Conducting Signings During Shelter-in-Place or Stay-at-Home Orders
As of March 27, 2020, 25 states, 74 counties, and 14 cities have issued varying forms of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders. The specifics are location-dependent, but each of these orders generally allows for the maintenance of “essential services.” This has left many wondering what this means for signing agents and the services they provide.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) helps local governments, businesses, and individuals identify critical infrastructure during COVID-19. The Director, Christopher C. Krebs issued more guidance in a memorandum on March 19, 2020 that specifically identifies Financial Services and “workers who are needed to provide consumer access to banking and lending services” as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure.
Additionally, the Department of the Treasury issued a Memorandum for Financial Services Sector on March 22, 2020 identifying those who “provide consumer access to banking and lending services” as well as “key third party providers who deliver core services” as members of the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.”
Real estate is the largest asset class in the world. Signing agents are valuable players in helping consumers close on a home, refinance their mortgage, and access the credit tied to their house.
Ultimately, it’s important for everyone to decide what’s best for them personally. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of “should I complete this signing?” We provide more information on safety and COVID-19 below, but only you can decide what’s best for you.
As we learn more about rules, regulations, or orders, we’ll update this information.
Safety and COVID-19/Coronavirus
The safety of everyone in the Snapdocs community is the highest priority. As the situation with COVID-19/coronavirus evolves, we highly recommend staying close to the guidance issued by your local health authorities.
Snapdocs recommends all customers, employees, and contractors follow CDC guidance and self-quarantine and/or isolate if:
- You have tested positive for COVID-19 and are to isolate under CDC Guidelines
- If you had symptoms for COVID-19, you should follow instructions from your doctor, but you can generally discontinue isolation if:
- At least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared (or, if you were asymptomatic, after your positive test),
- You have been fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine, and
- other symptoms are improving.
- If you had no symptoms and continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since your positive test.
- You have been in close contact (have been within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with, cared for, had direct physical contact with, or shared eating or drinking utensils with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days (unless you are fully vaccinated or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 3 months and have not developed any symptom).
- You may reduce this to ten 10 days if you remain symptom free and take precautionary measures, or seven 7 days if you receive a negative test on day 5 or later.
- You are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) and have not ruled out COVID-19 through a negative test.
Additionally, if you’d like, you can confirm with the consumer beforehand that they are not sick and that none of the above situations apply to them. If you feel the environment of a signing will put you at risk in any way, please ask to be removed from the order.
If you will not be conducting signings for an extended period of time, you can temporarily opt out of receiving signing notifications. To do so, set yourself as “out of office” on Snapdocs. You can always cancel your out of office status at any time.
If you will continue conducting signings during this time, please take the following precautions outlined by the CDC in order to protect the health and safety of yourselves and others:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. (Note from Snapdocs: Please be sure to adhere to local county guidelines regarding wearing masks in public.)
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with others. (Note from Snapdocs: to help avoid close contact with others during signing appointments, bring 2 sets of pens so that all parties present will not have to share and can minimize the risk of exposure.)
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes pens, tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. You can find a list of EPA approved disinfectants here.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Signing agents are a critical piece of the United States economy. Stay safe and take care of yourself and those around you. We’ll keep this updated as we learn more.
- First American Title - COVID-19 Update
- Old Republic Title - A Message From the President
- Fidelity National Title - Taking Action Against COVID-19
- NNA - COVID-19 Information and Alerts
Last Updated: May 10, 2021