Return to Work Precautions for Hotels and Hospitality

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) curve flattens and businesses reopen, it’s of utmost importance to maintain proper COVID-19 safety precautions to prevent another widespread outbreak. This is particularly true for hotels and the hospitality industry as a whole. They are international hubs, where people from around the world come together, increasing the risk of global outbreak. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others have been critical in publishing materials to help various industries mitigate these risks. Recently, the Cleveland Clinic published a guide on steps to stay safe at work in the hospitality industry. These steps include ensuring the facility is disinfected, setting up support systems in case of COVID-19 exposure, and minimizing the risk of transmission.

General Health & Safety Precautions for Hotels

As employees begin to return to work, the following steps should be taken by everyone:

  • Wear a face mask at all times
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Employ contactless payment methods, if possible
  • Practice social distancing at work
  • Take each employee’s temperature before they enter the building
  • Cover all sneezes and coughs with your sleeve
  • Stay home if you feel sick whatsoever
  • Supply employees with proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and info on how to don and doff it
  • Reassign high-risk employees to a different area so they’re less exposed
  • Increase circulation of outside air in HVAC

Frequently Clean & Disinfect High-Touch Areas

While most high-touch areas should be cleaned at least a few times a day, hotels may require them to be cleaned even more frequently, since a variety of people are coming and going at all times. Be sure to use EPA-registered chemicals proven to disinfect COVID-19. High touch areas in hotels include:

  • The front desk
  • Pens
  • Room keys
  • Disinfect hot tubs and pools with chlorine and bromine
  • All door knobs and handles, in rooms or otherwise
  • Faucets & sinks
  • Sheets, towels and blankets: launder at higher temps with disinfectant detergent
  • Curtains
  • Vending machines and ice machine buttons
  • Elevator buttons
  • Stairway hand railings
  • Telephones
  • Alarm clocks
  • Thermostats
  • Coffee makers
  • Light and lamp switches
  • Remote controls
  • Tabletops

Note: If a space is unoccupied for more than 7 days, a routine cleaning is sufficient.

Policies to Implement for Customers

While you should always follow up-to-date guidelines from the CDC, OSHA and other federal bodies, be sure you know the state of your locality as well. Specific policies can vary by state, but here are some general ones to implement at your hospitality facility:

  • Provide disinfectant wipes in each guest room
  • Install touch-free hand sanitizer stations in hallways
  • Limit the lobby foot traffic
  • Put clear markers on the ground 6 feet apart for people to line up if needed
  • Erect a barrier between customer and employee at desks
  • Install clear signage of health & safety policies; CDC has free printouts here
  • Stagger employee shifts and break times
  • Rearrange fitness equipment to comply with distancing policies or keep the gym closed altogether to avoid hassle
  • Suspend valet services
  • Cancel breakfast buffets and instead provide meals in to-go containers to prevent cross contamination

Employing Verifiable Surface Testing

Testing surfaces in hotels is critical in curbing the spread of COVID-19. Verifiable surface testing uses RT-PCR technology to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the viral cause of COVID-19, on fomites (objects likely to carry diseases) and hard surfaces. Surface testing is an extra layer of measurability and accountability, and is imperative to both proactive controls and the efficacy of containment measures. This process can be done pre or post-disinfection, and is recommended to be performed on a regularly scheduled basis after preventative disinfection. When a professional cleaner remediates and disinfects an area for COVID-19, they should be willing to provide a surface test upon completion.

COVID-19 Disinfection For Hotels

If you think an employee or customer has visited your business with COVID-19 symptoms, Aftermath Service’s COVID-19 infectious disease disinfection specialists are here to help. We’re available 24/7 and can deploy rapidly after the initial call. We can fully remediate COVID-19 from high-touch surfaces in the workplace and are equipped to complete regular preventive maintenance in-line with your return to work plan. 

Our business was built on keeping you safe from the unseeable — we understand that the health and safety of you, your family, employees, and clients are on the line. Don’t take any chances; call in the professionals at 877-769-6917.

COVID-19 Resources for Hotels & Hospitality