lady with mask for covid-19

Revised as of April 1, 2020.

We take the issues related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus very seriously.

In response to the virus, and to help prevent the spread of the virus, we have instituted these new procedures and ways of working. We are monitoring the situation and will modify our response plan as prudent.

Our first priority is to keep our clients, staff, and other team members as safe as possible. We also want to meet our obligations to our clients on their projects and help new homeowners with their needs, to the extent possible, and with safety as our first priority.

Even as some parts of the DC Metro area start to reopen, we plan on maintaining the following or similar practices until they are no longer warranted.


Currently Known Symptoms of COVID-19 and Other Related Issues of Concern (COVID-19 Symptoms or Related Concerns)

Having:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever (100°F or above)
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Been exposed to someone who is suspected or known to have COVID-19
  • Tested positive for COVID-19

homeowners video conferencing

Office Work, Virtual Meetings, and Home Visits

Whenever possible, we will conduct meetings with clients, designers, suppliers, staff, other team members and prospects by phone, teleconferencing, or video conferencing.


Directives to All Metro Staff and Trades

All Metro staff members and our trade partners have been instructed to follow COVID-19 level hygiene best practices in our offices, when traveling to and when working in your home or our office, including:

  1. Do not shake hands, fist bump, or even bump elbows with anyone at work or otherwise.
  2. Do not come to work if you have COVID-19 symptoms or related concerns. currently known symptoms of COVID-19 and other related issues of concern. These include having any of the following:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever (100°F or above)
    • Chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Cold or flu-like symptoms
    • Been exposed to someone who is suspected or known to have COVID-19
    • Having tested positive for COVID-19
  3. Metro’s most senior staff member at each worksite will be issued a non-touch IR thermometer and will take the temperature of all staff members and tradespeople before they enter the worksite the first time each day, and at any other time they believe important.
  4. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and following CDC guidelines, including frequently washing, after every sneeze or cough, and before entering and after leaving any workspace (home, office, vehicle, supply store, etc.). When handwashing is not possible, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% or more alcohol
  5. Use paper towels to dry hands. Do not reuse paper towels.
  6. Sneeze and cough into a disposable tissue or their elbow if needed.
  7. Place all used tissues, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, etc. in a designated plastic trash bag and dispose of it each day directly into a trash can or dumpster outside of the home.
  8. Avoid touching their face.
  9. Always keep at least 6 feet distance from other people to the extent possible. Stay further away when possible.
  10. Sanitize surfaces, especially high touch areas frequently. This includes surfaces such as door handles, toilet seats, and levers, faucets, light switches, tools, counter and tabletops, phones, computers, printers, steering wheels, turn signals, etc. Sanitizing shall be done using appropriate sanitizing solutions, sprays, wipes, etc.
  11. Wipe down tool handles and high touch areas with sanitizing cloths or other cleaning materials at the end of the day or when they leave the work site for the day and before and after using a shared tool when feasible. Avoid sharing tools as much as possible. (Homeowners, residents, and visitors in the work area are asked not to touch any tools, equipment, work surface, materials, products, supplies, etc. in work areas at any time.)
  12. Use paper towels or sanitizing wipes when opening doors, flushing toilets, using light switches, etc.
  13. Keep all vehicles clean.

Metro Will Supply Staff and Trades Working on Site

  1. Outdoor handwashing stations and liquid soap at each worksite
  2. Paper towels
  3. Tissues
  4. Hand sanitizer
  5. Sanitizing cloths, spray, solutions, etc. as appropriate.
  6. All materials needed to seal the worksite area we are working in from the rest of the home as best as possible. (Note: Some situations we may not be able to completely seal or will need to undo such as when staining hardwood floors, etc.)
  7. Links to CDC and other resources for staff and trades to get more detailed information about COVID-19 best practices.
  8. We are not providing our teams with N-95 or other face masks because it is not clear they protect the wearer or others and because of the shortage of these for health care workers, first responders, and others in contact with potential COVID-19 patients.

Exposed or Sick Staff and Trades

  1. All staff members and trades have been instructed not to come to work if they are showing COVID-19 Symptoms or Related Concerns.
  2. Any team member showing up to work with COVID-19 Symptoms or Related Concerns or develops them during the day will be sent home.
  3. Staff and trades who have COVID-19 Symptoms or Related Concerns are instructed to self-isolate for 14 days or whatever the CDC recommendation is at the time.

Additional Work Site Precautions

  1. We are requesting homeowners designate a (preferably non-shared) bathroom in their home for use by Metro staff and trades. If no designated bathroom can be offered, Metro will have a Porta Potty unit placed on the worksite. In either case, staff members and trades are being encouraged to bring their own toilet paper. Bathrooms in the home used by our staff will have all high-touch areas sanitized after every use by our team members. Our team members are asked to bring their own toilet paper and paper towels supplied by Metro for drying their hands.
  2. The work area will be sealed* from the rest of the home with plastic and tape or a similar sealing device. Locations, where workers enter the workspace, will be through zippered, Velcro, or taped plastic doorways.
  3. All air ducts in the work areas will be sealed* with plastic and tape.
  4. Upon homeowner request, Metro is willing to install high-performance MERV or HEPA filters for HVAC systems in our clients’ homes if their systems can take the size filters needed (generally 4 to 6-inches thick) and if filters are available.
    PLEASE NOTE:

    • Filters that provide extremely high filtration performance can cause back pressure and other problems if the HVAC system is not designed to handle them.
    • MERV and HEPA filters come in a variety of performance ratings.
    • Therefore, homeowners wishing to have Metro provide high-performance filters during the project must get instructions and specifications from their HVAC service provider as to the highest-level and thickness of filter their home’s ventilation system can handle.
    • Metro will install the highest filtration performance filter your HVAC system can handle and which Metro can feasibly procure.
    • Not all HEPA filters protect from viruses. Most do not. And, home HVAC systems are not designed for hospital or cleanroom level air filtration.

*The sealing protocols we will use comply with the EPA Lead-Safe requirements, which were developed to prevent dust with lead from moving from an enclosed work area to the rest of the home or into the home’s air ducts.


Client Cooperation Required

  1. Please observe the COVID-19 precautions we have asked our staff members to follow. Adjust the procedures as prudent to reflect family members being in your home.
  2. If someone living, staying, or working in your home has COVID-19 Symptoms or Related Concerns, please let us know immediately
    We will suspend work on your project and begin again as soon as possible when the health situation is resolved, and any appropriate isolation periods have been met.
  3. Homeowners and residents of the home who have COVID-19 symptoms or related concerns (see above) are asked to self-isolate for 14 days or whatever the CDC recommendation is at the time.
  4. Please designate a bathroom for our team members to use. We ask, if possible, to select a non-shared bathroom. Meaning a bathroom your family will not use during the project.
  5. Please do not open the barriers between the workspaces in your home and the rest of your home unless absolutely necessary. Let our staff open and close the entryways for you.
  6. If possible, come into the work area while we are there so we can reseal the area after you leave. When you enter the work area, please do not touch anything. If there is a need for you to touch something, you or we should first sanitize the item(s).
  7. Homeowners, residents, and visitors in the work area are asked not to touch any tools, equipment, work surface, materials, products, supplies, etc. in work areas at any time.
  8. Please understand that our first priority is helping prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus for everyone’s sake and that to do so, your project’s schedule, staff and trades availability, supply chains, product availability, etc. may not be the same as in normal times. Should your project be delayed or interrupted, and should there be unplanned changes in schedules, please be understanding. We will work with you to identify and locate alternative product selections should something you initially selected be unavailable.

If you have any concerns, suggestions, or questions about our Coronavirus protocols, please contact George Kall.


DISCLAIMER: Metro’s COVID-19 Response Plan has been created based on what we understand to be sound best practices to HELP lower the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. We do not represent that our Plan will eliminate all risks, but it is our understanding that it should help.

The Plan requires compliance by our staff, trade partners, suppliers, and our clients. We are instructing our team to follow our Plan. We are requesting compliance from our trade partners, suppliers, and clients. We are unable to guarantee full compliance, as some situations will not be possible to achieve.

We ask our clients to report any non-compliance they may notice on the part of our staff or trade partners and suppliers. Metro will strive to ensure compliance to the best of our ability and do what we can to help keep everyone safe