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VERIFY: Should I have the house cleaner in my home? What about the plumber? Here's what the experts say

As people across the globe practice social distancing, the Verify Team is answering whether there's a risk to having the house cleaner come to the home.

WASHINGTON — Question:

Is there a risk to having people in your home, such as house cleaners and plumbers? 

Answer: 

Yes. Every time another person comes within 6 feet there is a risk of transmission, and that's why our experts recommend that you factor in the possible risk when deciding who should come to the home. 

Sources:

  • The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dr. Timothy Price, Price Medical
  • Dr. Amesh Adalja, Johns Hopkins University 
  • The American Association of Cleaning Professionals

Process:

In an attempt to "flatten the curve," people across the globe are attempting to practice social distancing. This has prompted questions online about who should be allowed to come to the home. 

"Is it safe to have your house cleaned by outside workers," asked on person in an email to the Verify Team. 

And of course, it's not just house-cleaners. What about the plumber or the electrician? The Verify Team turned to the experts to get a feel for the possible risk. 

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention did not offer a clear-cut yes or no answer. Instead, they offered guidelines that all people should follow. The CDC said special precautions should be taken by those who are older, or have an underlining health issue. 

"(They should) prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.“

Meanwhile, the CDC said everyone else should also practice social distancing by limiting "close contact with others as much as possible.”

Dr. Timothy Price, from Price Medical, agreed that people should take the risk seriously. 

“In general, not having people in your house who are not essential would be my recommendation,” he said.

Price said that he made the decision to tell the housekeeper not to come this week for this reason. 

Dr. Amesh Adalja, from Johns Hopkins University, said that each person should make a risk assessment, based on whether they are healthy or not. Healthy people may be able to tolerate more risk.

“I think each person needs to look at their level of risk," he said. "I think it’s fine for healthy people so long as you’re not hiring sick individuals.”

The Verify Team also reached out to the American Association of Cleaning Professionals. A spokesperson said that they are recommending work as normal, although recommending that cleaners wear gloves and face masks.

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