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Moving Services Declared Essential Service – COVID-19 Emergency Measures.
Moving services have been listed as an essential service (see #8) under the emergency measures enacted by the Ontario Government. Being a necessary service and one that does not involve our employees being exposed to large groups of people, we will be continuing to fulfill our commitments to relocate your belongings. However, it will be necessary to take precautions to limit the risks involved and some of these precautions will affect the way our employees interact with our customers. This email is to inform you of the steps we are taking to protect the health and safety of our employees and customers, what you can expect from us, and what we expect from you.
The moving crews meet off-site each morning to lessen the potential for the spread of the virus among crews should any of them become infected. Employees have been directed to notify us immediately if they display any signs of sickness even if those signs do not meet the minimum requirements set by the Ontario Ministry of Health to qualify for Covid-19 testing. If they have a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, they will not be permitted to work. None of our employees have been out of the country in the last 30 days.
We ask that our customers be as diligent in their efforts to reduce the chance of virus transmission by advising us if they have been out of the country in the past 14 days or if they (or anyone that has been in the house during the 5-days preceding the move) have had any signs of cough, fever, or difficulty breathing. If you or any of your family/friends/associates are sick or have any health conditions that may put them at higher risk, please ensure that they are not present on moving day. If any of our employees feel that you or a person in your home is exhibiting signs of being sick, they/we may decide not to proceed with the move.
As part of our effort to prevent transmission of the virus, the crews will be wearing disposable gloves and will try to maintain a 6-foot distance from customers whenever possible. We ask that our customers try to maintain at least a 6-foot distance from our employees as well. We would also ask that only one person, aside from the movers, be in the house while the crew is working. Having more people around would just be an unnecessary risk. Please do not be offended if you notice crew members disinfecting door handles or metal/plastic surfaces of appliances or other items being moved. It is nothing personal but rather just an added precaution to protect themselves as well as you. The movers are not likely to wear face masks as they are not necessary and could actually be harmful to them. It has been made abundantly clear that most face masks available (even many of the N95 variety) are not effective in stopping the spread of the virus. Also, the movers are exerting themselves and need to be able to breathe freely. Any mask that would come remotely close to being a protective measure will restrict their breathing enough to be a hazard (think movers fainting while carrying a dresser down the stairs).
The New England Journal of Medicine has completed a recent study showing Covid-19 remains stable on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on plastic/metal surfaces for up to 2-3 days. Based on these figures, we recommend that you have the moving crew place all your boxes in one area and refrain from touching them for 24 hours if possible. We also recommend wiping down all surfaces with disinfectant wipes or soap and water where possible.
Please be aware that the management of some buildings primarily occupied by higher at-risk groups (such as senior residences) may have decided to prohibit moving until the situation stabilizes. In the unlikely event that a move should have to be postponed due to any number of circumstances related to the outbreak, there are some solutions available. Should one of our crews become infected, we have two contractors with a couple of crews each that may be able to take care of the move. Should you become sick or have to postpone, both we and our contractors are closed on Sundays and Mondays (except the last Monday of each month) and may be able to accommodate you on one of those days. If the situation were to become extremely dire, there is a very small chance that we could be ordered to close down and stop carrying out moves. This is something that would obviously be completely out of our control and we hope that you will understand should this occur. In any case, we will keep our customers updated should any circumstances arise that would affect their booking.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding during these trying times and look forward to making your move go as smoothly as possible.