Hawthorn Suites Lake Buena Vista has a longstanding commitment to cleanliness and safety
for our employees and guests. We continue this commitment during the public health crisis. The following health and safety guidelines represent best practices, in accordance with CDC guidelines, during the re-opening phase of the economy. It is anticipated that these guidelines and protocols will evolve based on the recommendations of public health authorities and must be done in compliance with any federal, state and local laws.
If not wearing protective gloves, all employees shall follow CDC guidance regarding hand-washing. Employees shall wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, or use sanitizer when a sink is not available, after any of the following activities: using the restroom, sneezing, touching the face, cleaning, smoking, eating, drinking, accepting items from a guest (ID, cash, credit card, key card), taking a break, and before a shift and as needed throughout the shift. When possible, employees shall wear gloves for added protection and sanitation efforts. Proper hand hygiene, in accordance with CDC guidelines, should be followed prior to and after removing the gloves.
All employees shall receive COVID-19 safety and facility sanitation protocols training recommendations from the CDC with more comprehensive training, consistent with the CDC, for employees with frequent guest contact including Housekeeping, Food & Beverage, Public Area Department, Hotel Operations, Security, Valet/Door/Bell Services, and Maintenance/Engineering.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
CDC recommendations along with federal and local government regulations shall dictate appropriate PPE to be worn by employees. PPE, along with appropriate training for use and disposal, shall be made available to any employee upon request. Please refer to OSHA for more information.
Employee & Guest Health
Washing Hands & Hand Sanitizer
CDC guidelines shall govern the duty of all hotel employees to engage in frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. Washing hands with soap and water is the preferable method. In situations where soap/water is not available, alcohol-based sanitizer is recommended. Hand sanitizer dispensers shall include no less than 60% alcohol content, where available, and touchless where possible. As available, dispensers shall be placed at key guest and employee entrances and contact areas. At a minimum, this will include lobby reception areas and employee entrances, but could also include any other reception areas, entire lobby areas, restaurant entrances, meeting spaces, elevator landings, pools, exercise areas and other public areas as applicable to the property.
Front of the House Signage
During all times in which the usage of masks is recommended by the CDC and/or other local health authorities, health and hygiene reminders shall be placed at high-traffic areas on property, including the front lobby area at a minimum, indicating the proper way to wear, handle and dispose of masks.
Back of the House Signage
Signage shall be posted at a minimum in the employee break room and cafeteria, and other areas employees frequently enter or exit. Signage will remind employees of the proper way to wear, handle and dispose masks, use gloves, wash hands, sneeze and to avoid touching their faces.
Employee & Guest Health Concerns
Responding swiftly and reporting to local health officials any presumed cases of COVID-19 at the hotel property shall be a staff-wide requirement. Employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 shall remain or return home. While at work, employees who notice a coworker or guest exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 shall immediately contact a manager. At a minimum, hotels shall follow CDC guidelines for employers and businesses, including instructing employees to self-isolate for the required amount of time, as defined by the CDC, from the onset of symptoms and be symptom-free for at least three days without medication.
Well-being checks of all employees, including physical temperature checks where required by law, shall be carried out.
At minimum, confirmed cases of COVID-19 shall be immediately reported to local health authorities in accordance with appropriate actions recommended by the CDC.
Cleaning Products & Protocols
Cleaning products and protocols shall include EPA-approved disinfectants that meet CDC requirements for use and effectiveness against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and blood-borne pathogens. For more information, please refer to the CDC guidelines on disinfecting buildings and facilities.
Public Spaces and Communal Areas
Cleaning and disinfecting shall be frequent (multiple times per day) with an emphasis on frequent contact with hard non-porous surfaces including, but not limited to, front desk check-in counters, bell desks, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public bathrooms, vending machines, ice machines, room keys and locks, ATMs, escalator and stair handrails, gym equipment, pool seating and surrounding areas, dining surfaces and all seating areas.
Cleaning and disinfecting protocols will require that particular attention is paid to high-touch, hard nonporous items including television remote controls, toilet seats and handles, door and furniture handles, water faucet handles, nightstands, telephones, in-room control panels, light switches, temperature control panels, alarm clocks, luggage racks and flooring. The frequency of room cleaning during a guest’s stay may be altered based on guest requirements.
Linens, towels and laundry shall be washed in accordance with CDC guidelines, including washing items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Where possible, launder items using the warmest permissible water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty linen shall be bagged in the guest room to eliminate excess contact while being transported to the laundry facility.
Hotel Guest Elevators
Button panels shall be disinfected at regular intervals, including the beginning of each housekeeping staff work shift and continuing throughout the day.
Back of the House
Cleaning and disinfecting of all high touch areas shall occur in accordance with CDC guidelines, including at least twice per day in high traffic areas. Hand-washing stations and access to hand sanitizer should be convenient and highly visible.
Shared tools and equipment shall be disinfected after each shift or transfer to a new employee.
Room Recovery Protocol
In the event of a presumptive case of COVID-19 the affected guest room shall be removed from service and quarantined. The guest room shall not be returned to service until undergoing an enhanced cleaning and disinfecting utilizing EPA approved products within CDC guidelines.
Food & Beverage
Food and beverage service shall reduce in-person contact with guests and buffet service and also minimize dining items for increased sanitation. Traditional room service shall be replaced with a no-contact delivery method. Traditional buffet service shall be limited, but when offered, it should be served by an attendant wearing personal protection equipment (PPE), and utensils should be washed and changed more frequently. Portion controls should be emphasized to reduce food exposed for long periods. Sneeze and cough screens shall be present at all food displays. Minimal items should be placed on guest tables to allow for effective disinfection in between each guest, including condiments, silverware, glassware, napkins, etc. For certain segments, the use of prepackaged foods and ‘grab & go’ items shall be the preferred method of food delivery.
Physical Distancing & Queuing
As recommended by the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, guests shall be advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from other groups of people not traveling with them, including any area where guests or employees queue. Such areas shall be clearly marked for appropriate physical distancing, and where possible, encourage one-way guest flow with marked entrances and exits. When applicable, lobby furniture and other public seating areas will be reconfigured to promote social distancing.
In anticipation of individual concerns of guests, housekeeping shall not enter a guest room during a stay unless specifically requested, or approved, by the guest, or to comply with established safety protocols. Housekeeping shall maintain the practice of cleaning rooms thoroughly following check-out.
Meeting and banquet arrangements shall allow for physical distancing between guests based on CDC recommendations.
Front Desk, Concierge, and Parking Services
Front desk agents shall practice social distancing including utilizing every other workstation to ensure separation between employees whenever applicable and possible. The use of technology to reduce direct contact with guests, lobby population and front desk queue is encouraged, where feasible. In addition, contactless payment processes are encouraged, and when not available, employees should minimize contact as much as possible. Self-parking options should be emphasized, where possible. If valet service is provided, disinfecting of contact points within the vehicle is required. In addition, van and shuttle service shall be limited, and disinfecting of contact points will be required.
Seating shall allow at least six feet of separation between groups of guests.
Back of the House
Physical distancing among all employees shall be practiced in employee dining rooms, uniform control areas, training classrooms, shared office spaces, and other high-density areas.
Hawthorn Suites Lake Buena Vista health and safety protocols will be updated in accordance with CDC guidelines
as we learn more about COVID-19 and ways to combat it operationally for the safety of guests and employees.