COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

This page will be updated with information as it becomes available

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COVID-19 Information and Links

Resources for Small Businesses

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

What Happens Next As We Continue Serving Our Members? 

Prepared by Hugh Gordon, Association Executive 

 

As we adapt to the “new normal” in our industry and community, we want to see our members and staff come back to our building as quickly as possible. However, safety must be the highest priority through-out this process to enable us to continue providing the level of support we have given consistently on a remote basis. 

 

As we composed this reopening strategy, we followed the CDC/EPA guidelines, the State of Maryland Governor’s Roadmap to Recovery guideline principles, and the Frederick County Executive’s plan for re-opening. Please know the details within this plan could change at any moment. FCAR members and staff are still encouraged to follow the association on our website at www.fcar.org and our media outlets, as well as to consult www.cdc.gov, and the updates and resources on www.mdrealtors.org. 

 

As of this time, all large member and high-contact events on FCAR’s calendar through August 2020 have been canceled and/or postponed. All large member events between September 2020 and December 2020 are being carefully analyzed and may be suspended until 2021. 

 

Similar to Governor Hogan’s recently announced plan for Maryland to reopen gradually and Frederick County Executive Gardner’s cautious approach, we too are taking a similar timeline approach with precautionary measures in place. However, all the dates and phases are subject to change should new orders be issued by local, state, or national government mandates. 

Click HERE to read the full plan.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

FCAR Members,

The Frederick County Association of REALTORS is continually monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and will take measures as we feel are necessary for the health and wellbeing of the Association, our Members and our community. As of now, because of the small number of individuals involved, all committee meetings and classes through next week will be held as scheduled.

 

We will continue to monitor the situation in our area and may adjust scheduled events accordingly. Please refer to the FCAR website and the FCAR Facebook page and private group before attending any FCAR scheduled event for the near future.

 

FCAR asks that you use your own discretion and decide for yourself as to whether or not to attend a meeting or event. All absences in light of the current pandemic will be excused. If you are feeling unwell, please do not come to the FCAR office or any scheduled FCAR event and seek medical attention.

 

 

- Amanda Addington, 2020 FCAR President

Friday, March 6, 2020

In response to the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland and the State of Emergency declared by Governor Larry Hogan, FCAR is issuing the following Policy:

  • Volunteers or Employees who are feeling sick should remain at home.

    • Persons who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to the office or attend events until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).

    • Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

    • Companies that provide FCAR with contract work or temporary employees who are feeling sick should stay home and encourage their employer to develop non-punitive leave policies.

    • A healthcare provider’s note is not required for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.

    • Employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day will be sent home immediately.

    • Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).

 

  • FCAR will perform routine environmental cleaning.

    • Employees and volunteers shall routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas will be provided. Follow the directions on the label.

    • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.

 

  • Before traveling, employees and volunteers should take the following steps.

    • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found on the CDC website.

    • Volunteers and employees shall check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

    • Employees who become sick while traveling should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.

    • If outside the United States, sick employees or volunteers should follow their company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.

 

  • Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19.

    • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

    • If an employee or volunteer is confirmed to have COVID-19, FCAR shall inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

Wednesday, May 21, 2020

We received notification from the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS®:

In case you have not heard the good news, on Tuesday May 19th at 3:00 PM Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued an executive order that allows real estate to open on a statewide basis in Pennsylvania effective Tuesday, May 19th subject to certain guidelines. 

 

At RAYAC we have been receiving phone calls this afternoon from licensees in Maryland.  Many Maryland Real Estate Licensees also have their Pennsylvania reciprocal real estate license.   If they are not a member of an association in Pennsylvania they are not receiving our communications and therefore they were not aware of the Governor’s order. 

 

We are kindly asking that you share this information with your membership. 

 

The Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® has developed a plethora of great resources for real estate practitioners in Pennsylvania.

 

A video reviewing the new guidance for real estate.

An article that outlines the guidelines in text.

PAR’s Suggested Best Practices During COVID-19

PAR’s FAQs

Thursday, April 23,  2020

the MD Dept of Labor has released some guidelines for independent contractors/sole proprietors to file for unemployment. Read the email at the link below.

Saturday, April 18,  2020

Maryland REALTORS® has issued a statement regarding the Best Practices for Rental Properties during COVID-19. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Maryland REALTORS® has prepared a new COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions guide. It includes questions from a broad range of work-related issues. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Maryland REALTORS® has prepared a new COVID-19 Addendum to the Exclusive Right to Sell Residential Brokerage Agreement or Exclusive Right to Lease Residential Brokerage Agreement.

 

This Addendum was created to enable broker and seller/owner to modify the showing instructions initially agreed to in the listing agreement to address concerns raised by potential exposure to COVID-19. 

 

A seller/owner who elects to continue to allow in-person/on-site showings is advised to carefully review the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) regarding COVID-19 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/index.html) and adhere to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s directives (https://governor.maryland.gov/covid-19-pandemic-orders-and-guidance/).

 

We also recommend the following:

  1. Conduct in-person showings by appointment only.

  2. Allow no more than three (3) people, including the agent, on the Property at any one time. 

  3. Have those three people strictly follow physical distancing guidelines established by the CDC by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.


MR has contacted it's forms vendors and asked them to post the Addendum as soon as possible.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Here is an update on from our Government Affairs Director Lisa May:

 

Last night, NAR secured a deadline extension for 1031 Exchanges to July 15. Details right now are on the Realtor Party FB page: https://www.facebook.com/NARRealtorParty/posts/10156733116436572   I am assuming we will see them on the main NAR pages soon.

 

Today, April 10, is a key date for independent contractors to apply for financial assistance. But some local GADs are hearing from members that they are confused as to which programs begin today (understandable, given the number of programs and that this is all new for independent contractors). So, in case you get any questions from members, April 10 is for the Paycheck Protection Program that you apply for through the Small Business Administration and local banks. Info on that is here from MR: http://www.mdrealtor.org/Portals/0/adam/Content/MuPpYWalKUCd0DnAGty6nQ/Link/Payroll%20Protection%20Program%20FAQ.pdf 

 

and the SBA page is here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

 

Today is NOT the day you can begin applying for state unemployment benefits. The state is still working to set up their system to process independent contractors. MR is hoping to have clarity on timelines very soon. Until then, members can go to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) portion of the state unemployment assistance page and sign up to receive an email alert for when they may apply: http://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/unemployment.shtml

 

There's also quite the discussion going on regarding tenants of expiring leases and the showing of rental properties to new tenants. There have been conversations with the Administration and MR about this issue but so far, it seems that each one wants the other to be the one to offer a solution. I'll keep you posted on anything else that we hear. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

From Maryland REALTORS®

GOVERNOR'S PROCLAMATIONS, ORDERS AND INTERPRETIVE GUIDANCE

Links to the proclamations and orders issued by Governor Larry Hogan related to COVID-19, along with interpretive guidance (IG) from the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel.  The most recent Interpretive Guidance  IG (20-04-05-02) addresses the empowerment of local county health officials -- working with law enforcement -- to urge businesses/organizations that are NOT COMPLYING properly with Stay-at-home Order and social distancing to modify practices in order to comply and minimize risk or else close/shut down business/organization.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Here is the latest update from Maryland REALTORS® regarding COVID-19:

To ease any confusion, Maryland REALTORS® has worked hard with the brokerage community to develop a set of guidelines, which have been reviewed by the Administration. These are presented as best practices; if your attorney or broker has a different policy, follow that. We will continue to monitor this continuously evolving situation and will provide updates as necessary.

 

As REALTORS®, we have the honor of serving people who want to buy and sell homes. We care about our clients, our communities, and our colleagues. Nothing in recent memory has brought this into sharper focus than the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

As discussed below, providing real estate services has been deemed essential in Maryland, permitting brokerages to conduct business during this time. With that right comes the responsibility of doing so in a safe manner. 

 

Governor Hogan issued a statewide “Stay at Home Order” (the “Order”) that became effective at 8 pm, Monday, March 30, to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus that requires the closure of all “non-essential businesses.” Except for staff and owners maintaining minimal operations, all workers that are considered non-essential must work only remotely. 

 

Governor Hogan’s Order incorporates federal guidance, which includes residential and commercial real estate services as “essential,” an acknowledgment of the vital nature of providing housing to the public. The Governor’s Order also emphasizes the overriding importance of protecting public health through staying home and physical distancing. The real estate brokerage industry shares the Governor’s priorities. Our paramount concern is the safety of the public and the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

 

The following guidelines outline procedures that will allow us to continue to do business in a way that is mindful of the unique risks we are all facing. It is our responsibility to follow these guidelines so that we and our and clients are protected. If we cannot adopt these safe practices, the industry may face additional restrictions or even a complete prohibition on providing real estate services. 

 

Accordingly, real estate licensees will limit personal interactions to the greatest extent possible and will engage in-person only when necessary, and follow these strict protocols: 

 

  • In-person activities must be by appointment only. 

  • No more than three (3) people, including the agent, may be at a property at any one time. 

  • Those three persons must strictly follow physical distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) by remaining at least six feet apart at all times. 

 

Real estate licensees who strictly follow the above protocols are permitted to engage in the following in-person activities related to the purchase and sale of homes: 

 

  • Conduct listing presentations, take property photos and create virtual tours for new listings.

  • Facilitate the signing of contract documents. 

  • Preview and show listings by appointment only. 

  • Facilitate photography/videography, inspections, appraisals, buyer “walk-throughs,” and key delivery. 

 

All other real estate brokerage services will be limited to services we can provide remotely. There are risks associated with leaving the safety of your home and viewing homes for sale, as well as having prospective buyers enter the seller’s home. Buyers and sellers must be attentive to and abide by the mandates and guidelines from public health officials and work with their real estate agents to make informed decisions about listing, selling, and purchasing real property. REALTORS® will exercise their best judgment under the circumstances to provide advice regarding all aspects of the current real estate market. 

 

Updated information about COVID-19 is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 Information Portal. If you have specific questions about health concerns related to COVID-19, you should consult with a health professional.

 

For the latest information and updates, please visit the Maryland REALTORS website.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Senator Chris Van Hollen has put together a great resource that outlines the federal and state assistance available to businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19. This list also includes clickable links. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Please read the following statement from Maryland REALTORS®:

Here is the latest guidance developed after consultation with the brokerage community and the administration.

 

We believe these guidelines strike the right balance between protecting the public and continuing to meet the urgent needs of consumers for our services, including those who need housing or to put properties on the market.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

During this very unique and trying time, we ask that our members continue to abide by and fully comply with all Federal, State and Local laws, regulations and guidelines, especially with respect to conducting business in light of social distancing mandates.

 

With your full cooperation, we look to get through this most difficult time together and get back to business as usual as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

FCAR Members -

 

Please make sure you read the latest message posted by Maryland Realtors.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

In accordance with State Superintendent Dr. Karen B. Salmon's directive today, all Maryland public schools including Frederick County public schools will remain closed through Friday, April 24, 2020.

 

This is an additional four weeks beyond the original closure from March 16-27, 2020. The Maryland State Department of Education will continue to reassess the situation to determine when schools can re-open.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Here is an updated version of the announcement made yesterday with some adjustments made by Maryland REALTORS®. If you have questions, please contact FCAR at 301-663-0757 or by email at info@fcar.org.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Governor of Maryland issued a new Emergency Order on March 23rd, directing all non-essential businesses to close to the general public as of 5:00 p.m. March 23rd, 2020.  The emergency order does NOT direct Maryland residents to shelter-in-place. Guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel also states: “employers are urged to promote work-from-home arrangements to the greatest extent possible.” 

Based upon Governor Hogan’s Amended and Restated Executive Order (click here), all state and local REALTOR® boards and associations should be closed to the general public as of 5:00 p.m. on March 23, 2020. 

 

All real estate brokerage offices and branch offices should be closed to the general public as of 5:00 p.m. on March 23, 2020. 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Friday, March 13, 2020

The Frederick County Association of REALTORS® is taking precautionary steps in response to the growing public health concern regarding the COVID-19 virus.

 

Effective immediately, Frederick County Association of REALTORS® classes and events have been postponed until further notice. Committee meetings will take place by conference calls, at the discretion of the Chair.  Notices will be sent out by committee chairs regarding all committee meetings. The President and AE will be assessing the situation on a weekly basis and keeping our members informed.

 

Governor Hogan announced this afternoon that he is extending all licenses for 30 days after the State of Emergency has been lifted. He has also banned an events/gathering of 250 people or more.

 

Effective Monday, March 16th, the Association office will be closed. The staff will work with members to best accommodate needs regarding SentriLock and retail purchases. Please call or e-mail the FCAR staff if you have a specific need. The office phone number is (301) 663-0757.

 

The Association’s first concern is for its members and staff. We request that members and staff seek medical attention if they are experiencing any symptoms or have potentially been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

 

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact me.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Hugh Gordon, Association Executive

Frederick County Association of REALTORS®

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Frederick County Association of REALTORS®

478 Prospect Blvd. 

Frederick, MD 21701

301-663-0757   |   info@fcar.org

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