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

BSC Resources 

Upcoming Webinars

CIRI Science Symposium - LIVESTREAM
Date: Tuesday, March 31
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI), a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and dissemination of unbiased, peer-reviewed research for the professional cleaning and disaster restoration industries, will now host its upcoming Symposium exclusively via live stream. 

The full-day plenary event will explore pandemic preparedness and the coronavirus from multiple angles, including strategies for training frontline workers, communicating with stakeholders during a pandemic, cleaning measurement and disinfection.

Registration includes access to all session recordings at no extra charge to use for worker training and customer communications.

Learn more. 

BSCAI Town Hall

Date: Thursday, April 2
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Central Time

Join BSCAI's President, Todd Hopkins and President-Elect, Eric Luke 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
  • Learn how peers are reacting to customer demands
  • Hear what BSCs are experiencing with supplies
  • And ask questions of the group

Past Webinars

Workplace Response: COVID-19 How to Plan

With the COVD-19 virus' impact on people and businesses growing more serious every day, many companies are left trying to figure out their best options for how to protect their employees, balance business needs, and satisfy client demands. To help you prepare, Affinity HR Group has compiled some important information for you to consider. 

> Listen to the recording

Protecting Your Clients, Staff and Patrons from Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Diversey and BSCAI partnered to produce a webinar focused on COVID-19 with the goal of sharing insights and best practices for maintaining a healthy environment. As a BSC, you need to understand the threat of these pathogens and how to protect your clients.  

> Listen to the recording 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - What You Need to Know

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act established two new federal laws: the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family & Medical Expansion Act.  In this webinar, Affinity HR Group's Claudia St. John will go over the provisions of the new laws, what they cover, what they don't, and what employers need to know.  

We will also be taking questions from participants on topics such as:

  • How to comply with the new Families First Act
  • Issues relating to telecommuting 
  • Impacts of "Remain in Place" requirements, definitions of "essential businesses" and more

> Listen to the recording  

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. 


  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

As increasing states issue “Shelter at Home” orders, BCS’s can find information on these orders and their definitions of “essential personnel” below:

Florida (multiple counties)
Kansas (multiple counties)
Missouri (St. Louis) 
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina (multiple counties)
Texas (multiple counties)
West Virginia

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

Government Resources 

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 Coronavirus Response Act webinar recording
Workplace Impacts of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

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:

What is the Coronavirus?

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

Much is unknown about how 2019-nCoV, a new coronavirus, spreads. Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS, SARS, and now with 2019-nCoV.
Most often, spread from person-to-person happens among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It’s currently unclear if a person can get 2019-nCoV by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
Typically, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).


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.


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

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:

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.

- Diversey - Office Buildings and Public Areas Higher Level Cleaning
- Diversey - COVID-19 Webinar Slide Deck
Spartan Chemical
Sunbelt Flooring Solutions Brochure
Sunbelt Air Quality Brochure - Reduce Risk
Sunbelt - Protection Against the Spread