Our leadership and COVID response team worked tirelessly to ensure our buildings could remain open for business while providing a healthy and safe indoor environment for our employees, tenants, visitors, and contractors. We uphold Fitwel’s Viral Response Module framework to guide our pandemic response protocols:


  • Enhanced IAQ and humidity control policies, as recommended by CDC and ASHRAE
  • IAQ testing and monitoring
  • Legionella testing and water management plan
  • Enhanced cleaning, disinfecting, and maintenance protocol


  • Pandemic preparedness plan and business continuity plan
  • Viral response design guidelines for our offices, lobby areas, and loading docks
  • Enhanced stakeholder collaboration plan, including our employee survey and emergency communications plans
  • Flexible and accommodating paid sick leave and family support policies for employees


  • Provision of PPE with accompanying education and signage
  • FDA-approved thermal scanning practices, social distancing, and PPE requirements in all of our lobbies and common areas
  • Hand hygiene stations, including education and signage
  • Health programming and services plan


  • Daily health screenings and questionnaire
  • Provision of COVID tests
  • Provision of equipment for remote working capabilities and IT support
  • Vaccination and booster shot clinics
  • Flexibility to accommodate personal requests

Vornado was among the first five real estate companies to earn the Fitwel Viral Response Module designation in 2020 for our pandemic response program.

In 2020 and 2021, the BMS Green Clean program fully aligned with Fitwel’s Viral Response Module (VRM). Highlights from our green cleaning include the following:

  • Identification of high-touch surfaces to shift extra attention to cleaning and disinfecting of these areas.
  • Active maintenance of PPE inventory, including masks, gloves, eye protection, face shields, and hazmat suits. These provisions are made available to all staff in every building. Additionally, BMS is managing an inventory of hand hygiene supplies including hand soap, sanitizer, and paper towels, to ensure consistent supply.
  • Prioritization of safer disinfectants, as outlined by Green Seal and Fitwel VRM, and hydrogen peroxidebased products across all regions of our operations.
  • Use of vacuums with HEPA filtration. HEPA, or high efficiency particulate air, filters remove dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and other airborne particles from the air as it passes through the vacuum. The HEPA filtration helps to supplement the IAQ mitigation strategy in place with HVAC filtration systems.
  • Maintenance of healthy entryway systems in our lobbies by routinely cleaning at all high-traffic access points, including walk-off mats, and the continuing disinfection of high-touch surfaces.

2021 also highlighted the critical success of the BMS health and safety program. Since the onset of the pandemic, BMS has been the primary procuring agent for all PPE and other critical supplies for Vornado and our divisions.

BMS established an internal pandemic protocol to respond safely and effectively to the ongoing threat posed by the pandemic. Communication methods for reporting illness, duration of quarantine, and contact tracing were outlined by Human Resources and distributed to all staff. Guidelines for symptom checking and temperature reading were established and executed at the building level for all staff. Operational adjustments such as staggered shift times, limits to the number of staff in confined spaces, and encouraging employees to arrive fully uniformed when possible were activated in response to the pandemic.

In 2020 and 2021, BMS field staff have been trained utilizing the following COVID -specific training modules and methods:

  • PPE – how and when to use it, proper donning and doffing techniques
  • Proper pandemic disinfection protocol – emphasizes product selection, dwell time, procedures, PPE, how to properly use equipment
  • Preventing the spread of contagious illness (DC/VA)
  • ISSA Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Cleaning and Disinfection Principles
  • Equipment training – HEPA filtered vacuums, electrostatic sprayers
  • BMS staff guidelines for health and safety during COVID – social distancing, hand washing, PPE, communication, symptom checking
  • 32BJ/BMS Partnership COVID Training & Refresher Course (1 hour)
  • Creation of weekly safety/training virtual meetings (DC/VA region)

Types of QA/QC safety checks conducted to ensure a healthy workplace in 2020 and 2021:

  • Safety station inspections to ensure proper PPE, signage, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and bloodborne pathogen procedures in placePPE inventory, tracking, and distribution
  • Emergency cabinet checks
  • Employee injury/incident follow-up