Specific Tips for Domestic Workers

Here are specific tips for domestic workers:

Tips for Housecleaners (and anyone who does house cleaning as part of your work)

Some viruses can survive for extended periods of time on surfaces. It is not yet clear for how long COVID-19 lives on surfaces, nor how transmissible the disease is via contact with surfaces where the virus lives. Regardless, there are important things that housecleaners can do to protect ourselves and our clients. These include:

  • Ask that your employer inform you if anyone in the home has any flu-like symptoms, and if possible, reschedule cleanings for after those symptoms have subsided.
  • In the case that anyone in a home you clean has had flu-like symptoms, you may want to consult this list of cleaning products that are recommended for prevention of COVID-19 transmission. 
  • Ask your employer to provide disposable gloves for your use, and use good handwashing techniques.
  • As is always the case, ensure that there is adequate ventilation when you use any surface cleaners, and never mix cleaning products.
  • Avoid carrying cleaning supplies between homes in order to prevent the transfer of germs from one home to the next.
  • Ask your clients to sign up for Alia–NDWA’s portable benefits platform that allows multiple clients to contribute to a paid time off fund for housecleaners–so that you can have paid time off in case you get sick or if your cleaning schedule is interrupted by a client’s illness. To find out more about Alia, you can sign up here and then Alia staff will give you instructions on how to get started. 

Tips for Home Care Workers

Home Care Workers should be aware that early data suggest older people are twice as likely to experience serious symptoms from COVID-19. This may be because immune systems change with age, making it harder to fight off diseases and infection. Older adults also are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness. Many Home Care Workers also provide support services for people who have compromised immune systems, have cancer, or have received chemotherapy and therefore are at greater risk of serious illness. In addition, people of all ages, with or without disabilities, seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness if they have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. (source: https://acl.gov/COVID-19). 

This blog post was written by a family caregiver with tips on how caregivers can create safer environments for the people in their care–and for themselves. The tips include:

  • Limit visitors to the home/workplace.
  • Limit your own exposure to crowded events, to the degree that this is possible.
  • Practice good handwashing techniques.
  • Work with your employer/client to ensure that the home is stocked with cleaning supplies, over the counter medicines, prescription medicines, and non-perishable foods, to minimize trips to the store.
  • Talk with your employer/client about backup plans for medical visits or treatments, in order to limit exposure to COVID-19 in healthcare settings.
  • Talk with your employer/client about backup care plans in case either you or your client become ill. The materials in Section 3 below may help you with these conversations.

Tips for Nannies

Initial data indicates that children are at lesser risk of contracting severe COVID-19 symptoms, but that could change. And we all know that children come into contact with germs more than just about anyone else! Here are a few tips for nannies during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Practice – and teach – good handwashing. Explain to children that this is both to protect ourselves, each other, and people in our communities who may be more vulnerable. 
  • If possible, limit exposure to COVID-19 by avoiding taking children on optional outings to crowded indoor places. Discuss alternative activity plans with your employer.
  • Support the children in your care to understand and break down racist responses to COVID-19. See section 4 below.
  • Talk with your employer about backup care plans in case either you or someone in your employer’s family becomes ill. The materials in section 3 below may help you with these conversations.