April 20, 2020

Essential Home Services During the Times of the COVID-19

These are strange times. As COVID-19 continues to sweep the nation, cities throughout the country are doing their part to “flatten the curve.” States like California and New York have imposed strict lockdowns, while Atlanta has released its own set of guidelines.  These guidelines define many Home Services as essential and therefore these businesses will continue to operate, albeit with more care.

According to guidance released by the Mayor’s office on March 23, 2020, all individuals living within the city should shelter in place at their residence and limit person-to-person contact – except to “receive essential business and government  services.” 

Here’s what you need to know about the Atlanta Mayor’s March 23, 2020 order, as it pertains to Home Services.

What’s in the Governor’s Order?

The Governor’s order is extensive, and it covers many bases. One of the most salient portions, though, is this:

“The intent of this order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. When people need to leave their places of residence, whether to obtain or perform vital services,e or to otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times and as reasonably as possible comply with social distancing.”

The order also sets forth requirements for all businesses within the territorial jurisdiction of  Atlanta (except essential businesses), which must cease activity immediately. Additionally, the order prohibits all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit, except for certain “essential purposes.”

The order states that “plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residencies” are Essential businesses.”

The order continues to recommend that business operate with care.  

Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations From the CDC

Scientists are still hurrying to study the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for causing COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created guidelines for cleaning and disinfection in both home and commercial settings. These guidelines apply when suspected or confirmed ill people have entered the vicinity. 

When it comes to how exactly to clean and disinfect, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Hard surfaces. First, clean any obviously dirty surface with soap and water. From there, use an EPA-registered household disinfectant to sanitize the surface. 
  • Soft surfaces. Launder surfaces that can go into a washing machine in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, use EPA-approved products against the virus. Here’s a list of approved cleaning products
  • Electronics. Remove visible contamination first, then use alcohol-based wipes to sanitize surfaces. 

Finally, the CDC recommends that cleaning staff wear PPE (personal protective equipment) for all tasks related to the cleaning process. Specifically, they state:

The risk of exposure to cleaning staff is inherently low. Cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.

  • Gloves and gowns should be compatible with the disinfectant products.
  • Additional PPE might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
  • Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Be sure to clean hands after removing gloves.
  • If gowns are not available, coveralls, aprons or work uniforms can be worn during cleaning and disinfecting. Reuseable (washable) clothing should be laundered afterwards. Clean hands after handling dirty laundry.

Interaction Guidelines for Businesses and Employers

In Atlanta and beyond, state and local governments are working hard to keep everyone safe. In addition to following CDC guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has also released guidelines on interaction for businesses and employers.

Specifically, DPH recommends that companies use teleworking as much as possible, cancel all non-essential travel, and stagger work schedules. Additional guidelines are available in full on this page

Staying Safe in Uncertain Times

These are strange times, and the country is, collectively, working to contain the spread of this virus. By following guidance issued by both state and local governments, we in Atlanta can do our part, as well 

Jonny On It is still sending out service techs to homes and businesses throughout Atlanta. If you haven’t already, download the app to book your service pros now!

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