If there is one thing that is clear about this pandemic we have been going through, the rules and guidelines can change overnight, and those changes can impact a lot of people and businesses and confuse the heck out of hoteliers or someone sitting in the corporate office of a hotel company. Chalk it up to us all—even scientists—learning how to deal with an ever-changing pandemic.
This past week the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said regular cleaning of surfaces with soap and detergent is enough to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in facilities and homes. The reason for the backing away from disinfectants is that scientists have concluded that the risk of spreading the disease through the touching of objects is low. Said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky: “In most situations, the regular cleaning with soap and detergent, not necessarily disinfecting those surfaces, is enough to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. Disinfection is only recommended in indoor settings…where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 24 hours. Also, in most cases, fogging, fumigation, and wide area electrostatic spraying is not recommended as a primary method of disinfection and has several safety risks to consider.”
To read the latest CDC guidance for facilities, click here. The CDC does leave the door open for disinfecting if you feel it is needed but it certainly raises the bar for when it is needed.
Even though the CDC is backing off from disinfecting, over the past many months Green Lodging News readers have had an opportunity to learn about many advances in cleaning & maintenance that can still be implemented with positive effects and for many applications other than killing COVID-19.
Ultimately, what it comes down to is beyond science—what your guests and staff have come to expect. Not everyone follows the news and CDC updates. You have got to keep pivoting and conveying the right messaging.
We are Far from ‘Herd Immunity’
In the same recent announcement by Dr. Walensky, she emphasized the importance of continuing to wear masks, consistently and correctly washing your hands, and by following CDC and OSHA guidance to maintain healthy facilities. She also emphasized again that the main means of transmission is by close contact to other individuals—within six feet.
Last evening my family and I picked up dinner at a local restaurant and ate outside. It was not long before four young people—maybe in their twenties—entered the restaurant without masks. They were served. According to the CDC, nationwide, “the number of 25-to-49-year-olds visiting U.S. emergency departments for diagnosed COVID-19 is now higher than the number of visits among patients 65 and older.”
According to Medical Economics, as of today just under 20 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. We still have a long way to go. I am proud to be part of an industry that has been so proactive about COVID-19. Keep up the good work!
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