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Coronavirus

Advice for Residents and Contractors – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last reviewed 23rd August 2021

The health, welfare and safety of our residents and staff is our highest priority during this difficult time. We are watching the situation closely and monitoring the latest government advice in relation to our services.  The situation is rapidly changing, and we are doing our utmost to keep residents updated as things unfold. You can find our most up to date information on this page, which we will review regularly.

You can access the latest accurate information on Coronavirus, including the current situation in the UK and details about the virus and its symptoms at:

https://www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public 

Please click here to view some useful links and resources we have pulled together

  1. How ELM Group is Responding
  2. Head Office Staff
  3. Advice for Residents
  4. Service Charge Payments
  5. Advice for Contractors 
  6. Helpful Information & Resources

 

1. How ELM Group is Responding

 

In light of the continuing Covid-19 situation, we have put into place measures on our estates to reduce the risk to both residents and staff. We would like to thank all our residents and their families for their co-operation during this time. We will continue to do our utmost to support our residents and provide the necessary guidance.

 

The measures we would like to make you aware of are as follows:

  • Your Estate Manager will continue to be present on site, observing good hand hygiene practices and keeping at least 1 meters + away during face-to-face contact. We encourage you to get in contact by email or phone where possible.
  • Social Distancing – although these restrictions will be removed, the Government has strongly advised that we should all continue to minimise the number, proximity, and duration of social contacts. We therefore continue to encourage our staff and residents to follow the Government’s ‘Hands, Space, and Face’ guidance:
    ➢ Hands – regular and thorough hand-washing, ‘Catch it. Bin it. Kill it’.
    ➢ Face – wearing a face mask in enclosed or crowded spaces or if someone asks you to wear one as a common courtesy.
    ➢ Space – avoiding close face-to-face contact, particularly in enclosed spaces or wearing a face mask if this is not possible.
  • Estate Managers are cleaning the high-touch areas on a regular basis such as keypads, door handles, bannisters etc.
  • Monthly pull cord and smoke detector checks in resident’s apartments will continue.
  • Guest Suites – these facilities may reopen with the following risk measures:
    ➢ All guests must produce a COVID-Pass or evidence of a negative test (lateral flow or PCR) taken within the 24-hour period prior to the booking.
  • ➢ There must be a gap between bookings of 48-hours, during which time the room should be cleaned and well ventilated and bedding laundered.
  • Communal lounge, kitchen and W.C. to re-open with no restrictions on numbers. However we encourage residents to take sensible precautions to protect themselves and others.
  • Lifts, Laundry rooms, Hair Salons, Chiropodists, Swimming Pools to remain open with no limit on numbers. Again, we encourage residents to take sensible precautions to protect themselves and others.
  • In person resident meetings arranged by Head Office (e.g., budget and accounts meetings) may now take place if a 1m + distance can be maintained and the room well ventilated.
  • Estate Visits by Area Managers will continue with social distancing measures in place.

 

Estate Works

  • We expect our contractors to continue to take sensible precautions to minimise any risk to others. As a minimum, contractors are to wear a face mask when working in a resident’s apartment, to follow ‘Hands, Space and Face’ guidance, and to clean high touch points before they leave their work area.
  • Major external decorations and repairs to continue as planned.
  • Major internal decorations or works which require access to resident’s apartments (such as window replacements) may now be scheduled (following the guidance outlined above).
  • Regular contractors such as cleaners, window cleaners, gardeners, lift engineers etc. should continue. As above, contractors must observe social distancing guidelines and any other measures identified in their updated risk assessment and method statement.

 

2. Head Office Staff

 

Following Government advice regarding the spread of Coronavirus Covid-19, ELM Group/RLHA has put in place the necessary arrangements for some of the head office team to work remotely. All staff members will continue to be available via their normal telephone numbers and emails.

Opening hours remain 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

For non-urgent matters we encourage you to email customerservices@elmgroup.org.uk and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

To aid in the direction of your calls, please click here for head office contact details

We understand this may raise questions and if you have any concerns please see our FAQ’s page or contact customer services at: Tel 01252 356000 or customerservices@elmgroup.org.uk

 

3. Advice for Residents

 

We are aware that residents will be understandably concerned about the news on the spread of coronavirus or Covid-19.

Any resident requiring information regarding coronavirus is advised to follow guidance issued by the government and its agencies which is updated regularly.  This can be found here:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

You can also gain up to date information by listening regularly to TV or radio news and via this page which we will update regularly

Please be wary of information spread on social media or through non-government or non-NHS websites, as this may be misleading.

If you need more specific advice, you should call NHS 111 and follow any advice provided.  If you have been advised to stay at home, please get in touch with Customer Services by phone on 01252 356000 or email us at customerservices@elmgroup.org.uk to inform us of your situation.

 

NHS Test and Trace:

We have recently been made aware of some scam calls from people claiming to be calling from NHS Test and Trace. We ask that you remain vigilant and if you receive a call that you do not believe to be genuine, please ask them for some form of proof of identity or a phone number that you can verify as authentic to call them back on.

If you are unsure, please refer to a family member or contact your estate manager for advice.

Further information on the NHS Test & Trace Teams can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

An overview of the NHS test and trace service, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

 

Vaccine Scams warning

We have recently been made aware of a new scam where a person receives a text saying they need to book a vaccination appointment.  The link then directs them to a fake NHS form which asks for bank details to prove their identity.  The NHS will never ask for a person’s banking information so please do not provide as it will be a scam.

Please remain vigilant and if you receive a call or message that you do not believe to be genuine, please ask them for some form of proof of identity or a phone number that you can verify as authentic to call them back on.

Please read the Government advice poster below:

Vaccine Fraud Guide

 

4. Service Charge Payment

 

Service charge payment obligations during Coronavirus period

Since the government introduced the strict social distancing measures, we have received a few requests asking if ELM Group have put anything in place for leaseholders who may be experiencing financial difficulty.

The short answer, at present, is unfortunately there is nothing in place that means we could offer a holiday from paying service charges. The obligation within the lease to make this payment is clear and the costs of managing the building will not change. Advice does not support allowing a breach of non-payment to be permitted although we will be taking guidance from our lawyers if this situation changes.

As a not for profit organisation, RLHA and ELM, simply do not have surplus funds to call upon.

In circumstances of hardship resulting in non-payment the credit control process will come into effect and the Credit Control Adviser will contact the leaseholder and look at payment plan options.

We understand and appreciate that the current situation will raise concerns about financial security, for free advice and guidance regarding your leasehold property and service charges please visit www.lease-advice.org

We will continue to review this situation and if anything changes, will provide an update accordingly.

 

5. Advice for Contractors

 

Following the ongoing extended coverage surrounding Coronavirus (Covid-19), ELM Group are taking this issue extremely seriously and have generated procedures for our contractors to adopt and implement.

The advice below is in line with Government, NHS and World Health Organisation guidance:

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE

We kindly request that any of your employees attending our estates adhere to the following points on every visit:

  1. All contractors must provide an updated risk assessment and method statement which includes measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a minimum, we expect contractors to wear a face mask indoors, to follow ‘Hands, Space and Face’ guidance, and to clean high touch points before they leave their work area.
  2. All contractors must adhere to Gov.uk advice and take reasonable measures to prevent any staff at risk from Covid-19 from attending ELM Group estates: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public#information-about-the-virus. This includes any staff who are returning from specified (high risk) locations, or those who are required to self-isolate.
  3. All contractors must report on arrival and departure to the Estate Manager. This is to assist in tracing persons should we experience a case of Covid-19. Where there is no Estate Manager, please report your attendance to the Customer Services Team on 01252 356000 or email CustomerServicesTeam@elmgroup.org.uk
  4. All contractors must strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines and general hygiene guidance that can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
  5. All contractors must report immediately by phone the details of any employee who is confirmed positive for Covid-19 and has been working at an ELM Group estate by calling our Customer Services Team on  01252 356000

Should you have any queries in regard to these procedures, please contact me directly using the details below or email to CustomerServicesTeam@elmgroup.org.uk

Please pass this information on to all relevant staff within your organisation that work on ELM Group estates.

We thank you for your co-operation with following these simple processes which we hope will prevent Covid-19 entering our estates.

 

 6. Helpful information & Resources

 

NHS Guidance on Reducing the Spread of COVID-19

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds, wash your hands as soon as you get back home
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze, put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

 

Government Guidance on Social Distancing and ‘Hands, Face, Space’

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Meet up outside or if you’re indoors open windows or doors if you have visitors.
  • If you think you might have COVID-19 symptoms, take a PCR test and stay home.
  • Wear face coverings in crowded places to help protect others.
  • Check in with the NHS COVID-19 app when you’re out.
  • Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds with soap.
  • Get vaccinated if you are 18 or over.

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

 

Hands, Face, Space

Washing your hands

While coronavirus is not likely to survive for long periods of time on outdoor surfaces in sunlight, it can live for more than 24 hours in indoor environments. Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer, regularly throughout the day will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.

Covering your face

Coronavirus is carried in the air by tiny respiratory droplets that carry the virus. Larger droplets can land on other people or on surfaces they touch while smaller droplets can stay in the air indoors for at least 5 minutes, and often much longer if there is no ventilation. Face coverings reduce the dispersion of these droplets, meaning if you’re carrying the virus you’re less likely to spread it when you exhale.

Making space

Transmission of the virus is most likely to happen within 2 metres, with risk increasing exponentially at shorter distances. While keeping this exact distance isn’t always possible, remaining mindful of surroundings and continuing to make space has a powerful impact when it comes to containing the spread.

More information can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

 

We’ve put together some useful links and resources to help you stay positive and keep in touch during this difficult time.

Please click here for ‘Some useful links and resources from your managing agent’

 

Mutual Aid Groups

There are now thousands of local groups of volunteers all over the UK, helping people to cope while in lock down. They can assist with food shopping, picking up prescriptions, or even walking the dog.  You can find your local groups on Facebook through the below link:

https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/

Please exercise caution, while the majority of people have pure intentions and only wish to help, sadly there may be people who might try and take advantage of the current situation. We ask that you remain vigilant when using the volunteer networks, and only allow people access if you are expecting them.

“We have saved our leaseholders over £8000 in recruitment fees for estate based staff since May 2015”

Contact us


Head Office
Building 2
Archipelago
Lyon Way
Frimley
Surrey
GU16 7ER
T: 01252 356000
F: 01252 356001
E: customerservices@elmgroup.org.uk
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