Update To Temporary Service Suspension
Notice To All Better Life Maids Clients & Stakeholders
Based on the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to extend our temporary service suspension until Monday, April 20th at the earliest. As we approach that date will make a determination about reinstating service.
Better Life Maids has always considered ourselves a partner in helping our clients have clean and healthy homes, and giving up household cleaning help right now, of all times, presents particular challenges. We are all spending lots of time in our homes, meaning they are getting more use than normal. Many of you are juggling schooling for children with work and regular family obligations. This creates more of a need, not less. Furthermore, some of our clients have physical limitations that make cleaning for themselves impossible.
We are so appreciative of your patience and understanding as we work hard to come up with the best path forward that ensures the health and safety of our employees, our customers and our community.
We are now accepting customer requests to be prioritized in service restoration. Please respond to this email if you would like to be prioritized for resuming services the week of April 20th. This is still subject to change but is our best current guess as to our resumption services.
Our Goals Through The Crisis
It’s important that everyone understand what our goals are as we navigate this crisis. There are three:
- Contribute to the community effort to slow the spread of the virus.
- Ensure the health and safety of our staff and clients.
- Ensure long-term health and continuity of business.
Before we can fully restore service, we need to ensure we are part of the solution, and not part of the problem. We are all professional house cleaners, and as such are trained and nationally certified in routine maintenance cleaning of homes. We are not biohazard remediation specialists and are not equipped to deal with emerging viral pathogens.
Therefore, until we know more about controlling risk factors and the spread of this virus, we cannot responsibly restore service.
The good news is, the information we’ve gathered so far is promising, and I do believe that we can restore service swiftly and safely fairly soon.
How We Will Decide
As a company we will be looking at four major indicators as we weigh the decision to restore service:
- Peak Infection: We want to make sure that the peak of infection in the St. Louis region has been flattened sufficiently that we can reasonably be assured that our local hospital system can handle the increased load. At this time the models we are looking at show that MO will never exceed its number of available beds and critical care resources. We will continue to monitor this, but it does look as if social distancing measures that were applied early have been effective.
- Clear direction on best practices: Guidance from the CDC has shifted significantly in the past 2 weeks. We will continue to monitor and look for areas of broad agreement across the CDC, WHO, OSHA and our own industry’s Global Biorisk Advisory Council. The consensus is emerging across sources, so our comfort level is increasing daily. This is about protecting the health and safety of our staff and of you, our customers. We are also looking at models of risk for different industry, and at this time residential cleaning is clearly defined in the low-risk category. That is based on direct exposure to the public and to the disease. Both are incredibly low.
- Lifting of strict stay-at-home orders. While our business is in a grey area of those defined as essential and some home cleaning companies continue to operate we are of the opinion that deeming residential cleaning services “essential” is a stretch. Our thoughts are during this stay at home order, we want to “first do no harm”. While we believe our services are very important to keeping a clean and healthy home, we want to be good citizens and do our part to make sure we get ahead of Covid-19 in our region. We have a substantial economic interest in going along with the “essential” designation, but for reasons stated above, we don’t believe it’s a responsible position to take at this time.
- Client need. At some point, we will all need to move forward to operate in this new reality. We are making good progress. In the meantime, we will be assessing your interest/need on a case-by-case basis for when we begin to restore service. We will continue to provide periodic updates and keep you up to date on the latest information.
Offers to Continue to Pay
Many of you have come forward with offers to continue to pay for your service. This is incredibly generous and as a small family-owned business, humbling. In light of this, we have created two options:
- Contribute to an employee assistance fund: we are beginning the process of creating an employee assistance fund with the goal of distributing $100 Walmart Gift Cards to all of our affected team members. This will help them bridge the gap between unemployment and their final paychecks. You can simply respond to this email with the amount you would be willing to donate and we will apply that to the fund.
- We are continuing to sell gift cards at a discount of 20% until we reach $25K in total sales. We are about 3/4 of the way there now. After that, we will have a lower discount available. You can click on the link below to purchase gift cards.