What steps can a hotel take to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus?
Hotels can help reduce the spread of the virus by taking these steps:
- Require your staff to stay home if they show flu or cold-like symptoms. Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness should stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- Re-emphasize to your staff to wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners containing least 60% alcohol are also effective.
- Influenza, coronavirus, and other diseases are frequently spread person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. Re-emphasize to your staff to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and to throw the tissue in the trash after they use it.
- Remind staff to avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth before washing their hands.
- Encourage employees to consider getting the seasonal flu vaccine. While the flu vaccine is not effective against the COVID-19 coronavirus, it is effective against the more common seasonal flu.
- Put together a plan for your hotel property. The CDC has sample guidance available here.
How should hotels sanitize guest rooms and public areas of the hotel?
Although the CDC is advising businesses that no additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time, we are advising hotel properties to follow the advice from leading hotel industry health and safety experts. This includes enhancing the cleaning frequency in areas of hotel properties that receive frequent contact by people. Here is what hotel safety experts are recommending:
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs.
- Take special care to frequently and routinely disinfect hard surfaces and high-touch areas such as railing, doorknobs and handles, elevator buttons, restroom surfaces, countertops, tabletops, chairs, fitness equipment, etc.
- Use the cleaning agents that are usually used and follow the directions on the label.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees or guests before each use.
- Place alcohol-based hand sanitizers in public areas available for employees and the public to use.
- Additionally, Ecolab released a cleaning guide for hotels.