Covid-19 and Safety Precautions for Essential Workers
With many areas beginning to open up after being under quarantine for months, we are looking at ways to keep our employees safe as well as our clients and the community at large.
There are several precautions that have been issued by local government, state government, the CDC and other health organizations, as well as the Virginia State Board of Realtors to help guide businesses forward.
Realtors have specific precautions to take because they enter other people’s homes. Fortunately, with many parts of our work being able to happen online, we are able to limit the number of times we actually need to be in the home. When we do need to enter a client’s home there is a very strict set of guidelines that the realtor, the homeowner, and our staff must follow.
Precautions that Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography is Taking
At Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography, we are taking the following steps to ensure homeowner’s and our professional staff safety during these times when we’re required to practice social distancing:
- Our photographers will wear clean disposable shoe covers whenever we enter a home.
- We will thoroughly wipe down all of our equipment prior to entering a home and after leaving a home.
- Each photographer will use hand sanitizer frequently, at a minimum before and after each shoot.
- Any person representing Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography will wear masks during our time in a client’s home.
Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography also requires that each home be “Open House Ready” with lights on, blinds and curtains opened, ceiling fans off, and toilet seats down. These steps help minimize the amount of contact that we have to have with home surfaces, reducing the risk of spreading germs.
We also request that homeowners and anyone that may be working in the home vacate the premises at least an hour prior to our arrival time. We base this on the CDC finding that the coronavirus can travel through the air and stay suspended for a period of time.
Ways You Can Stay Protected
The CDC has indicated several important measures to help protect people from and prohibit the spread of the coronavirus. These include:
- Avoiding close contact with others and remaining at least 6 feet apart. This means that you should also avoid simple and common gestures such as handshakes, as germs can easily spread from hands from one person to another.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Have hand sanitizer readily available at all times for instances where you may not be able to wash your hands properly.
- Don’t ride in vehicles with people that are not members of your family. Being in a close, confined space for an extended period of time is one of the highest risk behaviors to spread the virus.
- Wear a face mask anytime you are out in public, including at your place of work.
- Don’t wear jewelry, ties, rings, or watches when you go out in public. These accessories can carry germs easily.
- Wear glasses instead of contacts to avoid having to touch your eyes with your fingers.
Precautions to Take if You Run a Business
In the workplace, employers are required to make sure desks are spread apart to help maintain social distancing requirements. They are also required to provide ready access to soap and running water, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and other cleaning and disinfecting supplies.
Before employees return to work, the entire workspace should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This helps to provide peace of mind to your staff and reinforces that you care about their safety and well-being.
Make sure that you post guidelines from the CDC around your work area so that employees have reminders of the most important precautions to take to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Make sure everyone knows that besides frequent hand washing and sanitizing, if they use another coworkers desk or devices that they must clean and disinfect those items before and after they use it.
If your employees are able to work remotely, that option should be offered. You can also stagger schedules so that there are fewer people in the building at one time, helping your staff practice social distancing.
How Long Will These Precautions Need to be Taken?
We do not know how long the lockdown and these strict security measures will be in place. We are all following guidelines set forth by our government bodies. However, Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography will continue to practice these safety measures as long as the spread of the coronavirus remains a threat.
If you have questions or concerns about scheduling a real estate photography session during these times when excess caution must be exercised, please contact us directly at Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography. We are happy to walk you through our process and go over any special considerations that may need to take place for your listing.
Beyond the coronavirus know that we are always happy to go above and beyond to take precautions for clients that have special needs or may need additional precautions taken to ensure their safety.
Resources for You to Use
CDC Guide to Preventing Getting Sick – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/index.html
Guidelines for Protecting Your Employees During a Pandemic – https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHAFS-3747.pdf
Environmental Protection Agency Criteria for Using Products Against Coronavirus – https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
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