As I’m posting this, Pearland and the Greater Houston area is slowing down to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19. It is difficult to know exactly how to respond, but the trend appears to be continue closing everything down. Prompted by the announcement of the closing of schools and social distancing, I decided to try and be proactive. The situation continues to change, and I need to compromise to meet the needs of my clients and the need for protecting our community. See policy below.
COVID-19 In-Person meeting policy change
I continue to monitor the changing recommendations and restrictions from our local, state, and federal government concerning the Coronavirus (COVID 19) closely. The health of my clients, the community, and my staff are of utmost importance. Shutting the office down, would leave the clients and those urgently needing services in a bind. I also know that those clients with outstanding matters will feel a sense of relief at knowing their matter is completed, especially with regard to Estate Planning. I also recognize that for many clients are self-quarantining or social distancing at home, and this may present an opportunity to get started on matters they have been postponing.
Our 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. These will be done from your vehicle, without you entering the office, if possible.
- We will contact you before your scheduled in-person meeting to confirm that you are asymptomatic.
- We will contact you approximately one week after your meeting to confirm that you have remained asymptomatic.
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! All clients with active symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath should immediately consult with their healthcare provider. If you experience symptoms and you have recently been in our office, please let us know.
Although this time can be isolating and the news can be dreary, I am encouraged by the spirit of the people who are using this time to connect with their household and to communicate and work with others remotely to overcome the challenges we face from this virus.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.