Now that many major US jurisdictions are making big moves to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, property teams need to begin moving into the next phase of their response. Most office buildings have already implemented the initial response procedures (escalating cleaning protocols, educating tenants, encouraging work from home, etc.). The second phase involves a deeper dive into many of those topics, as well as several additional steps.
Prevention and Preparation
- Consider closing amenity spaces
- Confirm your janitorial crews are using disinfectants known to kill this coronavirus. The EPA maintains a list of effective cleaners.
- If needed, instruct janitorial crews to reduce cleaning of remote areas in order to focus on high-touch locations (door handles, keypads, bathrooms, etc.)
- Consider shifting some janitorial staff from nights to days in order to disinfect high-touch locations every few hours
- Inquire whether your janitorial vendor will clean a floor with a confirmed coronavirus exposure (not all will). What are their procedures? Will they wait 24 hours before entering the space?
- Will your janitorial vendor require staff who cleaned an infected floor to self-quarantine for 14 days? (And will they continue to pay them during the quarantine?)
- Can your janitorial vendor conduct a deep clean of an infected floor if a tenant requests it?
- How quickly could you do a 100 percent air exchange of an infected floor/building?
- As the local epidemic grows, consider restricting building access to tenants and approved guests only (with special procedures for deliveries).
- Monitor your supply chain of all high-volume supplies, not just cleaning products
- Crosstrain staff to perform key functions (engineering, security, accounting, etc.)
- Can you reconfigure the office seating arrangement for building staff to increase distance between employees?
- Will you notify tenants of suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases inside the building? What information will you convey?
- How often will you update them?
- Will you notify all occupants via an emergency alert system, or just primary tenant contacts?
- Do you have a procedure/checklist for investigating confirmed cases inside the building – where the person went, what they touched, who they interacted with, etc.?