Travel Confidently - Part 4
In practice, housekeeping staff use hospital-grade products in their normal cleaning routine: wiping down high-touch areas like TV remotes, light switches and thermostats in rooms, as well as elevators and door handles in common areas — all while wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks.
The process of cleaning guest rooms involves stripping a room of all its bedding, from pillowcases and sheets to duvet and top covers, to be cleaned between each guest visit. In the event that a room has been occupied by a guest who is presumed or confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, the room is left vacant for a minimum of 24 hours before enhanced and routine housekeeping procedures with hospital-grade disinfectants are completed.
In common areas, housekeeping uses new electrostatic sprayers to fully disinfect surfaces in lobbies, public restrooms and hotel shuttles.
“Using these electrostatic sprayers can allow for a more uniform and consistent coverage of the surfaces to be treated with the disinfectant to help ensure broader coverage than with wiping on with a rag,” Dr. Petran says.
The sprayers charge the disinfectant to help it better cling to and spread over surfaces. Employing this new technology became an important addition to the cleaning process, vetted by the housekeeping staff that would be using it.
“When we came up with the electrostatic sprayers, we went out to the Gaylord Rockies and we had our operations team as well as hourly staff test these devices with us, ensuring that the appropriate PPE was part of the protocol,” Bennett says. “We did time and motion studies to determine ‘how long does it take for a housekeeper to do this?’ We walked and talked with housekeepers, so they were complete partners.”
Beyond these new cleaning standards, guests may still want an extra layer of certainty, so clean kits that include sanitizing wipes will be left in the room along with a note explaining the care that has been taken to clean and disinfect the room. Guests can use the wipes to clean high-touch surfaces for themselves, and housekeepers will not re-enter rooms to clean or refresh towels during their stay.
“More and more of our guests are telling us, when they come into a clean and disinfected room, they actually don’t want a lot of people entering their personal space while they are with us,” Bennett says.