APC spoke with Chad Turpen of Turpen’s Painting Co. in Evansville, IN. He was still at work, and still was getting requests for estimates – one came in from his website even during our conversation. “One of the jobs we’re finishing now is a 10,000-square-foot office building with all new floors and baseboards,” he said. They had sent home the entire staff except for the housekeeping woman. “She’s been cleaning door handles every hour on top of her regular cleaning,” said Turpen. “Along with her, it’s just our painters, one carpenter and two of their workers in the building. We only have one confirmed case right now in Evansville. I still have customers calling for estimates daily; I’m doing them virtually or coming by next week. We’re trying to minimize interaction as much as possible for at least a week or two.” Also, the crew makes a point of cleaning surfaces before working on them.
Turpen’s heard some blowback about still being at work, with a question of whether painting is an essential service. “My argument to people that don’t like us working is that these are unprecedented times for everyone and we’re trying our best to keep our employees working to take care of their families, while being extra cautious to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe.” Painters can be assigned to separate rooms for interior projects, or separate walls in the case of exterior work. Next week the crew is scheduled to paint the exterior of a bar in a busy part of town – but chances are there won’t be much traffic.