Texas Pest Control Association

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE


 

Like you, TPCA is concerned about the growing spread of the coronavirus and how it will impact our daily lives, both at home and work. For those home service industries this is a concerning time. I believe our best defense is to remain calm and act with knowledge not to overreact with fear and panic. The COVID-19 virus infects people of all ages. However, evidence to date suggests that two groups of people are at a higher risk of getting severe COVID-19 disease. These are older people; and those with underlying medical conditions. TPCA is committed to sharing vital information and updates with our members as it becomes available. 

TPCA Update on Coronavirus: Shelter-in-place/Stay-at-home Orders
(March 24, 2020 | Updated March 25, 2020)
TPCA Update on Coronavirus: Coronavirus & Essential Services
(March 20, 2020) 
Update from the Governor of Texas 
(March 19, 2020)
TPCA Update on Coronavirus: Coronavirus Webinar
(March 18, 2020)
TPCA Update on Coronavirus: Coronavirus & Essential Services
(March 17, 2020)
TPCA Update on Coronavirus
(March 12, 2020)
 

Below are the best resources to help further educate you on the facts of COVID-19. Do not depend on social media, traditional news outlets or politicians.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

World Health Organization 

Coronavirus Tracker

Texas Department of State Health Services

A couple of quick tips to keep the work place safer:

    • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
    • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
    • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

 

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • The CDC advises employers to emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand-hygiene by all employees using the following actions:
    • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
    • All employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).  Don’t shake hands with others during this time.
    • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
    • The CDC has published a coughing and sneezing etiquette and has a clean hands webpage containing more information.
  • The CDC also recommends routine environmental cleaning:
    • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
    • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended by the CDC at this time.
    • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly-used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
       
  • The CDC further recommends as follows:
    • Allow flexible use of sick leave policies during this time.
    • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home.
    • Employers should be aware that more employees will stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
    • Use this opportunity to communicate with your employees about seasonal flu prevention strategies, such as minimizing contact, not shaking hands and engaging in sound hygiene and sanitation.  (The CDC states that statistics demonstrate seasonal flu poses a far greater and more immediate threat to your employees’ health at this time than does Covid-19. 
    • Do not panic or overreact but rather engage in sound business contingency planning.  Begin by developing contingency plans about how you will operate in the event absenteeism rates greatly exceed those of a normal flu season.  
    • Develop a plan for communicating with your employees if a major pandemic breaks out.  Plan for worse case scenarios now so you can effectively respond to what will likely be a rapidly changing situation. To do this, your management should anticipate and prepare for how you will answer the plethora of questions that will almost certainly be raised. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and similar state laws, employers have a general duty and obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment, even when the work occurs outside the employer’s physical premises. Furthermore, under these health and safety laws, employers must not place their employees in situations that are likely to cause serious physical harm or death.  

In sum, the CDC recommends planning ahead for the worst, but do not overreact by implementing broad-based bans and making business decisions about employees that are not based on statistical realities.

 

Live updates from the World Health Organization 

Live case reporting from the CDC

FAQ's regarding COVID-19

View the list of EPA-registered disinfectant products 


 

How to Prepare for Workplace Safeguards

  • The CDC advises employers to emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand-hygiene by all employees using the following actions:
    • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
    • All employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).  Don’t shake hands with others during this time.
    • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
    • The CDC has published a coughing and sneezing etiquette and has a clean hands webpage containing more information.
  • The CDC also recommends routine environmental cleaning:
    • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
    • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended by the CDC at this time.
    • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly-used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
       
  • The CDC further recommends as follows:
    • Allow flexible use of sick leave policies during this time.
    • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home.
    • Employers should be aware that more employees will stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
    • Use this opportunity to communicate with your employees about seasonal flu prevention strategies, such as minimizing contact, not shaking hands and engaging in sound hygiene and sanitation.  (The CDC states that statistics demonstrate seasonal flu poses a far greater and more immediate threat to your employees’ health at this time than does Covid-19. 
    • Do not panic or overreact but rather engage in sound business contingency planning.  Begin by developing contingency plans about how you will operate in the event absenteeism rates greatly exceed those of a normal flu season.  
    • Develop a plan for communicating with your employees if a major pandemic breaks out.  Plan for worse case scenarios now so you can effectively respond to what will likely be a rapidly changing situation. To do this, your management should anticipate and prepare for how you will answer the plethora of questions that will almost certainly be raised. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and similar state laws, employers have a general duty and obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment, even when the work occurs outside the employer’s physical premises. Furthermore, under these health and safety laws, employers must not place their employees in situations that are likely to cause serious physical harm or death.  

In sum, the CDC recommends planning ahead for the worst, but do not overreact by implementing broad-based bans and making business decisions about employees that are not based on statistical realities.

 

SPCS Advisory Committee

The SPCS Advisory Committee met on Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Austin. 
Below is a summary of the committee meeting.
We swore in three new members of the committee and I am delighted to welcome the following new members:
 
Clint Lehew– Member representing public interest.
Brian Binford– Member representing the interest of structural pest control operators. He operates a very successful multi-generation pest management company, Binford Insect Control Service, in Bryan/College Station.
Randy McCarty- Member representing the interest of structural pest control operators. He currently serves as the Training Director for ABC Home and Commercial Services in Austin, and has been in the industry for 35 years.
Dr. Patel gave an update on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk (SENSOR) program.  She will be giving us further updates on pesticide exposures data at future meetings.
 
We approved revisions to the Texas Official Wood Destroying Insect Report instructions, (no changes to the official form itself). The Committee felt they were good, but needed clarifications. The Department will be posting them on-line in the very near future. 
We received our quarterly TDA Update of Inspection and Enforcement Data for Third Quarter of FY 2019, which continues to show good enforcement numbers.
 
We received an update to online eApply for license applications, which the Department will be implementing soon, to allow for a quicker and easier license application process online.
 In upcoming meetings, we will be getting a report from our subcommittee considering changes to the Green list of products for school IPM.
Next Meeting Date will be October 24, 2019.
You can contact me with any questions, ideas or concerns at [email protected]
Roger Borgelt
Chairman    

Chapter Chatter

Central Texas Chapter
October 11th, Breakfast Meeting; 8:30am; private room
“Our Breakfast Place”
4600 Franklin Ave #100, Waco, TX 76710
We will discuss co-hosting another Brews & CEUs event with John Brownlee in January. 
Patrick Baldwin: 254-722-5985 cell
San Antonio Chapter
Chester's Hamburgers
Join us for our last meeting in 2019 on October 16th at 6pm- Chester's Hamburgers in San Antonio. Please feel free to reach out to a chapter member or chapter leadership for more information regarding meetings or the association. 
Contact Sterling Schulze at [email protected]
East Texas Chapter
The next chapter meeting will be on November 19th at Spring Creek BBQ on South Broadway in Tyler. Our guest speaker will be John Brownlee of IPM Solutions. Come join us for CEU & BBQ!
Golden Spread Chapter
Mark Your Calendar to attend the 12th Annual Amarillo CEU Workshop on 
January 30, 2020 at the Amarillo College downtown campus. This year we will be offering 7 CEU credits for Pest, Termite, General IPM, General Laws & Regs, L&O, Weed and Commodity Fumigation. Registration form will be available soon and will be printed in the December issue of the Texas Pest magazine. 
For more information contact Chapter President Brad Turner at 806-376-1111.
Greater Houston Chapter
November 12– Dr. Don Renchie, TAMU, Professor, Extension Program Leader,
Specialist and Coordinator–Pesticide Safety Education Program. His presentation is titled, “Building Winning Teams, What Does it Take?” He will cover Business Ethics and offer a 1 hour General Pest CEU.
December 10– Annual Family Christmas Party | Featuring Houston Magician Comedian Curt Miller. We had so much fun last year we had to invite him back.
December 17- GHPCA Annual Last Chance CEUs. Still need your CEUs for the year? We’ve got you covered; eight hours in one day including Pest, General Safety, Termite General Laws and Regs, L & O, Weed, and Structural Fumigation.
We do recommend that you check out our website, follow us on Facebook, and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed and learn additional details. www.ghpca.org.
El Paso Chapter
The El Paso Workshop is set for 2020! Make plans to attend on January 27 & 28 at the Wyndham Airport Hotel in El Paso, TX.
The El Paso Chapter is proud to announce Keynote Speaker Phillip Shults, a Research Associate at Texas A&M University in the Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility. Phillip received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M in 2011 and was a pest control technician after graduation. He went back to school and completed his Master’s degree with Dr. Roger Gold and is currently working on his PhD with Dr. Ed Vargo. His research at the Rollins Facility involves partnering with chemical manufacturing companies to test the efficacy of new and existing pest control products. This work involves a number of different pest species including termites, ants, cockroaches, and many more.
Registration information for the El Paso Workshop will be posted on the TPCA website at www.texaspest.org and online registration will also be available. See you in El Paso!
PestWorld 2019 is next week, and we don't want you to miss your chance to network with peers, explore the packed exhibit hall and attend world-class educational sessions. This year we also have great opportunities to give back to the local community during the PestWorld Day of Service.
 

 

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TPCA is the principal advocate and leadership organization for the professional pest control industry. We encourage the highest quality education, communication, and representation to promote our industry and the public good.