Before reopening a hotel or lodging, a number of steps must be taken to ensure the safety of your employees and guests. The first step is to establish a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan at every facility, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work areas, and designate a person at each facility to implement this plan.
The following steps should factor into this plan:
Ongoing Training & Evaluation
- Train employees and employee representatives on the specifics of the plan.
- Make contact information for the local health department readily available.
- Continually reevaluate the workplace for plan compliance and document and correct any deficiencies. Should a work-related factor contribute to risk of infection or a positive case, update the plan as needed.
Employee Screenings and Prevention of Spread
- Employers should provide and ensure workers use all required PPE, including the disposable gloves, hand soap, and sanitizer.
- Face coverings are strongly recommended when employees are near others, and workers should have covers available at all times on the property or while sharing a vehicle during work-related travel.
- Guests and visitors should be screened upon arrival and asked to use hand sanitizer and wear a face covering. Appropriate signs should also be prominently displayed outlining proper face covering usage and current physical distancing practices in use throughout the property.
- Provide time for workers to implement cleaning practices during their shift.
- When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should use products approved for use against COVID-19 on the EPA-approved list and follow product instructions. Use disinfectants labeled to be effective against emerging viral pathogens, diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons per gallon of water), or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol that are appropriate for the surface. Workers using cleaners or disinfectants should wear gloves as required by the product instructions.
- Avoid sharing phones, tablets, laptops, desks, pens, other work supplies, or offices wherever possible. Never share PPE. Any shared tools and equipment should be sanitized before, during, and after each shift or anytime the equipment is transferred to a new employee.
- Consider offering workers who request modified duties options that minimize their contact with others.
- Stagger employee breaks, in compliance with wage and hour regulations, to maintain physical distancing protocols.
- Limit the number of individuals riding in an elevator and ensure the use of face coverings. Use signage to communicate these requirements.
- Identify close contacts (within 6' for 15 minutes or more) of an infected employee and take steps to isolate COVID-19 positive employee(s) and close contacts.
- Encourage workers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home. Provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for all workers entering the establishment. Both screeners and employees should wear face coverings for the screening.
- Consider installing portable, high-efficiency air cleaners, upgrading the building’s air filters to the highest efficiency possible, and making other modifications to increase the quantity of outside air and ventilation in offices, guest rooms, and other spaces.
- Install hand sanitizer dispensers, touchless whenever possible, at key guest and employee entrances and contact areas such as driveways, reception areas, hotel lobbies, restaurant entrances, meeting and convention spaces, elevator landings, pools, salons, and exercise areas.
- Maintain indoor humidity as low as possible, not exceeding 50%, as measured with a humidity meter. Building managers may consider continuous monitoring of indoor humidity using a digital hygrometer, ideally more than once daily, to minimize the need to access the building.
- After a prolonged shutdown and before occupants return, buildings should be assessed for mold and excess moisture.
- After a building is reopened and occupied, routine (e.g., weekly) checks of the HVAC system are recommended to ensure operating efficiency.
Looking for more information? Check out our room-specific guidelines below.