RRHA of Illinois  •  P. O. Box 3141  •  Quincy, Illinois 62305

Contact Michael Todd at 217-316-3102 or mbtodd@me.com.

Members/Interested Parties,

You are all aware of whats going on throughout the U.S. in regards to the COVID-19,but I did want to make a quick statement.

To minimize the health risks for your residents and staff, property owners/managers should monitor guidance about COVID-19 and provide them up to date information, as it becomes available. It is up to you if you decide to close down access or provide limited access to your office from those on the outside. If you do decide to do so, provide a short posted statement on your doors that explain your determination and provide the number in which they can reach you in the event of an emergency.

Many of you are probably receiving calls or in-person questions on what they should do.

The below is simple and helpful:

Inform tenants about prevention measures

Property managers should take some commonsense steps to help prevent spread of the virus at their place of work and at their properties. Those steps include:

1. Wash Hands regularly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.

2. Avoid the touching of eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

4. Stay home if you are exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms.

5. Cover mouth and nose with the inside of the arm or with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue away immediately. Wash hands as soon as possible afterward.

Encourage employees and residents to stay at home when sick, and travel safely

1. Ensure employees are aware of sick leave policies.

2. Inform residents about ways to communicate with management (phone, e-mail, mail) instead of office visits.

3. Evaluate need for travel and provide safe travel information, such as the CDC's Travelers Health Notices.

Perform additional cleaning of office work-spaces and public access areas

1. Ensure repeatedly touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, counter-tops and doorknobs are cleaned thoroughly and frequently.

2. Provide employees with cleaning products and encourage routine cleaning. See the CDC's guidance on effective cleaning and disinfecting products.

3. Make sure soap and hand sanitizer are available in rest rooms, kitchen and other high traffic areas.

4. Consider increasing outside air intake to the building to promote higher amounts of fresh air, or other similar measures as appropriate for property HVAC systems.

Plan for emergency or alternative office operations

1. Prepare a continuity/emergency operations plan for your business if you don't already have one in place. Make sure employees have reviewed and understand the plan.

2. Prepare to conduct some in-person transactions (such as lease renewals, recertifications, rent payments, work orders) by phone, e-mail, or other alternative methods.

Use screening questions to determine if planned appointments should be rescheduled

1. If residents or staff answer yes to any of the following questions prior to an in-person meeting or in-unit non-emergency maintenance request, reschedule the appointment (or attempt to conduct in an alternative way).

    1. I have traveled to a area where COVID-19 is spreading within the past 14 days.

    2. I have been in close contact with people who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is spreading within the past 14 days.

    3. I have been around people who are sick with colds or flu.

    4. I have symptoms of a cold.

    5. I have a fever or have had a fever within the past week.

    6. I have been nauseated or have vomited or had diarrhea within the past week.

From left to right, Antonio Riley, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator, Colleen Callahan, State Director of Illinois USDA Rural Development, and Michael Todd, Executive Director of RRHA of Illinois during the lunch presentation of the 2014 RRHA

of Illinois Annual Conference.

From left to right, Bryan Hooper, Deputy Administrator
for Multi-Family Housing, Rural Housing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Barry Ramsey, Housing Program Director, USDA Rural Development, and Michael Todd, Executive Director of RRHA of Illinois, during the presentation of the 2015 RRHA Special Recognition Award to Barry Ramsey.