Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) is closely monitoring COVID-19 and is committed to providing our members with critical information as the impact of COVID-19 continues to increase. Here you will find important resources you can utilize to ensure your organization is taking the appropriate precautions to mitigate threats.
For updates on all current reported cases of COVID-19, click here. Access the CDC's recommendations for environmental cleaning and disinfection here.
BSCs are recognized in the Wall Street Journal
At the Mall Under Coronavirus: A Few Customers and Throngs of Cleaners
Maintenance firms keep facilities disinfected even after almost everyone else has cleared out
Read the full article
BSCAI Town Hall for Contractors
Date: Thursday, March 11
Time: 2:00 p.m. CT
Speaker: BSCAI President, Eric Luke and President-Elect, Nathalie Doobin
Join BSCAI's President, Eric Luke and President-Elect, Nathalie Doobin as they help lead a discussion around COVID-19 for BSCs. During this Town Hall you will be able to join an online discussion, with fellow BSCs, talking about their experience with COVID-19 response.
You will also be able to:
- Connect with BSCs on labor issues
- How peers are reacting to customer demands
- What BSCs are experiencing with supplies
- And ask questions of the group
Past Webinar Recordings
Watch All Recordings
Tips on Creating a Cleaning and Disinfecting Scope of Work for Non-Healthcare Facilities
The role of Building Service Contractors is at an all-time high. Whereas our professional efforts have always played a crucial part in creating and maintaining safe and healthy work environments, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight of the importance of professionals that provide cleaning and disinfecting services to businesses, healthcare facilities, schools and all environments where people study, work, care for others, and generally spend extended periods of time.
BSCAI is proud to provide this quick reference resource to help you and your firm communicate, plan and deliver the services your customers need with a heightened awareness like never before.
Download the Guide
Show Your Pride
The work you do is very important and necessary to keeping our buildings and communities safe. Cleaning is truly an essential part to the solution. Show your pride by updating your Facebook profile picture or using this custom Zoom background for your meetings.
How to Use the Facebook Profile Frame
- Click here
- Search "Clean is Essential"
- Choose the BSCAI frame
- Click "use as profile picture"
A State-by-State Guide to COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution (Updated 2/24/21)
Stay up to date on vaccine distribution by checking out a state-by-state guide from the CCA. Come back each week to ensure you have the most up to date information.
COVID-19 and Vaccines: Can You Mandate That Employees Get Them?
Late last year, the first batches of COVID-19 vaccines became available in the U.S. While those being inoculated now are doctors, nurses and other frontline workers, in the coming weeks and months the vaccine will be available to all members of the public.
This has many employers wondering: Can I mandate my employees take a vaccine before returning back to work? And, if they refuse, what kind of rights do I have?
We sat down with Claudia St. John, President and CEO of Affinity HR Inc., to discuss what employers need to know when it comes to vaccinating employees and why they should start planning for it now. Read more on Contractor Connections.
COVID-19 Guidelines for Workplace Safety and Health
Click here to view OSHA's most up-to-date resources for COVID-19 guidance and regulations.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Resources
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued the First Interim Rule regarding revisions to PPP following the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act into law. The interim rule provides initial guidance to borrowers on the program’s changes per the new law.
Notably, the interim rule clarifies that small businesses can qualify for partial loan forgiveness even if 60% of the PPP loan wasn't directed toward loan forgiveness. Instead, 60% of the amount eventually forgiven should go toward payroll.
An example from the SBA to illustrate this clarification:
"If a borrower receives a $100,000 PPP loan, and during the covered period the borrower spends $54,000 (or 54 percent) of its loan on payroll costs, then because the borrower used less than 60 percent of its loan on payroll costs, the maximum amount of loan forgiveness the borrower may receive is $90,000."
Second, SBA issued additional new guidance along with a revised borrower application form. Specifically, the new guidance expands PPP eligibility for businesses with owners who have past felony convictions.
SBA says it will issue additional guidance regarding loan forgiveness and a revised forgiveness application to implement the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act in the near future.
Cleaning Coalition of America (CCA)
BSCAI Joins Cleaning Coalition of America to Advocate for Essential Sector
BSCAI announced their involvement in the newly formed Cleaning Coalition of America (CCA). This partnership stems from BSCAI’s commitment to supporting BSC’s through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Read the full press release.
> CCA is tracking state-level issues in response to COVID-19. Click here to read the latest. (Updated 6/5/20)
Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit
Act now to help ensure businesses are properly cleaned and disinfected to help prevent further spread of COVID-19.
The Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit would incentivize businesses to properly clean and disinfect their facilities as "stay-at-home" restrictions are lifted, as well as help prevent further infections.
> Learn more about the proposed legislation.
> Read a recent article regarding this tax credit from Facility Executive magazine
Please take a moment to contact your federal elected officials to request their support for the Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit as part of the next economic stimulus bill.
This jointly developed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home. This plan is part of the larger United States Government plan and focuses on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and can also be applied to your home.
HR resources for re-entry, provided by Affinity HR Group
OSHA has issued a reversal of previous policy regarding an employer’s obligation to record work-related cases of COVID-19 on OSHA injury and illness logs. The new requirements went into effect Tuesday, May 26.
The new guidance places additional obligations on most employers (this applies only to employers currently subject to OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements) to conduct an investigation and to make a reasonable determination as to whether the illness was transmitted on the job.
According to this guidance, employers who are subject to OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements must record a case of COVID-19 as job-related if:
- It is a confirmed case of the virus (a positive test),
- It is “work-related” in that an event or exposure in the work environment either contributed to or caused an employee to contract the virus, and
- It results in death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer, or medical treatment beyond first aid.
Read the full enforcement guidance.
Read recent articles released by Littler, a legal consulting firm focused on labor and employment law.
> The Next Normal: A Littler Insight on Returning to Work – Safety and Health
> OSHA Issues COVID-19 Interim Enforcement Response Plan
> OSHA Offers Relief to Employers for Their Non-Coronavirus-Related Obligations
> Masks and Face Coverings: What Employers Need to Know
> OSHA Sheds Light on COVID-19 Recording Requirements
Main Street Lending Program
The Federal Reserve has announced that it is establishing a Main Street Lending Program to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program will operate through three facilities: the Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF), the Main Street Priority Loan Facility (MSPLF), and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF).
> Read BSCAI's summary of the Program
As of June 8, the Federal Reserve Board expanded its Main Street Lending Program to allow more small and medium-sized businesses to be able to receive support and to provide businesses with greater flexibility in repaying the loans. View the changes.
U.S. Department of Labor Issues Enforcement Guidance For Recording Cases of COVID-19
> Read the full news release and guidelines
> Read the BSCAI news brief
> Visit the OSHA COVID-19 webpage
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires employers covered by this Act (those with fewer than 500 employees) post this notice of employee rights under the act. Companies can either post this where they would post federal wage and hour posters, or send to employees via electronic copy.
Download the poster
Families First Act Important Information
Families First Coronavirus Response Act webinar recording
Workplace Impacts of Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Request for Emergency Paid Leave
Click here to download a paid leave request form you can distribute to your employees for their use. Form provided by Affinity HR Group.
Coronavirus Aid Relief Economic Security (CARES) Act
The CARES Act tasks the Small Business Administration (SBA) with overseeing the distribution of millions of dollars in loans and grants to help small businesses survive the pandemic. It also provides additional funding for SBA’s Resource Partners to provide advice and training to help small businesses respond to the unprecedented challenges in communities throughout the country.
Below are resources to provide information and help understanding the act. For specific information and actions, we recommend you contact your bank or financial institution.
CARES Flow Chart
An Overview of the CARES Act webinar recording
Coronavirus Aid Relief Economic Security (CARES) Act breifing
Critical Federal Resources for Keeping Up with Coronavirus Updates
> Global Resources
> Domestic Resources
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan City. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States.
> Pesticide Registration
> What is the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.
How it Spreads
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggest that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.
Read the full CDC guidance on how Coronavirus is spreading.
Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including 2019-nCoV.
- Facemask should be used by people who show symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus, in order to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Information gathered from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.
Essential Workforce Guide
What Is An “Essential” Business?
Which businesses are “essential” is being determined at the state and local level. But most states and localities are turning to the essential critical infrastructure guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for guidance.
BSCAI Statement on “Essential” Businesses and State-Specific Stay Home Orders (3/20/2020)
BSCAI "Essential" Workforce Guide
The U.S Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency released the Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 on March 19. It is important to note that this document is guidance for state and local governments and is non-binding. However, states will be looking to this guidance as they consider various stay-home orders. Refer to the following sections of this memorandum as they relate to BSC’s and the BSC industry.
- Page 10, under Information Technology, calls out, “Support required for the continuity of services, including janitorial/cleaning personnel.”
- Page 10, under Other Community-based government operations and essential functions, “workers to ensure continuity of building functions.”
- Page 10, under Other Community-based government operations and essential functions, “Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures.”
BSCAI will continue to monitor state-wide responses to COVID-19 and the associated allocation of “essential” workers.
Read the full press release.
Essential Worker Letter Template
Click here to download a letter template that you can customize for your company and provide to your employees they can use to prove, if asked by law enforcement, to show that they work for an employer that is covered under “essential workforce.
- Review the letter and personalize it for your company. Use this as an opportunity to talk to your employees and tell them how important their jobs are, and how critical they are overcoming this crisis.
- Put this text on your company letterhead.
- Make sure that this letter is consistent with your state and local guidelines regarding “essential workforce.” If you are unsure, check the BSCAI COVID-19 Resource Center.
- If your employees have company-issued ID cards, please encourage them to carry it with them in addition to this letter.
- Distribute this letter to employees.
Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce (3/19/20)
Commercial cleaners should be diligent about tackling 2019-nCoV for their clients. BSCAI has compiled a list of commercial cleaning resources for coronavirus, which addresses best practice for cleaning companies. There are many things to consider during this time, including what your legal protections/obligations are and how to work out a cleaning schedule that works for both you and your client.
> Janitorial Staffing Resources
> Client Relations Resources
> Business Resources
> At-Home Cleaning Resources
Several BSCAI partners have cleaning products designed to handle coronavirus infections. Please see below for more information about which of their products might best serve your needs.
- Actionable Hygiene Checklist