OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES THROUGH COVID-19 ERA
Part 1 – Avenue Inn Policies & Procedures
Part 2 – Guest Waiver & Release
The health, safety and well-being of all team members is the top priority of ownership and the management team while we work through this time.
To reduce the impact of COVID-19 among our employees and guests, it is critical that we have a plan in place to manage exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of this virus. This set of policies and procedures has been created to familiarize employees with basic facts related to the novel coronavirus and to outline the steps we will be taking to make our workplace as safe as possible for team members and guests alike.
Every team member will receive training on the policies and procedures outlined in this manual and will be required to sign an acknowledgement at the end of that training confirming that they understand our policies and procedures and will comply with all such guidelines.
I. About COVID-19
Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus referred to as COVID-19, can cause illness ranging from mild to severe and, in some cases, can be fatal. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some people infected with the virus have reported experiencing other non-respiratory symptoms. Other people, referred to as asymptomatic cases, have experienced no symptoms at all. According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 generally appear in 2 – 14 days after exposure.
How COVID-19 Spreads
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, especially in circumstances where people are in close contact with one another (i.e., 6 feet or less). Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or simply speaks can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (i.e., experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this type of asymptomatic transmission with this new coronavirus, but this is also not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Although the United States has implemented public health measures to limit the spread of the virus, it is likely that some person-to-person transmission will continue to occur.
II. Basic Infection Prevention Measures
Practicing good personal hygiene and infection control measures will be paramount to keeping everyone safe and healthy. We have set out below suggestions for steps employees should take whenever outside the home as well as more detailed measures that are required at the workplace.
Outside the Home
The understanding of how the virus is spread has led to a basic set of principles that should be adopted by employees at all times when they are out and about:
- Practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet of space between you and others.
- Wear a facemask, especially in circumstances where social distancing is not possible.
- Use proper respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
- Wash hands frequently, especially after touching surfaces or objects in public places.
- Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
The same basic concepts for reducing transmission of the virus apply to and will be instituted at our workplaces, together with an emphasis on screening for the virus.
- Team members are encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you experience symptoms, stay home and visit your doctor for possible testing.
- Each team member’s temperature and oxygen level will be tested prior to every shift. A temperature of 100 or higher or oxygen level 90 or lower will be reason for refusal to enter the workplace.
- The following screening questions will be asked prior to starting work (answering yes to any of these questions will require employee be sent home and not return to the workplace until at least three days without symptoms):
- Have you or has anyone in your household experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the last fourteen days?
- Have you been symptom-free for at least three days?
- Have you been exposed to anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
- We may require testing for the virus if there is a reasonable and objective belief that an employee’s medical condition either impairs the employee’s ability to perform essential job functions or poses a direct threat to the health or safety of the employee or others.
- Team members should practice social distancing with guests and co-workers and wear facemasks at all times when in the presence of guests. Masks can be removed in the absence of guests as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.
- Wear gloves when appropriate and otherwise undertake frequent and thorough hand washing or use of hand sanitizers.
- Do not shake hands with guests or other employees. A nod of the head or hello from under your mask is appropriate for all guest interactions.
- Use of others’ phones, work tools and equipment is discouraged.
III. Department Procedures
In addition to the basic prevention measures described in the preceding section, team members should follow the detailed procedures applicable to their specific departments that are set out below.
- Each staff member will be assigned 2 uniform shirts and 2 cloth face masks, which employee is responsible for laundering, and is to arrive daily in a clean uniform and sanitized face mask
- Face mask worn during entirety of time in the hotel that guests are present but can be removed in the absence of guests as long as social distancing guidelines are followed
- Social distancing (6 feet or more) maintained between co-workers and guests; encourage social distancing among guests
- Individual workspaces, keyboards, phones, printers, and other areas utilized by front desk team to be cleaned regularly throughout shift and at shift change
- Pens should not be shared between employees
- Prepare keys and registration forms in advance to limit social interaction and lines at check-in
- Payment taken in full in advance of check-in whenever possible
- Credit card readers to be placed on Front Desk counter so that only guest touches payment machines and credit cards
- Card reader pads wiped down after each transaction
- IDs should not be handled by front desk agent; instead, guest should be politely asked to place IDs on clean countertop for the agent to verify information
- Provide a cup of sanitized pens and a separate cup for returning used pens for all paperwork to be signed by guests; sanitize pens and cups at end of day
- Front desk countertop and other guest touch points to be sanitized hourly
- Encourage express checkout where guests leave key cards in room, do not visit lobby, and invoice is provided via email
- Returned key cards to be sanitized prior to reuse
- Guest Waivers:
- Guest waivers are to be distributed to all hotel guests over 18 years of age
- If a guest refuses to sign the waiver, then they are not permitted to check-in to the hotel
- A parent or guardian must sign for ever guest under 18 years of age
- Completed waivers are to be stapled to the registration card
Housekeeping & Laundry
- Each Housekeeper will be assigned 2 uniform shirts and 2 cloth face masks, which employee is responsible for laundering, and is to arrive daily in a clean uniform and sanitized face mask
- Each Laundry Attendant will be assigned 2 aprons, 2 uniform shirts and 2 cloth face masks, which employee is responsible for laundering, and is to arrive daily in a clean uniform and sanitized face mask
- Gloves worn during entirety of time in the hotel
- Face mask worn during entirety of time that guests are present, but masks can be removed in the absence of guests as long as social distancing guidelines are followed
- Social distancing (6 feet or more) to be maintained between coworkers and guests
- Daily service will be reduced to bag only service with fresh towels/amenities upon guest request
- All checkout rooms are to be sanitized following our enhanced cleaning procedures and disinfected using proper PPE and following health department and CDC guidelines
- Utilize the cleaning checklist to ensure particular attention is paid to disinfecting high touch areas such as door handles, hard surface furniture, tables, nightstands, furniture knobs and handles, light switches, lamp switches and thermostats, drapery pull handles, telephone and keypad, remote control, alarm clock, television, safety latch, trash receptacle, faucet handles, toilet and shower handles
- Linen will be transported from laundry to guest room in a sealed plastic bag or covered cart
- Rooms occupied by an infected guest will be locked and left vacant for 72 hours
Kitchen / Breakfast
- Breakfast will be a grab-and-go service only with orders placed via our online menu or a printed menu distributed at check-in and scheduled for pick-up during specific 30-minute timeframes
- Guests may choose to eat in the breakfast area. Guest seating is limited to 60% capacity during Phase 2 of Delaware Emergency Plan
- Each Breakfast Attendant will be assigned 2 aprons, 2 uniform shirts and 2 cloth face masks, which the employee is responsible for laundering, and is to arrive daily in a clean uniform and sanitized face mask
- Face masks worn during entirety of time in the hotel
- Single use gloves to be worn when handling ready to eat food; frequent hand washing
- Social distancing (6 feet or more) to be maintained between coworkers and guests
- Cardboard/paper bags and boxes to be used whenever possible in place of plastic
- All stainless-steel work surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized frequently during breakfast prep and at the beginning and end of each shift
- Kitchens to be deep cleaned at the end of breakfast service; all surfaces are to be sprayed down with a sanitizer solution that will be left to air dry
- Kitchen and breakfast room to be closed up and locked so no one may enter between shifts
General Operating Practices
In order to support both the basic infection prevention measures and specific departmental procedures set out above, we have effected the following physical changes to, provided for enhanced cleaning of, and adopted new policies for all guest-trafficked areas throughout the workplace.
- Anti-Bacterial Dispensers on the Front Desk adjacent to each check in station
- Social Distancing signage in high traffic areas
- Plexiglass to shield front desk agents and guests
- Enhanced public space cleaning and disinfecting with hourly record keeping noting sanitization of specific areas:
- Elevator buttons (inside and outside of cars)
- Public restrooms
- Public Dressing Room
- Stairwell handrails
- Hotel entry doors
- Vending machines, coffee dispensers, ice machines
- Lobby seating, table tops, lamps and other hard surfaces
- Luggage carts
- Lobby staff to provide guidance to arriving and departing guests to ensure physical distancing is being adhered to.
- Structure reservations to leave recently occupied rooms vacant for as long as possible before next check-in (when possible)
- Replace glassware with wrapped disposable cups
- Remove all reusable collateral (e.g., notepads, pens, magazines)
- Remove extra pillows/blankets stored in closets (provide upon request)
- No daily servicing for stay-over guests; provide clean towels and linens only upon guest request
- Dirty towels and linens for removal must be placed by guests in large plastic bags (provided in guestrooms), tied off and left outside the room for collection; if guests leave dirty linen outside of their room, it should be picked up wearing gloves and placed in a plastic bag for delivery to the laundry
- Trash for removal must be placed by guests within trash bags, tied off and left outside the room for collection
Pool, Steam Room, Sauna, Hot Tub & Deck
- Maximum Occupancy signs will be placed at all pool/deck entrances and will be monitored by staff
- Entrance gate, handle, tables, chairs, all pool handrails, and other high-touch areas to be sanitized as frequently as possible
- Lounges, chairs to be sterilized twice daily
- Sanitizer will be left in pool area for guests to self-sanitize lounges
- Sign will be placed at the hot tub indicating “Do Not Enter If Occupied By Other Guests”
- Sauna & Steam Room will be sanitized regularly
- Pool chemistry will be tested hourly (bi-hourly if 10 or less guests are in the area) for pH, and disinfectant levels
- Maximum Occupancy signs will be placed at fitness center entrance and will be monitored by staff
- Signage will be posted in fitness center reminding guests to use facilities in accordance with State of Delaware guidance
- All shared equipment will be cleaned hourly with hospital grade sanitizers
- Free weights and other small high-touch items (balls, mats, etc.) will be removed
FAQs: Employee and Guest Exposure to COVID-19
Can we ask employees to stay home if we suspect they may have the coronavirus or have been exposed to the coronavirus? To contain the spread of the coronavirus, we will encourage sick employees to stay home and remind them of any rights that they may have under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act. If an employee has symptoms of an acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), we will ask him/her not to return to work until they no longer have a fever for at least 72 hours.
Can we tell other employees about an employee who has or may have the coronavirus? We are required to maintain the confidentiality of an employee with a suspected or confirmed case of the coronavirus. We will implement procedural safeguards to protect his or her identity and care will be taken not to comingle employee medical information and personnel files. However, we will inform other employees of their possible exposure to the coronavirus because employees have a right to know in order to take appropriate action based on guidance from the CDC.
What do we do if an employee arrives at work presenting symptoms of the coronavirus? Can we take their temperature or otherwise test for infection? If an employee arrives at work displaying symptoms of respiratory illness, we will immediately separate the employee from the other employees and send him or her home. All employees will be checked for temperature and/or oxygen before entering the work place, and will be denied entry and sent home should they not meet prescribed levels. As with all medical information, the fact that an employee had a fever or other symptoms would be subject to confidentiality requirements and will be treated as a confidential medical record.
What should we do if a guest inquires about whether any employees have the coronavirus? As explained above, we must maintain the confidentiality of employees’ medical information. Any guest inquiries related to coronavirus infections at the workplace should be referred to a General Manager. In response to a guest inquiry, we will inform that guest as to any recent confirmed cases of coronavirus and describe the precautions we have taken to minimize the risk of transmission to any person who enters the hotel. In addition, we have made our COVID-19 policies and procedures available to all guests as part of the check-in process.
What should we do if we believe that a guest or visitor to our establishment has the coronavirus? We must be very careful in taking any action, particularly if our beliefs are mere suspicion. It is against the law to deny a person entry to an establishment and refuse service based on a person’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin or disability. Concerns related to a guest’s health condition should be brought to a General Manager’s attention to consider appropriate action.
Guest Waiver & Release
Acknowledgement of and Compliance with COVID-19 Procedures
I understand that working in a hotel environment at the Avenue Inn (“Employer”) during the COVID-19 pandemic involves many unknowns relating to the spread and transmission of COVID-19. Due to the nature of the operations of my Employer, I am likely to come into contact with both co-workers and hotel guests, and I understand that I could contract COVID-19 from them and/or spread or transmit COVID-19 among them. I further understand that contracting COVID-19 can result in a serious medical condition, in some instances requiring medical treatment in a hospital or could possibly lead to death.
In order to mitigate the risks presented by COVID-19 and protect me and my co-workers and hotel guests from COVID-19, my Employer has developed and instituted a set of policies and procedures entitled “COVID-19 Operational Policies and Procedures” (“COVID Procedures”) in the form attached.
My signature below confirms that:
- I have received and understood training provided by my Employer with regard to best practices, safety and prohibitions concerning COVID-19, and I have been provided a copy of my Employer’s COVID Procedures.
- If I had any questions regarding the COVID Procedures, they were answered. If I have any questions in the future, I will ask my manager such questions.
- I acknowledge and understand the risks of COVID-19 in my workplace, and I believe that the COVID-19 Procedures have been designed to and will mitigate the spread and transmission of COVID-19 among both workers and guests at my Employer.
- I will abide by the training I received from my Employer, and I will follow the COVID Procedures as well as subsequent guidance and directives I receive from my Employer. Furthermore, I will not engage in any unsafe personal practices under CDC guidelines or orders issued by Governor Carney pursuant to the State of Delaware state of emergency declarations.
- I understand that failing to follow the COVID Procedures and abide by the training, guidance and directives referred to above will lead to discipline up to and including termination from my Employer without further warning.
_________________________________________________________ Date: _________________________