COVID-19 Response Plan
With all of the daily information and news reports regarding Coronavirus COVID-19, we felt it was important to let you know what Connect Title (the Company) is doing to keep you and your office well-informed, safe, prepared and operational.
According to health officials, while the impact of Coronavirus is still very limited, we are aware that it has the potential to spread rapidly and may, at some point, impact some of our communities, our employees and, quite possibly, our customers.
With that in mind, we are taking the following steps in an attempt to protect, to the extent possible, not only our employees, but also our customers and visitors to our offices from the potential contraction and spreading of this virus.
- A. Respiratory Etiquette and Hand Hygiene: Managers will need to ensure that all offices are equipped with tissues and no-touch trash receptacles for use by employees and visitors. To the extent available, all offices should have adequate supplies of hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol throughout the offices, as well as alcohol-based hand rubs throughout the office and alcohol wipes for commonly shared surfaces. Local offices are encouraged to find and stock these supplies as quickly as possible. All employees should be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds multiple times throughout the day. Further, employees should cover their nose and mouth with a tissue if they cough or sneeze, dispose of used tissues, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer every time you touch your mouth or nose.
- B. Symptoms at work: Employees who appear to have symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or who become sick during the day will be separated from other employees and sent home immediately.
- C. Janitorial Services: Managers shall contact janitorial contractors to request additional cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces during this time.
- D. Routine Environmental Cleaning: We encourage employees to routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the office such as, desks, copy stations, countertops and doorknobs using the cleaning agents that are typically used in these areas.
- E. Pens in Signing/Closing Rooms: All existing pens in signing/closing rooms should be removed and thrown away. For a signing/closing, the employee should bring new pens (out of the box) to the signing for immediate use. Employees should not reuse pens provided to customers in signings/closings. It is suggested that branches order additional supplies of pens and have the customers take them after signing or throw them away.
- F. Coffee/Water Cups: In the event your branch serves coffee, water or beverages to customers in glassware, it is suggested that this practice be temporarily suspended in favor of disposable cups for customer use. If your office has a dishwasher then you may continue to use standard glassware for staff provided the glassware is disinfected in the dishwasher nightly.
- G. Fraud Vigilance: As with any deviation from our normal business practices, fraudsters will look for ways to exploit the impacts of this virus. It is critically important that we all maintain our focus on identifying and neutralizing fraudulent activity during this time. While the safety and well-being of our employees remains our top priority, we cannot forget about our customers and the security of their transactions.
Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick. Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are required to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). For purposes of this section, a fever is deemed to be 100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer.
If the employee suspects that s/he has contracted the COVID-19 virus, then the Company recommends that the employee refer to CDC guidance for the process of conducting a risk assessment of their own possible contraction. If after conducting the risk assessment the employee falls either within a medium or high-risk assessment category per the CDC, the employee shall contact the employee's healthcare provider for further testing. The employee may not return to the office until the testing is completed and the COVID-19 results are negative. When contacting the healthcare provider, we recommend that the employee advise them first of the possible contraction of the COVID-19 virus, because the provider may have a specific protocol for being evaluated and/or tested.
III. EXPOSURE- but not diagnosed with COVID-19
- A. Employees Planning to Travel: Before traveling, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) Traveler's Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each area you intend to visit. If travel is work-related, be sure to check yourself for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before beginning your travel and, if necessary, employees must notify their Manager of any potential change in the employee's health and stay home if sick. In the event the employee presents with symptoms of acute respiratory illness while traveling on a work-related assignment, the employee must notify his/her Manager immediately and promptly contact a healthcare provider for advice as needed.
- B. Known Exposure and initial risk assessment: Employees who are well but have a family member at home with COVID-19, or another known COVID-19 exposure, must notify their Manager and refer to CDC guidance for the process of conducting a risk assessment of their own possible exposure.
- C. Medium and High-Risk Assessment: If after conducting the risk assessment the employee falls either within a medium or high-risk assessment category per the CDC, the employee shall contact the employee's healthcare provider for further testing. The employee may not return to the office until the testing is completed and the COVID-19 results are negative. When contacting the healthcare provider, we recommend that the employee advise them first of the possible contraction of the COVID-19 virus, because the provider may have a specific protocol for being evaluated and/or tested.
IV. DIAGNOSED COVID-19 – and staying home
- A. Staying home until symptom free: Any employee who has been diagnosed with the COVID19 virus is required to stay home for the period of time then recommended by the CDC and shall not be allowed to return to the office until the employee is considered to be symptom free. An employee is considered to be symptom free if the employee meets the designated criteria as established and updated by the CDC.
- B. Notification to other employees: In the event the Company is informed that an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, the Company will inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to the virus in the workplace while maintaining any and all confidentiality requirements as outlined in the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- C. Working from home: In the event an employee is required to stay home, in many cases it may still be possible for the employee to perform most of the essential functions of the employee's job from home. The employee's Manager will work with the employee to permit the employee to work from home pending the employee becoming symptom free. The Company will strive to allocate responsibilities to the employee so as to minimize the requirement to use PTO time while the employee is unable to work in the office.
V. MODIFICATIONS TO THIS PLAN AND SUMMARY
We will be updating our plan as more information becomes available and as we see the extent to which our employees and the communities which we serve become impacted. Please reach out to the Company's human resources staff if you have any questions or additional suggestions.
Managers – if you have been notified that an employee is staying home because of COVID-19 concern, please notify and consult with the Company's human resources staff.
Online Resource/Information Links