COVID-19: Cleaning is Essential & Preventative Health Care

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Mr. President, State Governors, and CDC Officials:

My name is Grace Reynolds, President of the American House Cleaners Association - and community leader of over 19,730 professional house cleaners in the United States of America, the largest & most active community of professional cleaners in the U.S.  - all of whom serve their local communities throughout our country in a skilled & vital way each day - before and during this COVID-19 pandemic.

In this time of COVID-19, we are seeking your help and direction - for the health and safety of our professional cleaners & for all Americans.

Professional cleaners are out on the front lines every day - keeping our homes and businesses safe. Our crucial role in this COVID-19 outbreak is fighting this virus and helping suppress the surge spread of infections to alleviate hardship on our medical facilities, medical supplies, and equipment - namely ventilators. Our role in this fight is imperative and essential for the health and wellbeing of our communities we serve and for our country.

As you know, COVID-19 attacks our lungs - essentially resulting in severe viral pneumonia in critical cases. Indoor air pollution and poor indoor air quality (resulting from dust, debris, dander build-up in a home or business) can not only compromise individuals suffering from respiratory illness - but can help carry/transmit virus attached to particles of dust, debris, or dander in the home/office air. According to the American Lung Association, "Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections" by a greater likelihood of transmission through the air and exacerbation of symptoms once any disease is contracted.

Professional cleaning is more important now than ever. Many of our residential clients completely rely on regular weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly cleaning services. Many individuals, because of medical or mental health reasons, simply cannot perform basic cleaning tasks and certainly not deep cleaning and sanitization - which is imperative during COVID-19 outbreak. For example - tens of thousands of Americans who suffer from permanent neurological deficits secondary to CVA - and many other medical and mental health issues. Our work in the community is vital and essential - especially now.

COVID-19 will not be going away after the "lockdown" is over. This is a matter that is going to require, we as the professional cleaning industry - as well as society in general, to quickly adapt to and more forward with new protocols as the threat will be with us for quite some time. Our clients (residential and commercial) rely on the services of professional cleaners each day - especially now when indoor air quality and sanitization & disinfection of our homes and businesses is the only line of defense per CDC guidelines and recommendations.

Yesterday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy made a statement when asked by an ABC reporter about essential businesses and in house cleaners in particular, the Governor stated that house cleaners are, "overwhelmingly essential" and that we are an essential service trade - like any other trade in our local community.

The American House Cleaners Association is a professional, purpose-driven community with a mission of raising awareness, respect, and recognition for the skill, necessity, and the importance of cleaning in general for a thriving community - for a trade and profession that is often misunderstood and has been battling stigmas and various other important issues for generations. As leaders of the largest community of professional cleaners in the country - we are monitoring COVID-19, the CDC, and various other government agencies very closely. We are directing all U.S. cleaners to adopt new protocols - for their own safety and for the public we serve - and follow all CDC guidelines. Furthermore, the work of a professional house cleaner does not violate established social distancing protocols.  In fact - we usually do not come within 6 feet of our clients - homes and businesses are typically unoccupied while we perform our work - or we are far beyond 6 feet from anyone.  Professional house cleaners are following all CDC PPE recommendations as well as sanitization and disinfection protocols. The number of requests that are coming in all over the nation from physicians and medical practitioners (for cleaning services in their personal homes) is on the rise - as the necessity of a thoroughly cleaned home, good indoor air quality, and proper and frequent sanitization becomes more necessary.

I hope I'm effectively able to communicate our position here - that professional house cleaners - cleaning professionals & companies all over the country - are an essential service to the community during these times. Cleaning is not a luxury for most folks - that's a common misperception in the industry. Cleaning is essential for most clients that hire our services - they rely on us for their health, well-being, and longevity of life.

As you can imagine - there is a lot of confusion within the industry and in the public - about what new protocols we as professionals, and as homeowners - should implement with COVID-19. Some statements from Governors are clear in indicating that commercial and janitorial staff are classified as an "essential service" but are gray around professional house cleaning. At this time, we are directing all of our community members to follow CDC guidelines for PPE recommendations and proper sanitization and disinfection protocols for active and unknown COVID-19 situations.

We need further direction. On Friday, we launched a campaign to petition President Trump, all state Governors, the CDC - Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, along with several other government agencies - to provide the professional cleaning industry with further insight and directives on how we can assure our safety - and the safety of the public - as well as requesting clarification that professional house cleaning is an essential trade in all 50 states. Within 48 hours, we have collected over 2,020 signatures - which have already resulted in over 10,000 signed letters to CDC and lawmakers.

On behalf of the professional residential cleaning industry and professional cleaners nationwide, Thank You for your prompt response, clarification, and directives about this important matter.

I am happy to speak with you further regarding this matter.

Grace Reynolds | President

AHCA - American House Cleaners Association