COVID-19 What are we doing

18 March 2020

COVID-19 Policy, Communication and Employee Guidance

Robust & RELIABLE Cleaning

At the time of compiling this update the number of UK confirmed cases has risen to 1,950 with confirmed deaths at 71.  We are experiencing a pandemic and what is now clear is the fourteen days incubation period when no symptoms are present but the disease can still be spread, is a critical period. Subsequently it is believed that thorough cleaning practices is a very effective tool in killing the virus that may survive on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours. 

In recognising these risks that may well be present across our portfolio of offices, medical, retail, leisure, local authority, emergency services, education and housing sector clients, we are increasing the measures taken to keep our clients’ buildings clean, and the building users of those buildings and our cleaning colleagues safe.

Our actions are based on our experience of delivering a quality cleaning service, backed up by the advice supplied by the government and the cleaning bodies Town & Country Cleaners are associated with.

We are implementing ongoing refresher training to employees based on the advice given by Public Health England to help slow the spread of respiratory viruses. This training includes but is not limited to:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home if you have any flu like symptoms. If they have also travelled abroad in the 14 days prior to feeling unwell and follow NHS advice
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard the tissue sensibly
  • Clean & disinfect frequently touched objects & surfaces using an appropriate cleaning agent or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap & water are not available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and always wash hands with soap & water if hands are visibly dirty
  • Cleaning colleagues being instructed to wash their hands at the beginning and end of a cleaning shift
  • Cleaning colleagues being reminded and checked to wear gloves to offer additional protection

We have asked our employees & customers to advise our team if they or any users of their building are diagnosed with Coronavirus. If this stage is reached we will follow Public Health England advice on a case by case basis.

Town & Country Cleaners’ Board of Directors are holding daily discussions regarding the spread of the virus, and are tailoring our action plans accordingly to the unfolding events. We are keeping our employees and customers informed of any developments. The team are currently implementing a Pandemic management plan in relation to COVID-19, and are preparing for the eventuality that the UK cases reported so far are potentially the start of a significant increase in numbers.

Continuity of service to our established clients is our priority, and to ensure we are doing everything possible to deliver this, we are taking appropriate measures to attempt to reduce the risk. It is our intention that each of our employees continue to work as normal, and to take at the same time the appropriate measures to protect their own health.

A main aim of these measures is to prevent our Company becoming a vehicle for the spread of the virus and putting at risk our cleaning service. Whilst we have no known cases of COVID-19 within our team, the sickness should not if there was a confirmed infection in the future, be able to be spread to other parts of the Company. Whilst there are no indications of how many colleagues could possibly become infected, we have set a worse-case scenario of 50% of our colleagues being infected and potentially being unable to work through sickness or isolation.

Due to isolation methods of containing Coronavirus, the issue of physical proximity to colleagues has to be addressed. Members of the Customer Service Team (our Operations Managers) have been advised to not be within 2 metres of any other member of the same team where practical. We are considering how the wellbeing of individuals might be affected by these measures, and are stressing the measures are designed to protect, rather than isolate.

In addition to issuing hand sanitiser to each member of the team we are advising all Managers to record their temperature if feeling unwell. This will be monitored and if high temperatures are recorded, that particular Manager will be instructed to stay at home and follow Government/NHS guidelines.

Each member of the Customer Service Team is advised to visit our Head Office only when necessary. Each team member is equipped with a mobile phone & laptop and has the technology to remotely stay connected with the Company, our clients, and colleagues. If they do visit the Head Office it will be to collect or return cleaning equipment or materials to ensure we continue to clean our clients’ premises to the high standards expected of us. During these visits the matter of keeping some distance from colleagues and limiting social interaction applies at this time.

To ensure that a large number of our Head Office team are not sick at the same time we are introducing significantly higher levels of flexible working. We have spent the past few weeks preparing for this. As all our systems are Cloud based and with home access available via laptops & computers, we are anticipating no problems in keeping productivity levels high. All client communications and requests, including any emergency requirements arising from COVID-19, will be monitored and dealt with promptly.

The only difference our valued clients may notice is that telephone calls to the Head Office may be taken by our already established out of hours call centre, should we be short staffed in the office during normal working hours. If this is experienced, the team will ask for your contact details and pass them on to the relevant Customer Service Manager who will contact you promptly.

Head Office Visitors and Meetings

Where possible meetings are being held remotely with our customers and suppliers to prevent the spread of the virus and to avoid unnecessary contact.

Should you have any further questions regarding our cleaning services in relation to the virus, please call our Head Office on 01227 453878.