messner Reeves; Michelle Harden, Partner, Messner Reeves; John Shunk, Partner, Messner Reeves; and Roslyn Stone, Founder, Zedic

UPDATED 3/9/20

Messner Reeves, a law firm that is part of our Legal Resource Center, has provided us with a cheat sheet of guidance about the novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, as it relates to the restaurant industry. If you have specific legal questions, please reach out to us at 303-830-2972 or, and we will connect you with Messner Reeves.

Real-time updates:


  • Person-to-person
    • People in close contact (about 6 feet or less)
    • Respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes
    • Possibly fecal-oral similar to Norovirus transmission
  • Contact with infected surfaces or objects
    • Not currently believed to be transmitted via food or water
    • People are thought to be most contagious when they exhibit symptoms


    • Fever, cough and difficulty breathing
    • Symptoms may resemble a normal cold or flu, but can progress to include a high fever, difficulty breathing and lung lesions
    • Incubation period can range from 2-14 days, although for some it has been longer

    • Avoid contact with people who are sick
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects
    • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

    employees on CDC Travel Advisories

    Recommendations for Restaurant
        • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer for employees and customers
        • Increase sanitation on touch points within restaurant
        • Develop an employee illness procedure
          • Ensure employees are not working while sick
          • Create a reporting mechanism where employees report symptoms
          • Have manager on duty perform general wellness check for each employee before the start of any shift
          • Ask whether they have any general illness symptoms such as:
            • Fever, cough, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
            • Ask whether they are caring for anyone who has any symptoms
          • Exclude employees who report any symptoms or are caring for someone with symptoms
          • Encourage employees to report symptoms from home (do not come to work and get sent home)
          • Seek legal advice if you're considering quarantining employees returning from travel in high risk areas

          About Messner Reeves LLP

          Messner Reeves is a full-service business law firm with over 110 attorneys across nine offices in California, Colorado, Nevada, New York and Utah. Our firm has extensive experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry, we understand that a successful restaurant not only requires excellent food and service but also requires strict intellectual property protections, a functional corporate structure, savvy lease or real property purchase negotiations, timely obtaining permits (including liquor licensing) and proper employment procedures. In addition, we counsel our restaurant and hospitality clients on financing issues they might face.

          Whether a corner hotdog stand, a locally loved chain, or an international brand, we can help!

          About Zedic

          Zedic connects restaurateurs and hoteliers directly with our medical pros 24/7 so you can get immediate answers to every business health question you face. Zedic puts a team of public health, food safety, and medical professionals right in your pocket, for whenever you have questions, concerns, or just need advice through an innovative app based tool. Zedic offers public health alerts, a library of simple documents & guides that anyone can understand, and a live chat service, that lets restaurateurs chat with our medical professionals at a moment’s notice.

          Zedic is backed by Zero Hour Health, an industry leader in the foodservice and hospitality health industry. With more than 25 years’ experience, Zero Hour Health is trusted by some of the biggest names in the businesses.

          Learn more at

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