As you’re likely well aware, Minnesota is currently in the “Stay Safe” phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any businesses planning to reopen their doors are required to adopt a Preparedness Plan and follow the published guidelines from DEED, MDH, CDC and OSHA by June 29, 2020.
The Preparedness Plan must contain certain items that you will need to incorporate site-specific best practices for your particular business operations surrounding health and wellness, social distancing, cleaning, sanitation and protection, and operations and communications with sales associates, clients, and visitors in mind. Adapting our plan and policies to accommodate showings and open houses will be important in helping Minnesotans stay safe.
So, is the pandemic a good time to sell?
Minnesota Realtors® recently released these suggestions and considerations for as we keep moving forward during this pandemic.
Health and Wellness
• Per the MDH, all persons who are sick should stay home or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 before they commence an open house or showing.
•Consult with your seller clients about whether and how consumers will enter their property during the listing and marketing of the property. Consider whether your client is in a vulnerable population and whether circumstances will allow for showings and open houses.
• Outline steps to minimize spread of the virus and comply with health and safety requirements before offering showings or open houses and during and after an open house or showing including:
PROTECTING VULNERABLE POPULATIONS:
The CDC recommends that people who are in this category for a higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from other people as much as possible. Adopt protocols to provide accommodations for high risk and vulnerable populations.
• Older Adults (65+)
• People living in long-term care facilities
• People with Asthma
• People with HIV
• People at High Risk of Severe Illness
HAND HYGIENE CONSIDERATIONS:
• Requiring ALL workers and customers to wash or sanitize hands prior to entry and after exiting the property.
• Providing hand washing stations or 60% alcohol based hand sanitizer for use prior to entering and after exiting the property.
• Posting hand hygiene posters
• Consider prohibiting use of the restrooms in the home. If they are allowed to be used, consider supplying paper towels for use to open and close the restroom door and a touch-free trash-receptacle so the paper towel can be readily disposed of when operating the door.
RESPIRATORY ETIQUETTE CONSIDERATIONS:
• DEED’s General Industry Guidance requires workers to always use a face covering when working with a client.
• Requiring cloth face mask coverings for all visitors entering the property. The CDC now recommends wearing simple cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
• Providing cloth face coverings to visitors that do not have them.
• Establish protocols for clients who refuse to wear a face covering where wearing one is possible. Businesses should consider not providing services under these circumstances when workers and other customers/clients cannot be protected.
• Instructing workers, clients, and visitors to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and to avoid touching their face, particularly their nose and eyes, with their hands.
• Providing tissues and touch-free receptacles for immediate disposal with the expectation that workers dispose of tissues and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward.
• Posting respiratory etiquette posters
• Limiting the amount of time allowed in the property
• Reduce face-to-f ace inter action as much as possible such as standing to the side or behind the customer or client.
• No food or drink s should be shared communally.
• Increase the outdoor air-percentage to increase dilution of contaminants whenever possible.
Social Distancing and Minimizing Transmission
Stay home if you are sick and consider avoiding showings or open houses if any person residing in the home is sick.
If anyone in the home begins to feel unwell while in the home, they should leave immediately and isolate themselves at home. Evaluate the property space for access and regulate visitor movement within the property maintaining at least six (6) feet of separation.
• You will need to ensure that workers and clients engage in social distancing.
• Do not allow workers and clients to congregate in rooms that do not allow social distancing.
• Limit collective gatherings of workers and clients to 10 people or less.
• Limit the number of per sons accompanying the client at the time the showing or open house is being provided. Create and follow a business plan for social distancing within the home.
• Consider adjusting the f low through the property such as limited or one-way movement through hallways, bedrooms, or other tight spaces where appropriate distancing may be difficult.
• Change configurations in the home if needed to adjust the flow to accommodate social distancing.
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