Information for Lodging Establishments regarding COVID-19

The purpose of this document is to summarize key recommendations for operators of lodging establishments (hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts) regarding COVID-19 and guidance for Governor Northam’s Executive Orders. 

Lodging establishments should consider the recommended precautions from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding COVID-19. It is imperative for the safety and well-being of staff, guests, and the community that operators of lodging establishments strive to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and abide by the details of the most current Executive Order. 

Face Coverings

Executive Order 72 requires employees and all patrons in any indoor place where people congregate to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth as advised by the CDC. This requirement applies to employees in hotels, and to patrons in indoor spaces in hotels, except inside guest rooms.

Food Service and Kitchenware:

Swimming Pools/Spas, Fitness Centers, and Personal Care Services:

Common Areas:

  • Staff should monitor common areas to encourage guests to maintain 6 feet or more between persons. 
  • Staff can apply pieces of tape on the floor at intervals of 6 feet in areas where lines may form. Guests should be encouraged to stand in line where the tape is marked on the floor to help maintain adequate social distancing.
  • The external components of ice machines in common areas should be cleaned and disinfected throughout each day. If disinfection is not possible, management should turn off these common area ice machines and provide ice to guests upon request.

Cleaning and Disinfecting:

  • Between guests, staff should increase routine cleaning and disinfection procedures with emphasis on frequently touched surfaces (such as door handles, counters, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet levers, remote controls, telephones, miscellaneous knobs and handles, etc.). The CDC’s website contains detailed information on how to clean and disinfect surfaces here.  Staff can also find a list of EPA-registered disinfection products here.
  • During a single guest’s stay, hotels may reduce in-room cleaning services and offer clean linens outside the hotel room door. Trash pickup and linen exchange should occur at least every 7 days.
  • Staff should post signs/posters promoting proper handwashing (soap and water, 20 seconds). Staff should also maintain an adequate supply of soap and paper towels (if applicable) in all public restrooms. 
  • Printable resources for hand washing guidance, how to stop the spread of germs, and what to do if you are sick are located here on the CDC’s webpage. Staff should post these signs/posters in public restrooms, elevators, and other public areas.
  • Staff should continue to maintain physical separation of clean and soiled goods (such as linens and glassware) on housekeeping carts and in the laundry room/kitchen area. 

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Management should train all staff on the proper use of face coverings (including putting on and taking off). 
  • For information on PPE (not face coverings), visit OSHA’S website here

Employee Safety:

  • Staff should stay home if showing symptoms of illness. Even mild signs of illness include fever, cough, shortness of breath could pass the infection to others. Additional symptoms may include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.
  • Staff should also be encouraged to “work from home” if their responsibilities do not require being on site at the lodging establishment.
  • Management should reiterate to staff that this guidance is also applicable to operational areas in the “back of house” at the lodging establishments. 
  • Management should set up a means of communicating with guests over the internet or telephone. This will limit face-to-face interactions for transactions like checking in and complaints/requests from guests.

VDH/OEHS/DFGES

Revised 4/30/2021