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Coronavirus Update: How Safe Are Essential House Calls?

SHORT HILLS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A knock on your front door is somewhat unusual these days.

Letting someone come inside is even less common.

In the age of coronavirus that has led to so many being out of work, a few essential companies are still allowed to make house calls.

Meyer & Depew Heating and Cooling is one of those companies.

"All mechanicals -- electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, we're essential to keep this country going," Louise Pietrangelo told CBS2's Jessica Layton.


Pietrangelo, a senior service technician, was at a New Jersey house to do work on an air conditioning unit.

The homeowners considered canceling, but were assured of all the extra safeguards the business is taking.

"We wash our hands constantly, we have Lysol wipes in our trucks," Pietrangelo said.

They also wear gloves and masks while keeping a distance during the job.

Pietrangelo says they've received calls from people asking if it's safe for them to be working in homes during the public health crisis.

"There's been concerns, but we just assure the people the take all the precautions necessary to make sure they're safe and that we're safe. We don't want to get sick," Pietrangelo said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

Workers at Petri Plumbing & Heating say the changes they are making are as important for the customers as they are for the workers.

"We don't know what we're walking into. We don't know the situation and there's a lot of nervousness. Even though they need the work done, they're still on the tip of their toes whenever we do something," said owner Michael Petri.

Another precaution both companies talked about: at the end of the appointment no papers will be signed — eliminating the need to share pens.

These workers are making sure homes are in good shape as residents spend more time in them than ever.

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