COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Planning
With the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, global populations are on alert causing reactions among general populations from lower risk countries including Canada.
Currently, public health authorities in BC and Canada are not recommending testing or assessment for individuals who have not come into contact with someone showing symptoms. This may change as the scope of the alert widens.
For the immediate future and as a preliminary measure, we are asking clients and service providers to avoid visits to our office.
The well-being, safety, and continuing support of Stratawest Management employees remain our top priorities, right along side ensuring continuity of services for our clients. We are preparing as best we can for as limited disruption as possible, but we acknowledge that should some of the worst predictions come true it will be impossible for us to be ‘business-as-usual’ and provide the same services at the same pace if our staffing levels are significantly impacted as a result of illness.
Many properties we manage are implementing some basic measures to try to stop the spread of COVID-19 (and other germ based illnesses) such as having janitorial staff wiping down elevator buttons/railings/gym equipment more frequently, and conducting awareness campaigns for Residents who might not know of the public health risk.
We are also taking some basic steps to mitigate the risk to our staff and to try to ensure clients do not feel an impact. Some of these steps include:
- Encouraging employees to stay home if they feel ill;
- Encouraging good hygiene, such as hand washing and sanitizing;
- Regularly Sanitizing commonly used shared equipment within the office;
- Postponing in-person meetings when necessary;
- Recently hiring additional staff members for our administration department in an effort to ensure sufficient capacity;
Some of the functions we perform, such as Property Managers answering emails and voicemail messages, can be performed remotely; however the vast majority of the work we perform is done here in our office with physical access to equipment such as photocopiers, scanners and networked files. This allows Property Managers some ability to work from home if they or their dependents are under the weather, but many of our functions require interplay between team members and access to resources that are not available at home. This means that while we do encourage staff members to stay home when they or a dependent are ill, services may be slower than usual during any period where multiple staff members are off sick.
We work hard to train our staff on appropriate prioritization of time- for example, responding to calls about floods and leaks before addressing renovation permission letters or minor bylaw violations. We hope that the problem will not get so bad that we have to worry about delays in the less important requests and building issues but acknowledge the possibility this may occur if COVID-19 spreads widely and causes significant illnesses.
We will regularly evaluate our plans as the risks and impact to the public and our staff become clearer. Our aim will always be to best fulfill our duties to clients in the same manner you’ve come to expect, but it is clear that these circumstances will be challenging and require some patience while we navigate toward calmer waters. It is impossible to know how things will develop and what complications might arise, but we are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that our clients feel as minimal an impact as possible from labour related service disruptions.