We share a deep concern for the spread of Coronavirus and the safety of caregivers and families. We’re asking our members to be totally transparent with each other when it comes to their health.
We encourage open communication regarding family and sitter health status. So, as always, if a child, a family member or caregiver is sick or has a fever, please disclose this information, with symptoms and relevant doctor information, to the other party so that families and caregivers can make informed decisions on whether to cancel a job.
At this time, UrbanSitter’s Trust and Safety Team has prioritized Coronavirus prevention efforts. For the safety of the UrbanSitter community, and following CDC guidelines, UrbanSitter has informed our members that jobs should be canceled if a caregiver or anyone in the family they are working for has a known exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, jobs should not be posted and booking requests should not be sent if a family member fits that criteria as well.
We are recommending members to follow CDC guidelines below. As relevant information becomes available and CDC recommendations evolve, we’ll be sure to update this FAQ and proactively communicate the information to our community.
As far as precautions, the CDC recommends that people should self-quarantine for 14 days if:
- You have been in contact in the last 14-days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
- You have traveled to a CDC-designated level 2 or 3 area in the last 14 days
Jobs should be canceled if a caregiver or anyone in the family they are working for fits into one of the above categories. Neither party will be penalized for COVID-19 related cancellations.
The CDC also recommends the following steps to protect yourself and other family members:
- Get your flu shot to protect against flu or symptoms similar to novel coronavirus.
- Wash your hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you are sick, and keep sick family members at home until symptoms resolve.
As the situation is changing rapidly, the CDC and local department of health websites are great sources for the most up-to-date information and recommendations.
Cancellations due to COVID-19
We will not be penalizing parents or sitters in the event of a cancellation due to COVID-19 to ensure that all parties feel supported in putting their own and their community’s health first. If you do find yourself needing to cancel a booking due to COVID-19, please proactively email our team at email@example.com with an explanation for your cancellation so that we can update our records accordingly. Additionally, we ask that you send a message to the other party citing your reason for canceling as a courtesy to the other member.
Essential Worker Badges
UrbanSitter has added the option for Essential Worker badges on job posts to highlight the needs of essential workers during this time. The badge will identify parents who have self-identified as essential workers per their local government, such as health care workers, grocery store employees, and government workers. While posting a job, parents can indicate that they are an essential worker and add COVID-19 related screening questions for sitters to answer, such as Would you be willing to have your temperature taken upon arrival at our home? Sitters will see the purple cross badge on a parent's photo on the Job Board as seen here:
Shelter-in-place Orders and Childcare
Most counties have cited “Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;” as “Essential Business”. Some families have felt most comfortable booking the same sitter for childcare consistently or have asked sitters to shelter-in-place in their home with their family. Please note that this may vary across the country and your county may have different guidelines for childcare than others.
In San Francisco specifically, we’ve contacted the local government to better understand childcare limitations and as of 3/18/2020 families are welcome to continue receiving childcare as long as the care is performed in the family’s home. Additionally, all parties must comply with all other aspects of the shelter-in-place order. Click here for more information.
Please take a moment to access your county’s government website for specific instructions. If you have additional questions about your specific circumstances, we recommend calling 311 or your city’s information center directly.
You can also find information about your area here:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New York
- West Virginia