FAQs About TELS® Building Services and Technicians During COVID-19

A Message from Direct Supply TELS Executive Vice President, John Walter

As we navigate changes to our everyday lives as a result of COVID-19, know that the health of your buildings and, most importantly, everyone inside remains our priority. Our commitment to high-quality service and satisfaction has never been more important, and we are striving to comply with all federal, state and local regulations when providing services in your buildings. Because of the essential work you do, Direct Supply TELS is, too. We will continue providing essential services to keep your facilities running smoothly and will continue to evolve as additional information, solutions and requirements become available.

I’d like to address frequently asked questions about TELS Building Services and our network of technicians, and the safety precautions and guidance around them. Check back often as we will regularly refresh this page with new and/or updated information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated 10/12/20

What is your service provider COVID-19 testing policy?
We understand some corporations have instituted policies that require testing. TELS does not currently require or track COVID-19 testing by technicians due to the legal requirements and sensitivities around insurance and Protected Health Information/Personally Identifiable Information.

When applicable, we are reactively sharing customer-specific requests around testing with our service provider partners.

What if my community requires rapid on-site testing?
We know some technicians have been willing to do a rapid test on-site. You may ask the technician directly if they are willing to be tested and share the results with you. This is the technician’s choice and TELS will not act as an intermediary due to insurance and health information concerns. If a technician chooses not to be tested, contact TELS Building Services immediately and we will work with you to find alternative service provider options.
If my building requires staff testing, does that apply to service providers as well?
We are aware of a few states that have implemented policies and require testing for staff in certain Long Term Care facilities. However, in these instances, the enforcing agency provided further details about exactly which individuals need the testing, and service providers, such as the ones available through TELS Building Services, do not require testing in the majority of instances.

State-Specific Information:

  • Florida: Testing is required for “staff.” This definition excludes vendors/contractors. Vendors should be screened and wear appropriate PPE, and not come in close contact with residents (see FAQ 2.d)
  • Washington: Testing is required for “staff.” Staff is defined as any employee, vendor, consultant, volunteer or service provider that has close contact (being within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with any resident or another staff person at a facility (see “When do they need to be completed?” Page 2)
  • New York — Executive Order 202.30 required testing of “Personnel … including all employees, contract staff, medical staff, operators and administrators” twice per week. This requirement was amended by Executive Order 202.40 (dropping frequency from 2x/week to 1x/week for facilities in areas in Phase Two) and the effective dates were extended with Executive Order 202.41. The first executive order went into effect in May. The Department of Health’s letter to operators and administrators uses the same definition of Personnel, as does the FAQ about testing
What precautions are you taking to limit the spread of COVID-19 during service events?
We have worked hard to ensure our service providers have access to masks and understand all applicable federal, state and local guidelines.
Can I request a service provider wear a mask in my building?
Yes. We have identified service providers who have committed to wearing, at a minimum, ear-loop masks on the job. Per CDC guidelines, ear-loop disposable face masks are generally appropriate for use when working in a Senior Living facility (except when directly working in a room with a COVID-19 patient). You can select these providers when requesting service online or in the app, or when you call. This is available in all markets for HVAC, Refrigeration, Kitchen, Plumbing & Drain Cleaning services.
What if a service provider tests positive for COVID-19 after working in my building?

If a service provider company notifies TELS of a positive case with one of its technicians, we will then notify you of the date, time and job when the technician was in your building, if applicable. Through TELS, every service event is tracked for your visibility, and we offer regional notifications to provide awareness to regional and corporate leaders when services are requested, dispatched and completed. Please make sure you are opted in and/or reach out to TELS to learn more.

Can you guarantee service provider availability?
We have worked diligently to ensure you have access to the services available in your area. At a time when some service providers are closing or refusing work in Senior Living, the TELS network is growing. We offer redundancy and depth, ensuring you have options in cases when availability may be limited or stretched thin.
Do you offer any services specific to COVID-19?

TELS Building Services has partnered with specialized cleaning professionals to support senior care communities when targeted disinfection needs arise. Infection prevention products, such as PPE and thermal scanners, have been added to the portfolio of solutions available at Direct Supply to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other pathogens. Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI™) is our newest offering in the fight against airborne pathogens like COVID-19. This proven safe and effective technology inactivates pathogens, reduces particles and controls odors, and is easily installed in your existing HVAC system.

As always, we are here to support all your building management needs.

Please contact your TELS representative or call 888‑433‑3224 anytime for service.