The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered the pet sitting industry into a new and uncharted era that compels our company to make necessary safety adjustments so that we can continue to offer their critically important service to those in need while keeping our clientele and partner sitters safe, which is of top priority to us. Our professional cat sitting work is critical to the hundreds of clients we have in both the SF Bay Area and Las Vegas valley, and we’re committed to being there when our customers need us most. Here’s how we’re responding. Our hope is that most of these new adjustments will only be temporary.
General Safety Policies
To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard sitters and clients, we have developed a strategy that is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance and highlights the responsibilities of both sitters and clients.
- Understanding the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and sitters staying home if they are feeling sick—Any sitter who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, chills or fatigue) will notify our office and be instructed to stay home and will not return to work until specific conditions for recovery have been met. If they are currently caring for your cats, we will notify you immediately and attempt to find another sitter to fill in on an emergency basis.
- Sitters will also notify the office and are strongly encouraged to follow CDC-recommended precautions if they are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19.
- Practice social distancing—Sitters will practice social distancing anytime they meet with a client or another person affiliated with The Comforted Kitty, keeping a minimum of 6 feet of space between clients at meet and greets, key exchanges, and any other times they meet with a client.
- Wearing a face mask-Sitters are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask or covering whenever meeting with clients at meet and greets, key exchanges, and any other times they meet with a client or other person affiliated with this company. We will be encouraging alternate arrangements for meetings, such as videoconferencing or teleconferencing when possible for client meet and greets.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures
In order to ensure a clean and safe environment for when you return, we are implementing the following steps while in your home:
- All surfaces and equipment in a client’s home will be disinfected per that client’s standards. Your assigned sitter will discuss your expectations and instructions for this in detail with you at the the meet and greet. Areas/items that the sitter touches which they will clean include but is not limited to:
- Door handles and push plates
- Handles on all equipment doors
- Refrigerator and freezer handles
- Sink handles
- Trash receptacle touch points
- Any other items you touch in the home that are able to be sanitized safely
- Sitters will practice good hygiene when in a client’s home. Sitters will clean their hands often, either with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. Hand sanitizers will contain at least 60%-95% alcohol, and sitters will wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds after performing such things as using the restroom, blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing, putting on or removing face masks, upon entering the clients home and before leaving, and between sittings. They will also wash their hands between visits with other clients. We encourage clients to supply these items to their sitter during the sittings.
General Policy Accommodations
We are also adjusting some of our policies in light of the current and foreseeable circumstances:
- Cancellations-Although cancellations affect us too, we understand that due to the evolving and uncertain nature of our times that it is sometimes necessary and unavoidable to cancel short notice. Therefore, we will have more leniency with our policy for the next few months and happy to discuss solutions with you should you need to cancel short notice due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic..
- Virtual Meet and Greets-Although our initial consultation meet and greet is still required for all new clients, we are waiving the requirement that new clients meet in person with their assigned sitter prior to the scheduled sittings and instead encouraging virtual meet and greets whereby you meet your assigned sitter via a video chat appointment with them. Consequently, our fee for this meeting will be reduced to $20. Any subsequent virtual meetings you request with your sitter will also be $20. Although you won’t be meeting with them in person, there is no need to worry as your sitter will be every bit as thorough in gathering all of the necessary information they need to perform their job successfully. If you would still rather meet with the sitter in person or it is unavoidable, they will be wearing a facemask and observe social distancing guidelines so as not to compromise anyone’s health.
- Key Exchange Modifications-We are highly encouraging our clients to use lockboxes when feasible in order to reduce in-person contact.
We are more than happy to accommodate any special requests you may have in keeping your home clean and safe so please feel free to reach out to us or discuss with your sitter at the meet and greet. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate this evolving situation! The Comforted Kitty Team =^..^=