House Cleaning as an Essential Business

With the ever changing nature of the COVID-19 situation many business are unsure where they stand going forward. There have been "shelter in place" orders in states such as California and New York. These orders limit the activity of "non essential businesses." Oregon will be promoting a policy of "stay home stay healthy" which may function in a similar way as shelter in place. The nationwide trend is towards limiting the activity of non essential businesses, and conversely, giving exemption status to essential businesses and services.

Essential businesses include grocery stores, medical facilities, gas stations and others that have been deemed to serve an essential purpose and must therefore stay open.  

Legislation from California and New York defines essential business, in part, as one that promotes the safety and sanitation of residences. Oregon has yet to clearly provide a definition of an essential business. We are working to meet the criteria as it becomes available.

Sparkling Palaces has mailed a letter to Governor Kate Brown making our case that house cleaning should be considered an essential business. Cleaning industry leaders are also making the case at a state and national level to recognize the status of house cleaning companies as providing essential services. Our hope is that all cleaning companies will be recognized as essential.

Below is a copy of the letter we mailed to Governor Kate Brown on 3/21/2020.
March 21st, 2020

Dear Governor Kate Brown,

I am writing on behalf of my company Sparkling Palaces, which is a residential cleaning service located in Portland, Oregon. I have owned and operated this business for 18 years. Our aim as a company has always been to provide the highest level of detailed cleaning and sanitation at the homes of our clients. This letter is a request for our business to be classified as “Essential” so that we can continue promoting the health of our clients in their residences.

In light of COVID-19 all possible means of fostering health need to be addressed. We commend the Governor and her office for their diligent work and swift action taken to protect Oregon residents. Executive Order No. 20-07 takes great steps to safeguard the public. 

We reference Paragraph 6 of Executive Order 20-07 where examples of “essential businesses and services” have been listed but the definition of what makes a business “essential” is as of yet undefined. As Oregon considers taking further precautionary steps we anticipate some form of shelter in place orders going into effect. Drawing on the example of the County of Monterey Health Department Shelter In Place Order, March 17th, 2020, we highlight this definition used for an “Essential Business:”

10. Definitions and Exemptions.  
e. For the purposes of this Order, "Essential Business" means:   
ii. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned or frozen food, dry goods, beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non‑ grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;     
ix. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses; 

We further reference Executive Order 202.6 by Governor Andrew Cuomo that states no restrictions will be placed on essential businesses or essential services, defined as such:

“This includes...sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses;”

The common theme is that an “Essential Business” as defined by these Orders is in part one that maintains the essential safety and sanitation of residences. 

Sparkling Palaces would like to be listed as an Essential Business by Governor Kate Brown so that we can continue to provide essential safety and sanitation at the residences of our clients in Portland, Oregon.

Sparkling Palaces has been proactively addressing the novel coronavirus COVID-19 situation with our Enhanced Safety Procedures that we’ve made public on our website. Our focus has been on the health and safety of our employees and our clients. We have utilized cleaning products that are EPA registered to kill COVID-19. We have enforced social distancing between our staff and our clients. We are now taking great measures to sanitize and disinfect all cleaning equipment to avoid cross-contamination. Our staff recognizes the need for personal sanitation and is therefore using regular CDC handwashing methods and social distancing.
 
Because the threat of novel coronavirus COVID-19 is so great, Sparkling Palaces is now offering an even greater level of sanitation services to our clients. Using medical-grade equipment, we can sanitize entire rooms using UVIG technology - otherwise known as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. This technology is safe and effective. Using a frequency of light known as UVC, this equipment sanitizes thoroughly and without chemicals. UVIG kills COVID-19 on surfaces and in the air. UVIG has been gaining popularity because of its use in China. Hospitals, schools, buses, airplanes, and other important public areas have been successfully disinfected in China with UVIG. Sparkling Palaces now brings this technology to the home setting for dramatically increased sanitation of residences over conventional cleaning methods.

Sparkling Palaces would like to be classified as an Essential Business because we maintain the safety and sanitation of our client’s residences with 18 years of cleaning expertise, and with our investment in medical-grade UVIG technology.

We applaud the Governor and her entire office for their hard work. Sparkling Palaces truly hopes to be able to continue serving the community of Portland, Oregon during these difficult times as an Essential Business.

Sincerely,

Amy Boggs,
Owner
Sparkling Palaces