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COVID-19 pandemic: Hotel association expands cleaning, safety guidelines


 The American Hotel and Lodging Association has developed what it calls "enhanced" cleaning guidelines and workplace protocols "to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19."

According to an April 27 press release, AHLA's Safe Stay initiative is aimed at changing the industry's norms, behaviors and standards. The guidance – developed by an advisory council of leaders representing all segments of the hotel industry in conjunction with public health experts, scientists and medical leaders – focuses, in part, on employee and guest health, employees' responsibilities, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and physical distancing protocol for certain areas of a facility.

The guidance on employee and guest health includes recommendations for signage, handwashing and hand sanitizer use, and encourages required reporting of any "presumed" cases of COVID-19 to local health authorities. Workers should wear and receive training on appropriate personal protective equipment. Employers should train workers on COVID-19 safety and facility sanitation protocols, and provide Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants that can help prevent and reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 – the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. AHLA also offers recommendations on the frequency with which certain areas should be cleaned and disinfected.

"Every hotel guest and employee should know that their health and safety are our top priority," AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said in the release. "'Safe Stay' represents a new level of focus for an industry already built on cleanliness. Hotels have always had rigorous standards for cleaning and safety. With 'Safe Stay,' we are enhancing these standards to help create peace of mind."

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