What if our Lodge/Development/House (L/D/H) Manager is told to self-isolate?
We already have Managers who are self-isolating. Depending on the circumstances, this could be for either 7 or 14 days. During this time, they may or may not be tested. Whichever scenario, if they are told to self-isolate at all, they must NOT attend work. Your L/D/H Manager will contact your emergency care line provider and let them know. MMS will try their best to contact you personally to let you know the circumstances; however, this may not always be possible. Particularly if the Area Manager may also be self-isolating. Therefore, your first point of contact for information should always be your emergency care line provider.
Will a relief manager be provided if our Lodge/Development/House Manager is selfisolating?
Unfortunately, it may not be possible for MMS to provide a relief manager, as we would not want to expose someone else to what could be a contaminated environment. However it should only be necessary for your L/D/H Manager to be absent for a maximum of 10 working days.
Will we have to pay if our Lodge/Development/House Manager is absent?
If your manager is off poorly, they will be paid in line with the company’s sickness policy, and government guidance. Therefore, it will depend on the circumstances as to whether you will have to pay the manager’s salary.
If there is an emergency when the Lodge/Development/House Manager is absent who should we contact?
Like any other time when your L/D/H Manager is not present at the Lodge, if you have any emergency please continue to use your emergency care line service or NHS 111 if you are concerned about your health re: COVID-19.
How will you contact me with important information if our Lodge/Development/House Manager is not in work?
Over the next few days, if you have not already, you will be asked to provide your most used telephone number to your Lodge Manager, so that MMS can contact you directly if the need arises.
How will I know it’s MMS contacting me?
If anybody other than your Lodge/Development/House Manager tries to contact you from MMS, we will confirm to you your L/D/H Manager’s name so that you have confidence it is us. We would never ask you for any confidential information during this call, we would just be telling you any vital information we think you should be aware of.
Should we participate in social gatherings at the development, particularly in the Owners’ Lounge?
Advice from the Public Health Authority is that any social gatherings, regardless of the size, should be avoided if possible, particularly amongst the elderly. Therefore our advice is that all social gatherings such as coffee mornings, fish and chip meals, and film nights are suspended until further notice
My friend/family member has just come back from a trip abroad, are they allowed to visit me in my apartment?
The Public Health Authority has published a list of countries that are classed either Category 1 or Category 2. These can be found on the Public Health Website, and may vary from time to time, depending on the level of risk.
Category 1: Travellers should self-isolate, even if asymptomatic, and use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next. Go home or to your destination and then self-isolate. The guidance for Italy applies to travellers who returned from the country on or after 9 March 2020. These people MUST NOT visit the building until they have self-isolated for 14 days and are free of symptoms.
Category 2: Travellers do not need to undertake any special measures, but if they develop symptoms, they should self-isolate and call NHS 111. We would also ask these people to be considerate to ALL those living in the building and ask them not to visit until 14 days have passed and ensure they do not display any symptoms.
My friend/family member has just come back from a trip abroad, can I go and visit them and return to the Lodge?
We recommend that you do not visit them in the first instance
I have carers that visit me regularly, how will I know if they have been in contact with someone who has been abroad or if they have recently been aboard themselves?
We politely ask those of you that have regular carers, that you make contact with your care provider/s and ensure they are screening their employees appropriately. Most reputable care companies will already be doing this, but it may give you additional peace of mind.
What about people who want to visit me that have not been abroad and are showing no signs of the virus?
In the spirit of trying to keep everyone well, we would ask you to limit any non-essential visitors. Therefore, anybody that is visiting just for a coffee or a natter, we would ask you to consider if this is essential.
I have my apartment up for sale at present, what do I do if someone would like to view it?
If your apartment is up for sale with Stratton and King, and MMS are aware of an owner that is self-isolating within the building, then Stratton and King have a duty of care to inform the perspective viewer of this. If your apartment is up for sale with another Estate Agent, then we would respectfully ask for you to ensure that the Estate Agent has checked that the person viewing is not showing any symptoms of the virus and has not travelled recently to a
Category 1 country.
What are Millstream Management Services doing to help owners to minimise the likelihood of infected persons entering our building?
Your Lodge/Development/House Manager should have a visitors log located on their reception desk or in their office. They are asking ALL visitors to sign in so that if there is a positive diagnosis in your building, everybody who has visited the building can be contacted. Part of this sign in process includes your manager asking the visitors if they have been to any of the Category 1 or 2 countries and/or if they have been in contact with anybody who has been diagnosed as being COVID-19 positive.
Our building is due its annual Budget meeting in the next few weeks, will this still be going ahead?
In a bid to keep everyone safe and avoid mass gatherings, it may not be possible for us to carry out the normal annual budget meeting. If we cannot we will issue you with a provisional budget and supporting invoice so that you do not miss your first half years’ service charge payment. Once we are confident that your building is free of COVID-19 and recommendations on mass gatherings are lifted, we will endeavour to hold the budget meeting ASAP. However If this opportunity does not present itself in enough time to make the necessary amendments for the first invoice, the appropriate amendments will be made to the second invoice.
I am due to travel abroad, will I be allowed back in the building when I return?
As at the 19th March 2020 The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice.
You should check with the relevant authority websites to take advice, to ensure your own wellbeing and those of your neighbours on your return.
I am starting to feel unwell and starting to show symptoms similar to those described as being positive for the Coronavirus, what should I do?
As at 19th March 2020, current guidelines from Public health England are:
The advice for anyone in any setting is to follow these main guidelines.
1. The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
2. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
3. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
4. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
Therefore ‘staying at home’ means remaining in your apartment. Please do not enter the communal areas of your building. If your Lodge/Development/House Manager is at work please telephone, them to let them know you are self-isolating. If your L/D/H Manager is not at work, please contact your emergency care line provider to inform them that you are self-isolating. It is important that you let these people know so that additional cleaning can be organised of the communal areas if required.
I have been taken unwell whilst away from the building can I return to my apartment.
If you start to feel unwell whilst away from the building, then of course you can return to your apartment. We would ask you to minimise your time spent in the communal areas by using the shortest possible route to your apartment on your return. Please avoid talking to any of your neighbours and please do not stop to talk with your Development/House/Lodge Manager. Once you are back in your apartment, you can telephone the Manager and/or your emergency care line provider after phoning 111 for medical advice. If possible, please avoid using the lift as the virus can be spread through touching the buttons; however, we are aware that this may be an impossibility.
How will I obtain food and medicines whilst I am self-isolating?
Most supermarkets and pharmacies will deliver to the front door of your apartment. However, you would need to arrange for it to be taken into your apartment. If you require help ordering either your food or medicine on line, if your Lodge/Development/House Manager is at work then you should phone them on the internal phone system and ask them to help you. NB: our Lodge Managers are not permitted to collect medicines on your behalf.
What if I start to feel very unwell whilst I am self-isolating?
If you are starting to feel worried about your condition, you should follow the advice issued by the Government and health organisations by calling NHS 111.
Can I use the communal laundry room whilst I am self-isolating?
If possible, we would ask you to refrain from travelling through or visiting any of the communal areas of your building whilst you are self-isolating. This helps to avoid the spread of the virus to other vulnerable people within your building.
What steps are Millstream Management Services taking to ensure the cleanliness of our building?
Your Lodge/Development/House Manager is working with your regular cleaners to ensure that an appropriate cleaning regime is being upheld. We would ask that owners, where possible, refrain from directly touching high use elements of the buildings such as door handles, and handle rails. Your managers will be trying to keep on top of supplies of soap and hand sanitizer, however we too are suffering the same lack of supplies as the rest of the country.
Why am I being asked to complete a direct debit form to pay my service charge invoice?
To assist Owners with social distancing and the same for Lodge Managers having to go to the bank to pay in cheques you may have given them Lodge Managers will be asking owners to complete a direct debit form so that your service charge invoices will be paid automatically. By you agreeing to pay your bills by direct debit, this will enable Millstream Management Services to continue to pay the invoices of contractors employed at your building, such as your cleaners, when they are due. It is vital to ensure that contractors such as cleaners are continuing to work at your development.
What happens when an Owner living in my building self-isolates, how will I know?
There is a difference between Owners wishing to self-isolate due to showing strong symptoms of COVID-19 and those that choose to self-isolate as a precautionary measure. For both scenarios, your Lodge/Development/House manager has been given detailed guidance on how to deal with the situation and whom they should notify.
What happens if an apartment sells and someone new is due to move into my building?
If the new Owner is moving into a new CRL apartment, then CRL are working with its removal partners to ensure that they are taking the appropriate sanitisation measures and that they are keeping their movements within the communal areas to a minimum. Where we do not have these controls, such as sales between private homeowners, we are asking if these move ins can be postponed until better times
What can I do to stop myself feeling isolated?
Whilst your Lodge/development/House Manager is at work they will be doing all they can to regularly touch base with you. For those of you that are proficient in the use of I.T we urge you to set up chat groups such as WhatsApp to keep in touch with your family and friends. If you need help in doing this, your Lodge Manager may be able to help you. Please remember that most of you can phone between apartments to touch base with your neighbours.
What will happen if an emergency occurs in our building, and we have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or people self-isolating?
MMS have asked all its main contractors to provide us with their business continuity plans. Most companies are following government guidance, in a bid to protect their own employees and continue to provide a service. Therefore, we are regularly updating them on developments within our buildings. The scale of the issue that has arisen and the level of self-isolations and diagnoses will dictate the level of response we will receive from our contractors. However, MMS is continually working with them to ensure business as usual as much as possible.
If an issue arises within the communal parts of our building, and I think I can fix it, would you like me to?
Under no circumstances should owners attempt to fix an issue with the building without first contacting their emergency care line provider who will then in turn contact someone within MMS. It may be that if there is a leak, you may be asked to turn off the water at the stopcock (as an example) but we would never expect Owners to take matters into their own hands. If an Owner were to do so, they may make the situation worse.
What if the emergency care line service call handlers can’t attend work?
Emergency care line providers are treated as part of the emergency service industry; therefore, they have to have strong business continuity plans in place to ensure that they can continue to operate no matter what. MMS has obtained copies of their business continuity plans and we are confident that there should not be a problem with this service continuing.
Will planned works, such as major works, continue at our building whilst the conditions surrounding COVID-19 continues?
Whilst the virus continues to spread in the UK, it will affect service delivery right across the board. Whilst we are hoping that we can continue to deliver business as usual for as long as possible, it is inevitable that this situation will have far-reaching impacts. Not just for MMS but for its partners/contractors too. Therefore, at this moment in time, it is difficult to predict exactly to what extent progress will be affected.
Why have you restricted my use of the Owners Lounge and other communal parts of my building?
In the spirit of keeping everybody as healthy as possible, we are politely asking that Owners consider not only the wellbeing of themselves, but that they also consider the wellbeing of others too. Government guidance suggests that the elderly, the most vulnerable in society right now, should be distancing themselves from each other and the general public as much as possible. By ceasing the use of areas such as the Owners Lounge, this reduces the risk of the transmission of the virus throughout your building. This also reduces the necessity of your cleaners having to repeatedly clean those areas and leaves them more time to clean other areas of the building such as your door handles and the lift buttons.
Why have our communal toilets been restricted to visitors only and not closed completely?
Millstream Management are trying to minimise the risk of cross contamination between Owners and visitors. Therefore, if we ask you to leave the communal toilets for use by visitors, this ensures that they still have the opportunity of washing their hands prior to them entering your apartment.
Why has Millstream Management closed our Guest Suite?
Again, in the spirit of trying to keep everyone well, and restrict unnecessary visitors, a decision has been
made to cancel all future bookings in the guest suite until further notice. This further reduces the risk that
visitors are not bringing the virus into the building and the area can remain sanitised.
Why aren’t you shutting the doors to our building, and stopping all visitors coming in?
As I am sure you are aware our buildings are not care homes and therefore the majority of our Owners rely
on carers from external agencies to come in and help them. Millstream Management cannot stress strongly
enough how important it is that all owners cancel any unnecessary visitors to their apartments, to drastically reduce the footfall through the building.
Why can’t our visitors use the lift?
Millstream Management are not restricting the use of the lift to Owners in its entirety, we are aware that some visitors will not be able to use the stairs. However, for those that can, we strongly urge them to use the stairs so that the amount of people using the lift is further reduced and easier to keep sanitised.
If you would like to make enquiries in regards to Coronavirus, MMS would suggest that you visit the following websites for the most up-to-date information and guidance:
• Public Health England – gov.uk
• World Health Organisation
• NHS website
The situation is always changing so please keep reading information available online or in the news.