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The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic and a national emergency. Part of minimizing your exposure to this disease is to keep your property disinfected. Learn how Certified Indoor Environmental’s disinfecting service is the most effective method and how it is also safe and affordable. Click here to see what we are doing to keep you and our team safe when visiting your property.
Creative solutions COVID-19
Please check out our resource guidance below to help with:
- Unit turnovers
- Reducing COVID-19 exposure for your staff
- Tips for managing maintenance requests
- Best ways to clean and disinfect communal areas
Disinfecting is a critical component to reopening your property. Learn how Certified can help based on information from the CDC, Governor Kate Brown, and other local experts in our local community. Reopening Guidance
- Covid-19 spreads through droplets, but many may not realize that coughing or sneezing can spread a cloud of mist up to 19-26 feet. Therefore, it is important to stay a minimum of six feet away from others.
- Washing your hands frequently with soap is very important. This is a virus not a bacteria, so hand soap is fine (see hand washing video); do not need anti-bacterial soap.
- Viruses are not alive, so kill claims do not make sense. Viruses have a membrane (like a soap bubble). We want to breakdown the membrane and deactivate the virus (soap and alcohol-based products are effective).
You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within 3 feet of a person who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
May persist on surfaces for a few hours up to several days. (some sources say 45 days)
OSHA has no specific standard covering COVID-19, however here are OSHA requirements that may apply to COVID-19:
- OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards (in general industry, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I), which require using gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection.
- Employers must implement a comprehensive respiratory protection program to prevent occupational exposure and OSHA has issued temporary guidance related to enforcement of respirator annual fit-testing requirements for healthcare.
- Employers are also required to furnish to each worker “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.”
- The General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1)of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, 29 USC 654(a)(1), which requires employers to furnish to each worker “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.”
- Employers must also protect their workers from exposure to hazardous chemicals used for cleaning and disinfection. Employers should be aware that common sanitizers and sterilizers could contain hazardous chemicals. Where workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals, employers must comply with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard.
Safety first, but not everyone has PPE to be completely safe. See list below and watch video for guidance on how to properly wear PPE for airborne contaminants.
- Tyvek coverall with built in shoe covers & hoodie
- N-95 or P-95 full face mask respirator (preferred)
- N-95 respirator mask
- Safety googles (if full face mask isn’t available)
- Latex or nitrile gloves & tape
- PVC coated long cuff gloves (to be worn over latex/nitrile gloves)
In-person unit showings are highly discouraged, but if you must show a unit to a potential resident then here is some safety guidance.
Safety Checklist for Safely Showing Units | COVID-19
- Do NOT tour the unit if you feel ill in any way.
- Turn on lights & open doors to bedrooms and closets to help avoid spreading germs.
- Sanitize in between showings whenever possible.
- Remove shoes outside of the unit.
- Wear protective gloves or masks if possible.
- Please sanitize your hands before entering and after.
- Please refrain from touching surfaces. Please do not open refrigerators or kitchen cabinets, please do not touch kitchen counter-tops.
- Do not touch cabinet or door handles whenever possible.
- RESTROOM POLICY: Please do NOT use the restroom(s) in the unit.
- No more than two people at a time. Please continue to practice social distancing while inside the unit.
- Please limit time in the unit to less than 20 minutes.
More helpful virtual tour tips from MultiFamilyNW blog
BEST TIP: Ease apprehensions by hiring a 3rd party disinfecting service for new residents prior to move in date.
According to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Covid-19 can last on…
- glass for 4 days
- plastic and stainless steel for three days
- cardboard for 24 hours
- copper for 4 hours
Please use our high touch cleaning checklists to help with cleaning surfaces on your properties. EPA-approved cleaning products can be found on the CDC Website.
Common Laundry Facilities
- Stop in frequently during the day to clean/sanitize high contact areas often and ensure machines are in working order.
- Speed up preventive maintenance procedures HVAC filters and dryer vents.
Consider limits: Occupancy (1 person at a time) and open hours (to allow time to effectively clean/sanitize)
Due to the large number of transmission surfaces, it may be best to suspend operation until further notice.
Consider other options for your residents such as a “fitness trail” with signs to encourage motion and exercise. How about hiring a virtual instructor for yoga or other virtual classes?
Per the CDC, “We do NOT have evidence that companion animals, including pets can spread COVID-19.”
- Very important with people home to be extra diligent in cleaning walkways, outdoor handrails, empty trash bins, and maintain landscaping.
- Paths needed for walking animals. Keep clean.
- Be clear about service guidelines. Here are some key messages:
- Keep a 6-foot distance from staff and other residents.
- Keep a 6-foot distance when maintenance staff. enters your apartment.
- Go into a separate bedroom or living area away from where work will be performed.
- Maintenance staff can leave a note or call tenant to resolve or review maintenance concerns.
- Tenant to call in service requests. Do NOT visit office.
- Leave detailed information as to the location and nature of the maintenance issue.
2. Be proactive in determining what potential problems can come during this crisis.
- Ex: Shortage of toilet paper causing plumbing issues…don’t flush policy results in additional bills. (See example below)
- Ex: Many people cooking, showering, staying in the home and lack of ventilation can cause mold issues.
Flush Policy Example:
Due to an increased demand and subsequent shortage of toilet paper as a result of COVID-19, _______________________ is asking that you please only flush regular toilet paper intended for bathroom use and refrain from using any of the items listed below.
The following products are NOT flushable and must be disposed of in a waste basket:
- flushable wipes
- paper towels
- gauze pads
- feminine hygiene products
Flushing these non-toilet paper items will cause clogs, backups, sewer line pipe breakages, and in severe cases it can even force raw sewage back into the apartment home through the bottom of toilets or up through the tub. Please keep in mind that even though a product is labeled as “flushable”, it can still cause catastrophic issues with the properties sewer system. Our service team is currently only responding to maintenance emergencies and in the event a plumber is called and one of the aforementioned products is found inside of the toilets P-trap or flange, you will be charged for the services rendered. Avoiding these problems at the community will allow our maintenance department to focus on their jobs of keeping our facility up and running.
Properly addressing this issue requires each of us to be extra mindful, especially in the days and weeks ahead, but also beyond the containment of COVID-19. _________________________ ask that you pay close attention to what is being used in your home, and make sure you are only flushing toilet paper and properly disposing of all other materials.
We sincerely appreciate your cooperation in the matter and please feel free to reach out to a member of the office staff with any additional questions and/or concerns.
Instead of letting maintenance requests pile up waiting for Covid-19 to go away, why not give your tenants virtual tools to make repairs or temporary fixes for now. Here are a few tips and ideas to consider:
- Send a video showing how to plunge a toilet or unclog the garbage disposal. Search Youtube* for a video you like or create one yourself.
- Face-time where possible to see what the issue is and talk the tenant through options how to correct. Hopefully this allow your team to prioritize what can wait and what requires immediate repairs.
- What if your tenant needs an actual tool to fix something? Can you wipe the tool down with alcohol or disinfectant and leave at the tenants door and pick up later?
- Can you offset the tenant time with a rent decrease proportional to their efforts?
- Consider if your typical upkeep on your property makes sense and if not think of solutions to ensure your residents are safe.
When a request is urgent and must be taken care of immediately, ensure your maintenance managers have the proper PPE to keep them safe. If the tenant has any of the COVID-19 symptoms (fever, trouble breathing, cough) it is imperative to protect your team and enforce full PPE wear before entering the unit. If PPE is unavailable, hire an outside contractor that can comply with full safety to come in and help with the maintenance problem.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.