Dear Friend and Client,
Please let us know if you are sick, ASAP.
Please let us know if you are especially at risk
Our team members never clean your home if they show symptoms of illness
No one in our company has been outside the U.S. in 6+ months.
We can (somewhat) disinfect your home; consider carefully if that’s what you want.
We are writing to let you know how we are addressing the possible Tucson-wide outbreak of Covid-19 illness. We have been carefully following the U.S. Center for Disease Control guidelines, and have consulted a local physician.
We are moved by all the precautions and kindnesses our community is showing each other, and we are writing also to send you wishes of good health and a calm perspective.
To be honest, mostly we are taking the same precautions we have always taken to prevent the spread of illness, but now we are being more vigilant. This includes:
—Never working when we are sick
—Thoroughly washing our hands before we start at a job, and when we finish, as well as after cleaning the bathroom and kitchen
—Using fresh cleaning cloths in each room
Typically we clean and sanitize, but do not thoroughly disinfect all the surfaces in your house, because to do so can compromise your health, our health, and may damage some finishes. It is close to impossible to truly disinfect an entire house. Currently the US Center for Disease Control does not recommend disinfecting surfaces in your houses unless you have reason to believe that someone in your house may have COVID-19, MRSA or another serious illness.
Let us know if you would like us to disinfect surfaces that are high use, such as door and cabinet knobs, light switches and countertops. Call us and we will talk about the options, which include open source (food-grade alcohol or tea tree oil) and a commercial, EPA-registered product that contains thyme oil. All options are considered natural, but may be risky for some finishes.
Again, at this point the CDC is not recommending that you disinfect your house, unless you are ill.
Therefore, please help us by telling us if someone in your house is ill, or if you have some other reason to believe you have been exposed. Please let us know ASAP, and before we arrive, and we will discuss a plan for keeping everyone safe.
Please also let us know if you will be home when we are there, especially if you believe you are particularly at risk for infection or for complications if you get sick. One precaution we can take is to wear masks. Please note that there is currently a shortage of masks, especially in masks that are actually effective, so if you are not at risk of having or getting COVID-19 please consider carefully before you request that we wear masks.
Our understanding of the CDC guidelines is that we should wear gloves if using disinfectants, to protect our skin from the disinfectant. We do not believe that our wearing gloves will protect your home, but we travel with them, and can wear them if you would like. Let us know.
We have surveyed everyone in our company about their travel. Refugees are not allowed to leave the country for 4+ years after they have arrived. Hawa, Sami, Amina and Abdoulaye, Jamie and Minami have not been outside the US for 2+ years. Maria has been in Tucson since May 31st. One team member has traveled to San Diego, by car, ten days ago. Other than that, no one has left Arizona nor been in an airplane since at least November. No one in our company is in any of the high risk groups, nor immune-compromised. We are all quite lucky.
We have a favor to ask you. As refugees know all too well, massacres and other violent acts are sometimes preceded by assertions that a particular group, ethnic or political, is to blame for a contagious illness. In your conversations with others we hope you will be vigilant to contradict xenophobic and similar inflammatory ideas as they come up in the ongoing discussion.
We appreciate your business. Our refugee employees rely on your support. Amazingly, they not only support themselves, but often send money back to other refugees in the camp that they came from. Thank you for keeping us going in these times.
May your days be calm and healthy,
Minami, Shay, Jamie and all of Team Safi.
PS. Here are a few websites you can visit for more information:
Chlorine isn’t always effective :
If you believe your home is infected with the new coronavirus:
Effectiveness of tea tree oil :