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As people spend more time at home, they’re creating long lists of home improvement projects that range from painting a room to a kitchen overhaul.
For those who aren’t hard-core do-it-yourselfers, it’s likely the services of contractors, repair specialists or even cleaners will be needed. But with the coronavirus pandemic raging, it’s challenging to feel safe opening the door wide to people outside a household.
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Precautions to prevent transmission of COVID-19 are essential when it comes to ushering in workers, says Anthony Harris, associate medical director of WorkCare, a physician-directed occupational health company, in Chicago. “They need to follow official COVID precautions,” he says. “Just because someone is wearing a mask doesn’t mean you’re safe. If they’re not wearing it properly, that’s a problem.”
Inquire about COVID precautions
Precautions start with the homeowner wearing a mask while in their own space. Studies have shown that if all parties are wearing masks, there is significantly less risk of transmission of COVID-19.
In addition, talk to anyone coming into your home about the safeguards they will take. Some people feel timid bringing this up, but they shouldn’t, says Jeff Yoder, owner of ShelfGenie, a national shelving installation company in Washington, D.C. He says customers regularly ask him about the COVID-19 prevention steps his company mandates.
“I take my temperature every morning,” he says. “I bring a thermometer with me and my whole team has thermometers” and daily checks.
He also developed a checklist for his crews to ensure they follow proper COVID-19 prevention rules. Customers should create a list of questions for contractors, Yoder says.
Those might include:
- Are workers required to wear masks over nose and mouth?
- Will workers wash their hands before entering a home? Are they provided with hand sanitizer?
- Are workers tested regularly for COVID-19 or have daily temperature checks?
- Do workers try to maintain 6 feet of distance within a home?
Yoder advises homeowners to talk with a supervisor beforehand to ask about pre-visit testing and screening.