December 17, 2020

New COVID-19 Operating Guidance with Latest Ventilation Best Practices Now Available

Washington, D.C. – The National Restaurant Association and ServSafe® this week released an updated version of its COVID-19 Operating Guidance incorporating new information, including the latest ventilation best practices from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

Key updates include:

  • New protocols for maintenance of HVAC and air-circulation systems.
  • Information on portable air cleaners—also known as air purifiers—that could be helpful when operations can’t ventilate with outdoor air without compromising indoor comfort, or when air pollution is high.
  • The proper PPE to wear when changing air filters
  • Food safety best practices for (employee-served) cafeteria-style foodservice.
  • Additional information on addressing employee personal hygiene and health, such as what to do in the event an employee is exposed to COVID-19 or they test positive.

“The scientific community continues to study indoor air circulation as it relates to aerosol transmission of the virus, and this update reflects the latest information operators need to evaluate their indoor spaces,” said Larry Lynch, senior vice president of Science and Industry for the Association. “While we continue to learn new things about the virus and how its transmitted, our work with ASHRAE, the EPA, and OSHA, provided great insight for this new series of recommendations that restaurant operators can use to maintain good restaurant ventilation.”

This is the fourth version of the COVID-19 Operating Guidance since it was released by the Association and ServSafe in April. In addition, ServSafe has created free training videos to provide hands-on educate for restaurant and foodservice workers on how to deliver safe dining experiences for their guests, while also keeping themselves safe. The videos cover topics like conflict de-escalation, safe reopening, takeout and delivery. Since their release, the videos have been accessed more than 1.8 million times. 

Download the latest COVID-19 Operating Guidance here.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.5 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.