HOW WE PROTECTING AND REASSURING OUR GUESTS AND STAFF DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Understandably many guests are concerned about how to protect their health during this recent COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
So, what are we doing as property managers to safeguard not only our guests but our staff too?
As professionals it is our job at all times to maintain high standards in cleanliness of our properties for each & every stay, but there are extra precautions we should and are taking during this time.
We want our guests to feel confident that when they stay in one of our properties they don’t have anything to worry about.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
This is the most up to date information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) website as of 12 March 2020 https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses:
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.
In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus.
This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.
These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person.
Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.
This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
PROTECTION WE ARE PROVIDING OUR CLEANING STAFF
First of all we need to ensure our cleaning staff stay well whilst undertaking their duties.
They are the first people to access our properties after a guest has stayed, so we first need to make sure they’re safe from infection.
We keep up to date with information by recognised health organisations such as The World Health Organisation and the NHS as we need to keep ourselves updated with how the disease is spread so that we can effectively protect our cleaners and our guests at all times.
Our cleaning staff now wear disposable gloves throughout a whole property clean as well as taking all the steps below everyone should now be taking to help slow down and prevent the spread of COVID-19
To also minimise the risk to our cleaning staff we will not be offering in stay cleans during the pandemic(updated 13 March 2020)
LINKS TO RECOGNISED HEALTH ORGANISATIONS AND OFFICIAL ADVICE WITHIN THE UK
HOW TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
This is the most up to date information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) website as of 12 March 2020 https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses :
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority.
Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks.
Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks.
However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus.
If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses.
Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Droplets spread virus.
By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area.
Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility.
This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
- Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.
PROCEDURES FOR OUR CLEANING STAFF
Our cleaners already thoroughly clean all surfaces in each property between guests, so the cleaning procedures do not need to change dramatically.
There are however a few modifications they are making to their procedures to ensure that a previous guest does not infect a future guest.
All our cleaners use disinfectant cleansers.
Not all cleansers disinfect, and when you’re dealing with infection, you need to be sure you’ve eradicated it from all hard and soft surfaces.
- Using disinfectant, our cleaners wipe down all light switches, lamps, cupboard handles, door handles, window latches, banisters, remote controls, and thermostats as it is extremely likely that a previous guest touched these points during their stay.
- We put all cutlery, crockery and cooking implements through the dishwasher whether it has been used or not. This limits cross infection from touching items even if they weren’t used.
- We continue to disinfect high-contamination sites such as the toilet, basin, shower and bath, and rubbish bin and any toilet brushes.
- We make sure all cleaning staff wipe down all appliances, electronics, and amenities that we provide such as the kettle, iron, vacuum cleaner, hairdryer etc. as it is possible the previous guest has touched these.
- All soap dispensers, bathroom toiletries, cleaning products and equipment or other items that are for guest use are wiped down or replaced with new.
- Between each guest we launder all guest linens and towels whether they were used or not as again this minimises the risk of cross infection.
- Just before our cleaner leaves the property they disinfect the door handles and all entry methods (lockbox keypad, sets of keys etc.)
- During these exceptional times our cleaners are expected to take extra time to get each property clean and guest ready between guests.
- Our priority is safety, not efficiency.
- Our cleaners are thoughtful about what might need to be disinfected and cleaned at the property as they are aware our guests are counting on them to prevent infection – and that their work is of a high value, especially in these times.
WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO?
We will update our procedures and therefore this page on an ongoing basis as and when new information comes to light but if there is anything else we can do to reassure you, our guests, please do let us know.
If you have any questions at all regarding COVID-19 and your stay at our properties please do not hesitate to contact us using the details below.