COVID-19

Infectious Disease & Illness

Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) is closely monitoring the national emergence of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, and is prepared to assess and respond to the rapidly evolving situation. BSCAI 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

IMPORTANT UPDATE: BSCAI Joins Cleaning Coalition of America to Advocate for Essential Sector

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


BSC Resources 

BSCAI Member Town Halls

Join fellow BSCs each Thursday afternoon for an open and interactive discussion around COVID-19 response.

You will also be able to:

  • Connect with BSCs on labor issues
  • Learn how peers are reacting to customer demands
  • Hear what BSCs are experiencing with supplies
  • And ask questions of the group

Next Town Hall: Thursday, June 18
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Central

Registration link coming soon.

Upcoming Webinars

Working Together: How BSCAI and the Cleaning Coalition of America (CCA) are Representing the Industry
Date: Friday, June 19
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Central
Presenters: Brian Rauch, General Council, Harvard Maintenance; Josh Feinberg, Executive Vice President/Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, ABM; Damon S. Fraser, Chief Compliance Officer & General Counsel, Marsden Holding, L.L.C.; Kevin McKenney, Director of Government Affairs, BSCAI

The Cleaning Coalition of America (CCA) and BSCAI are working together to help ensure our members understand the issues that we are working on for the benefit of the industry. Please join our presenters as they give an overview of the CCA’s objectives, the scope of the work that the CCA is doing, and how BSCAI is playing a part in this effort.

During this program, we will also dive deep into the discussion of liability risks for building service contractors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bring your questions about the work the CCA is doing to make sure that this industry is appropriately represented with lawmakers.

REGISTER NOW

Past Webinar Recordings

Dealing with Worker Morale During the COVID-19 Pandemic
> Listen to the recording

Changing Our Cleaning Proposals in the Age of Coronavirus
> Listen to the recording

COVID-19: Safety and Health Considerations Specific to Building Service Contractors
> Listen to the recording

COVID-19 Update - What Employers Need to Know This Week
> Listen to the recording

Sustained Revenue Growth: Navigating a Post COVID-19 World in the Building Services Space
> Listen to the recording

COVID-19 Response: Helping You Achieve Your Facility Cleaning and Sanitation Goals
> Listen to the recording

Employee Considerations for Re-Opening Work
> Listen to the recording
> Watch the extended Q&A video

Employer COVID-19 Response - An Overview of the CARES Act
> Listen to the recording

When COVID-19 Comes to Your Workplace - Your Questions Answered
​> Listen to the recording

Workplace Response: COVID-19 How to Plan
> Listen to the recording

Protecting Your Clients, Staff and Patrons from Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
> Listen to the recording 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - What You Need to Know
> Listen to the recording  

BSCAI Government Affairs Webinar
> Listen to the recording

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

  1. Click here
  2. Search "Clean is Essential"
  3. Choose the BSCAI frame
  4. Click "use as profile picture"

How to Use the Virtual Background

  1. Click here to download the image.
  2. Follow this easy how-to guide for adding this background to Zoom.

Government Resources 

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.

Re-Opening

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

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:

  1. It is a confirmed case of the virus (a positive test),
  2. 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
  3. 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

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Resources

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

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

Additional resources:
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

List N includes products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. See the full details: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

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

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • 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.

Prevention

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.

Treatment

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 Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) continues to monitor the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the BSC industry.

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. 

Instructions:

  1. 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.
  2. Put this text on your company letterhead.
  3. 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.
  4. If your employees have company-issued ID cards, please encourage them to carry it with them in addition to this letter.
  5. Distribute this letter to employees.

Government Resources

Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce (3/19/20)

Statewide Stay-at-Home Orders

Download the COVID-19 State Actions Chart (4/6/20)

Click here for an interactive map from The New York Times listing state and city-wide "Shelter at Home" orders.
 


Expert Advice 

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


Supplier Solutions 

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.

 

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