I continue to monitor the quickly changing recommendations and restrictions from our local, state, and federal government concerning the Coronavirus (COVID 19) closely. The health of our clients, the community, and staff is of utmost importance. I have considered shutting the office down; however, I know that many of our clients urgently need our services and will feel a sense of relief at knowing their planning is complete. I also recognize that for many of our clients who are self-isolating or home from work, this may present an opportunity to get started on their planning.
The challenge, therefore, is to continue to meet the needs of both client groups while limiting in-person contact and following social distancing and public health recommendations. Thankfully much of our work can be done using email, teleconferences, and video conferences. The one exception to this is document signings that typically require witnesses and a notary.
To limit the possibility of transmittal while still meeting the needs of our clients, I am immediately enacting the following precautions to remain in effect until further notice:
- We will convert all meetings that are not required to be in-person to teleconferences or video conferences.
- We will only be scheduling in-person meetings for document signings that require a notary or witnesses.
- We will only schedule in-person meetings in our office one day a week (Wednesdays).
- You have the right to have your documents mailed to you for you to sign. We will be available via phone or video to walk you through the documents and make sure all documents are properly signed.
- If you or anyone in your household has experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms within the last 48 hours, we request that you reschedule any “in office” appointments and not come to our office.
- We will have hand sanitizer available at the entrance of the office. Please sanitize your hands upon entering our office.
- We have always wiped our conference room down after each appointment, but we have implemented enhanced cleaning procedures to help reduce the risk of exposure to infections.
- We will refrain from handshaking.
We realize that these measures may seem extreme under the current situation and may cause some inconveniences. However, the vast majority of our clients are over the age of 60, which is a group that faces greater risks with viral infections. Further, we also have many clients with other underlying medical conditions who fall into the “very high risk” category of exposure. Therefore, we will err on the side of some minor inconvenience for the sake of safety for our higher-risk clients.
I believe that these reasonable steps are the best way to protect our clients, our staff, their families, and the community at large. However, we need your help! We encourage all clients with active symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath to immediately consult with their healthcare provider and to cancel your appointment or let us know if you have recently been in our office.
Although the news on the spread of this virus can be very depressing, I am encouraged by the spirit of the people of the Philadelphia area to work together and overcome this challenge.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. Hopefully, this situation will pass and resolve itself quickly so we can return to normal operations.