Block By Block is committed to providing each of you with useful information and protocol for protecting yourself and your teammates from transmittable illnesses including the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Even with the United States dealing with the spread of COVID-19, many Block by Block services have been deemed essential and we are currently running normal deployment schedules but with added requirements for precautions.
The following information outlines our current operational procedures however all locations must comply with local ordinances, regulations and health department guidelines .Please contact Human Resources if you have questions about your location guidelines.
The Latest (updated March 15, 2021)
- Although some states are beginning to relax mandates, Block by Block will continue to follow CDC guidelines and require our Ambassadors to wear masks that will cover their nose and mouths.
- Although Block by Block IS NOT requiring Ambassadors to be vaccinated, we’re highly encouraging it. Please see our Block by Block Ambassador Group on Facebook to learn more about our Ambassador Strong campaign and to learn more about how we’re sharing information to educate on the safety of vaccines, along with providing contests and incentives to encourage vaccinations.
Please note we will produce updates to these operating guidelines each Monday during the Coronavirus Pandemic. We will provide more frequent updates as necessary.
CRITICAL OPERATIONAL MUST DO’S
Practice Social Distancing Throughout the Entire Operation
- Conduct shift briefings outdoors or in a more open air environment when possible
- Allow only one person to in a company vehicle at a time when feasible
- Avoid large crowds on the sidewalk (maintain 6 ft.)
- Teleconference in to group meetings
- Stagger shift starting times so employees are not in the workspace all at once (e.g. every 15-30 minutes or adding a 30 minute buffer between shifts)
- Have needed supplies ready before the start of each shift to eliminate the need for employees to gather while waiting to be deployed
- Maintain at least a 6 foot distance between yourself and people you are interacting with and avoid any handshakes, high fives, and other forms of physical contact.
Keep Your Workspace and Equipment Clean
- Follow the cleaning protocols listed in the following guidelines
- All offices and equipment must be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each shift
Be Flexible in your Deployment Schedules
- Employee Hardships – if a an employee has a childcare issue or other hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please work to reasonably accommodate them on another shift even if an opening doesn’t exist
- No Points will be assessed and available paid time off may be used for absences related to the pandemic
Follow the 14 Day self-quarantine protocols for sick and potentially exposed employees as outlined in the operational guidelines
- Send home any employee testing positive for COVID-19 for a 14-day period of time to ensure the infection does not further spread.
- Send home any employee who has had more than incidental contact with someone in or outside the workplace that has tested positive for COVID-19 so they can get tested and self-monitor. The quarantine period for employees in this category may be up to 14 days based on the individual circumstance.
- “More than incidental contact” is defined as riding in same vehicle, working on a project together, or sustained close contact with someone for a longer period than 15 min.
Maintain a Two Week Inventory of all Supplies & PPE
- Broad Spectrum disinfectant, hand sanitizer, latex gloves can be sourced directly from the Louisville Office.
- Masks – The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
- Masks can be ordered from the Louisville office but could take up to 10 days for your order to be filled so plan accordingly.
- Employees may opt to wear their own masks/cloth covering while waiting for company provided items to be delivered.
Block by Block COVID-19 Training Videos
Keeping Our Distance
For the purposes of operational continuity it’s important that we work to keep our workforce healthy. Beginning immediately we will:
Social Distancing – Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. It can include large-scale measures like canceling group events or closing public spaces, as well as individual decisions such as avoiding crowds.
With COVID-19, the goal of social distancing right now is to slow down the outbreak in order to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on health care systems and workers. Experts describe this as “flattening the curve,” which generally refers to the potential success of social distancing measures to prevent surges in illness that could overwhelm health care systems.
- Hold shift briefings in stand-up form in open air spaces – This will minimize the amount of time our staff members are subjected to confined spaces with more stagnant air and will minimize interactions with touch points. THIS MUST BE CONDUCTED EVERY SHIFT
- Recruiting: Unless approved by your RVP we are requiring immediate modifications to your recruitment and Onboarding processes.
- Podium Interviews must be suspended until further notice
- Only recruit and hire for critical positions
- Video (e.g. Facetime/WhatsApp/Skype) Interviewing should be employed for potential hires until further notice
- In person meetings should only be scheduled one at a time and be for the purposes of onboarding existing applicants who have been approved.
- It is ok to onboard people already in the hiring and onboarding process
Ops Center/Office Cleaning and Sanitizing
Routine Cleaning: Soiled and frequently touched surfaces can be breeding grounds for germs and pathogens resulting in continued transmission to people. Therefore, for pathogenic microorganisms that can transmit disease through indirect contact (transmission through contaminated surfaces), extra attention must be paid to surfaces that are touched most often by different individuals (Touch Points). As part of Block by Block’s standard infection control practices in in our work spaces, routine cleaning must be continued after each shift by following the Block by Block post shift checklists.
If a Confirmed Case of COVID-19 Occurs in Your Operation, you must ensure cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched areas throughout your work space.
- Step 1 Routine Cleaning: Always clean surfaces prior to use of disinfectants in order to reduce soil and remove germs. Dirt and other materials on surfaces can reduce the effectiveness of disinfectants. For combination products that can both clean and disinfect, always follow the instructions on the specific product label to ensure effective use.
- Step 2 Deep Cleaning/Disinfection: Disinfecting is the responsibility of Block by Block. Teams are reminded to ensure procedures for safe and effective use of all products are followed. Cleaning of soiled areas must be completed prior to disinfection to ensure the effectiveness of the disinfectant product. Label directions must be followed when using disinfectants to ensure the target viruses are effectively killed. This includes adequate contact times (i.e., the amount of time a disinfectant should remain on surfaces to be effective), which may vary between one and ten minutes after application. Disinfectants that come in a wipe form will also list effective contact times on their label. Examples of frequently touched areas include:
- Desks and chairs
- Breakroom tables and chairs
- Door handles and push plates
- Kitchen and bathroom faucets and fixtures
- Light switches
- Handles on equipment
- Buttons on vending machines and elevators
- Shared telephones
- Computer keyboards and mice
- For disinfectants that come in concentrated forms, staff should carefully follow instructions for making the diluted concentration needed to effectively kill the target virus. This information can be found on the product label.
- Place all used gloves in a bag that can be tied closed before disposing of them with other waste.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds immediately after removing gloves or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly soiled.
- Professional Cleaning Option: If Professional cleaning and disinfection of the space is desired or required, consult with your RVP about securing a local company who specializes in elevated cleaning protocols.
- Sanitize break rooms/restrooms – after every shift – follow cleaning checklist
- Disinfect tools and supplies at the end of each shift using a bleach mixture
- Disinfect and wipe down vehicles and ATLV’s at the end of each shift – follow cleaning checklist
- Latex gloves will be required when performing all cleaning tasks and any safety task that deals with close contact between another person, such as administering first aid.
- Provide a means for employee’s to cleanse hands when a soap and hot water is not readily available such as alcohol based hand sanitizer or 3% Hydrogen Peroxide in a spray dispenser)
Broad spectrum disinfectant, hand sanitizer, latex gloves and masks are all available directly through the Louisville office. Some shipping delays could occur so please plan accordingly.
- Masks: Can be ordered from the Louisville office with a 7-10 day lead time. Employees may also wear their own mask or cloth covering while waiting on company shipments. If employees elect to wear their own mask or cloth covering, please use the following guidelines for use:
- All cloth coverings should be as plainly patterned as possible
- No cloth coverings displaying offensive material will be allowed
- No cloth coverings signifying gang affiliation will be allowed
- No cloth coverings containing divisive messaging will be allowed
- If company provided masks are available, all employees must use those instead of their own
- Hand Soap: The CDC says soap and water is still the most effective method to killing bacteria and viruses. Ensure you have adequate supply of hand soap and allow employees to take frequent breaks to wash their hands. Partnering businesses near an employee’s work zone should be considered as handwashing areas for employees to use.
- Bleach: If using bleach for deep cleaning and/or for the purpose of killing bacteria and viruses, bleach should be diluted with water at a concentration of 1:10.This is equivalent to:
- 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water, or
- ¼ cup of bleach per 32 ounces of water.
- Please note, 1:10 mix only has a 24 hour shelf life before it starts losing its effectiveness. If using this method of sanitization you will have to make a fresh mixture every day.
Guidelines for Maintaining Staffing and Preventing the Spread Among Ambassadors
- It is important for any employee who is sick with signs of respiratory illness to stay home. During this time points will not be assessed for absences related to respiratory like illness and any available sick time, vacation or PTO will be allowed to be used to cover the absence.
- Any employee who seems to be excessively coughing or sneezing or appears to have a fever will not be allowed to work. The manager should consult with their RVP or HR on each specific case.
- Any employee who has a fever must be fever free for a full twenty four after taking fever reducing medication before being allowed to return to work.
- Any employee who still does not feel well, even if fever free, is required to stay home for at least 24 hours after symptoms have subsided. Again, the point system will not apply in these circumstances. A doctor’s note is not required to return to work in this circumstance.
- All employees, even if they appear well, should be asked the following questions and must speak with their supervisor if answering yes to any of these:
- a. Have you had any of the following respiratory symptoms: fever, sore throat, cough, new shortness of breath?
- If answering “yes” to any restrict them from entering the workspace and move on to question “b”
- b. Has a family member, or other a person in your household, or has someone you’ve had close contact with, tested positive for COVID -19?
- i. If answering “yes” to any of the questions restrict them from entering the workspace and follow Block by Block guidelines for preventing the spread of illness within the workplace, including the 14 day quarantine protocols.
- a. Have you had any of the following respiratory symptoms: fever, sore throat, cough, new shortness of breath?
- In some instances it may be approved to check employee’s temperature before entering the workspace. Please consult with your RVP and HR before implementing temperature checks on employees.
- At this point no employees are being allowed to telecommute to work due to the nature of the services we provide.
An employee has tested positive for COVID-19 or Come into Contact with COVID-19. What should we do?
You should send home the infected employee for a 14-day period of time to ensure the infection does not further spread. Before the employee departs, ask them to identify all individuals who worked in close proximity, for extended periods of time that exceeded incidental contact such as shift briefings, with them in the previous 14 days to ensure that you have a full list of those who could be at high risk for occupational exposure. Any employees who worked closely with the infected employee with more than incidental contact (riding in same vehicle, working on a project together, etc.) should be sent home so they can get tested and self-monitor symptoms. Based on individual circumstances individuals may be asked to quarantine for up to 14 days.
See our Office Cleaning Guidelines for deep cleaning protocols of your affected workspaces. If you work in a shared office building or area, you should inform your customer and/or building management right away so they can take whatever precautions they deem necessary.
One of our employees has a suspected but unconfirmed case of COVID-19. What should we do?
Take the same precautions as noted above. Treat the situation as if the suspected case is a confirmed case for purposes of sending home potentially infected employees. Communicate with your affected workers to let them know that the employee has not tested positive for the virus but has been exhibiting symptoms that lead you to believe a positive diagnosis is possible.
One of our employees self-reported that they came into contact with someone who had a presumptive positive case of COVID-19. What should we do?
Take the same precautions as noted above. Treat the situation as if the suspected case is a confirmed case for purposes of sending home potentially infected employees. Communicate with your affected workers to let them know that the employee is asymptomatic for the virus but you are acting out of an abundance of caution.
One of our employees has been exposed to the virus but only found out after they had interacted with clients and customers. What should we do?
Take the same precautions as noted above with respect to coworkers, treating the situation as if the exposed employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19 and sending home potentially infected employees that he came into contact with. As for third parties, you should communicate with customers and vendors that came into close contact with the employee to let them know about.
Guidelines for Flexible Scheduling
All programs must be prepared and ready to modify the normal deployment schedule in response to various scenarios that could come up in relation to this pandemic. All leadership positions should anticipate the need to move to a model that accommodates mandates for social distancing, emergency ordinances or personal hardships amongst your teams. The following are examples of approved reasons to modify deployment schedules:
- Employee Hardship – including childcare issues and care needs for other family members. No points will be assessed and a modified schedule can be offered to accommodate an employee’s need.
- To Support Social Distancing – Staggered shift starting times and the elimination of overlapping shifts should currently be considered and may become a necessary requirement in the near future.
- City Curfews/Stay Home Orders – always work with your RVP and customer on specific modifications based on government mandates
- Illness Within the Operation – Deployment modifications may be required based on illness with your operation
Cleaning in the Field/Work Assignments
During the course of our work Block by Block is not responsible for cleaning a tremendous number of high frequency touch points, but for those locations where we do provide cleaning of touch points we will make the following adjustments:
- Trash cans/Big Belly’s – increasing frequency of disinfecting
- Elevator cabs/buttons – increasing frequency of disinfecting
- Restrooms – increasing frequency of cleaning and disinfecting
- Hand Rails – increasing frequency of cleaning of disinfecting
- Parking Meters – Increasing frequency of cleaning of disinfecting
- Crosswalk Buttons – Increasing frequency of cleaning of disinfecting
- Bus/Transit Stops – Increasing frequency of cleaning of disinfecting
ANYONE ABSENT FOR A QUALIFYING COVID-19 RELATED REASON MAY BE SUBJECT TO THE COMPANIES LEAVE OF ABSENCE PROTOCOLS
NOT WITHSTANDING INDIVIDUAL LOCATION REGULATIONS YOU MAY USE ANY AVAILABLE PAID TIME OFF TO COVER COVID-19 RELATED ABSENCES
ANY EMPLOYEE WHO IS ABSENT DUE TO A POSITIVE TEST OR SYMPTOMS RELATED TO COVID-19 WILL NOT BE SUBJECT TO OUR ATTENDANCE POINT POLICIES.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERSA and SARS. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans and that is what you are currently hearing about in the news today – COVID-19. So while coronaviruses are not new the current strain is and therefore no vaccine currently exists.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
HOW DO I PREVENT THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS?
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, recommendations to prevent infection spread include things you should already be doing as part of your role as a BBB employee. These things include:
- Regular hand washing – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; or after dealing with a sidewalk condition that may have put you in contact with infected material.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing,
- Avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Staying home when you are sick (If you have available sick, vacation or PTO time available you can use this to minimize a disruption in earnings)
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- By following CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses
PPE & SUPPLY REQUIREMENTS
Going forward all programs should supply and ensure availability of the following items for Ambassador use at all times while on duty.
- Several pairs of disposable rubber gloves
- Eye protection
- Disinfectant wipes (for both hands & equipment)
- Hand sanitizer
- Access to soap and water to wash hands
- Hand Soap
- Broad Spectrum Disinfectant
Additionally: Proper disposal of collected trash, and consumable cleaning supplies should be followed. For non-consumable supplies, such as brooms and dust pans, it is required that they are disinfected with a broad spectrum sanitizer or bleach solution.
Block By Block’s designated supplier is Cosgrove. Listed below are options for disinfecting cleaners. Bleach may also be used as a broad spectrum disinfectant in a 1:10 ratio dilution.
Betco-Quat Stat Broad Spectrum Disinfectant Cleaner
- Broad spectrum disinfectant kills HBV, HCV, Coronavirus and MRSA.
- Contains no phenols or iodine, reducing surface staining and corrosion concerns.
- Meets requirements of OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard.
BETONE™ DISINFECTANT WIPES
- Disinfects in 1 minute for all kill claims.
- ONE MINUTE CONTACT TIME – Disinfection in 60 seconds for all kill claims
- BROAD-SPECTRUM HARD SURFACE DISINFECTANT – Effective against hospital pathogens including Coronavirus
- This neutral pH disinfectant has been formulated to aid in the reduction of cross-contamination.
- Cleans, disinfects, and deodorizes in one step.
- Kills HIV-1 (AIDS) on pre-cleaned environmental surfaces/objects.
Betco Daily Disinfect
- This concentrated multi-purpose, germicidal detergent and deodorant, disinfects, cleans and deodorizes in one labor- saving step.
- Broad spectrum disinfectant kills staphylococcus aureus, pseudomonas, salmonella, VRE , Coronavirus and MRSA.
- Economical ultra concentrate – 1/2 oz. per gallon (1:256). Provides low end-use cost.