Coronavirus is a national issue beyond our remit – however, we feel it is important to address the concerns of those living in the homes we manage, especially as people may be self-isolating. So here are the steps that will be taken if there is a suspected case within your building.
First and foremost we advise all residents to follow the official advice from Public Health England and the NHS. If a member of your household is in self-isolation as a result of the government guidance then please notify your property manager as soon as possible.
If you live in a block of flats, it may be the case that we are required to inform other residents in order that they are aware of the issue. The Government could require us to do so, or the client/directors of the management company could require us to do so. If you are in self-isolation, it is important that contractors or other non-family members are not invited into your home for the entire period.
If there is a confirmed case of Coronavirus in your building, your property manager will take guidance from Public Health England as to the required action to be taken. This may include a deep clean of the communal areas of the building. As an unbudgeted expenditure, reserve funds may need to be spent to achieve this. By letting your property manager know, he or she can share this with the client/committee on-site to ensure that, should a resident be isolating at home, the community in the block come together to ensure they have the food and toiletries they need – and do not need to go out and breach their isolation.
As things stand, there is no requirement for any residents to vacate a building in the event of a resident of another flat contracting the virus, but again we will be guided by Public Health England at all times.
If you are NOT an owner-occupier, you SHOULD provide this information to your tenant.
For clients and RMC directors here are some other matters that you may wish to consider in your planning:
- Doors are clearly the largest transmission risk point. Foot-operated door openers do exist and could reduce the chances of infections being spread by door handles
- For doors with the green push-to-exit release buttons –consider asking people to operate them with their elbows.
- To reduce cross-infection, warning signs could be put next to handles and knobs that are likely to be touched by lots of people. Then people could decide how to deal with the risk themselves (pull down sleeves over hands, use elbows, etc).
- Perhaps a biohazard sticker with ‘Danger of Cross-Infection’ or similar text might be appropriate.
We are now researching companies competent to carry out deep cleaning and anti-bacterial fogging. A deep clean means not only the cleaning of all walls, door frames, etc using pressurised sprayers but also use of a fogging machine with an anti-bacterial product. The solution in a fogging machine is a bacterial, fungicidal and virucidal disinfectant. As the disinfectant fog disperses, the active ingredient comes into contact with all surfaces in the room and thereby treats both surfaces and the air.
The central point of contact for all clients/directors in relation to Coronavirus measures is Paul West. He can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07490 023207. Please do not overload your Relationship Manager with these matters as this will erode the capacity that they need to carry out their day job (potentially under strained circumstances). Paul is available for additional site inspections and on-site discussions as an addition to the management service.