As Connecticut's hotels/lodging begin to operate in Phase 2, the most important consideration will be the health and safety of employees and guests. Hotels/lodging must exercise caution throughout the phases of reopening, ensuring strict adherence to the protocols listed here. Those businesses that are not able to meet the rules listed here by June 17, should delay opening until they are able.
While these rules provide a way for hotels/lodging to reopen in as safe a manner as possible, risks to guests and employees cannot be fully mitigated. Guests who choose to visit hotels/lodging during this time should be fully aware of potential risks. Individuals over the age of 65 or with other health conditions should not visit hotels/lodging, but instead continue to stay home and stay safe.
Hotels/lodging should take these rules as the minimum baseline of precautions needed to protect public health in Connecticut. Individual businesses should take additional measures as recommended by industry guidelines or by common sense applied to their particular situation. We urge employees and guests to stay vigilant and pay attention as to whether their hotels/lodging are faithfully implementing these rules.
You can find more resources, guidelines, and best practices here:
• AMERICAN HOTEL AND LODGING ASSOCIATION
• WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
• UNITE HERE
WORK FROM HOME
Encourage employees to continue to work from home where possible, and put in appropriate measures to facilitate this where possible
PLAN FOR REOPENING
Share these rules with your employees and inform them of any additional specific measures being taken in response to COVID-19.
Appoint a program administrator who is accountable for implementing these rules.
Develop cleaning checklists that incorporate these rules. Ensure it is clear which employees are responsible for implementing the plans.
The employer shall institute a training program and ensure employee participation in the program. Training shall be provided at no cost to the employee and during working hours. The training materials shall be presented in the language and at the literacy level of the employees. Employers shall continuously update staff on changes to these Sector Rules. The training shall include:
• Guidelines outlined in this document
• Protocols on how to clean and use cleaning products (including disinfectants) safely.
Additional guidance can be found here:
NOTE: If any on-site duties are subcontracted, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure subcontractors are also appropriately trained.
Estimate required personal protection for employees and begin procuring.
Complete a thorough cleaning of facility prior to reopening, including, but not limited to:
• Bathrooms, shampoo bowls, chairs and headrests, shears, combs, brushes, tweezers, razors, styling tools, rolling carts
Maintain a log of employees on premise over time, to support contact tracing.
Stagger shift start/stop times, break times, and lunchtimes to minimize contact across employees.
Limit visitors and service providers on-site.
• Shipping and deliveries shall be completed in designated areas.
• Concierge services shall be provided by phone only.
• Room service deliveries shall be bagged and left at door, knock/ring to notify guest. It is recommended that room service should be provided with disposable dishes and cutlery. Room service cart should be cleaned before and after every use.
• Employees prohibited from entering guest rooms while guest is present (e.g. no in-room bellhop delivery).
• Recommended Passive Decontamination of 24 hours after a guest has checked out.
Complete the self-certification on the DECD website to receive a Reopen CT badge. Once complete, businesses can choose to post the badge on-site and on social media to advertise adherence to CT rules and build customer confidence
Post clear signage that reinforces new policies, like:
• Visits by appointment only
• Social distancing protocols
• Cleaning and disinfection protocols
• Personal protection protocols (face masks, gloves)
• Employees should stay home if sick/experiencing symptoms
• Guests should not enter if they are experiencing symptoms
• Additional signage can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-Business-Recovery/COVID-19-Signage-for-Download
Use announcement system and screens to reinforce distancing instructions.
Rearrange common areas to account for social distancing and clean frequently.
SOCIAL DISTANCING MARKERS
Install visual social distancing markers to encourage employees to remain 6 ft apart (e.g. at check-in counter, by elevators); implement and mark single-direction flow in hallways and doorways where possible.
Use partitions where a 6 ft distance cannot be maintained, where possible (e.g. at check-in counter)
MEETING & CONVENTION SPACES
Follow Sector Rules for Indoor Events
DISCRETE WORK ZONES
Cleaning crews should service specific zones/floors to minimize overlap, where possible; check-in personnel and back-of-house employees should remain at same desk/workstation through workday where possible.
Ensure employees do not share equipment to the extent possible. If shared, clean after each use.
For facilities with central ventilation systems, increase ventilation rates and increase the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the system where possible. For facilities where a central ventilation system is not used, window air conditioning units or unit ventilators should be adjusted to maximize fresh air intake into the system; blower fans should be set on low speed and pointed away from room occupants to the extent possible. Ceiling fans should be adjusted so that fins are rotating in a direction that draws air up toward the ceiling rather than down onto occupants. Window fans should be turned to exhaust air out of the window in the direction of the outdoors. Window fans that blow air into a room or free-standing fans that only serve to circulate existing air around a room should not be used.
TIME REQUIRED TO CLEAN
Management and Housekeeping staff shall meet to discuss enhanced cleaning procedures and the amount of incremental time it will take to clean each room.
• Lodging Establishment shall provide time for workers to implement cleaning practices during their shift.
• Lodging Establishment shall allow housekeepers extra time to clean rooms without loss of pay to account for required precautions and to allow them to conduct more thorough cleaning and disinfection of rooms between guests.
Follow Sector Rules Restaurants.
Guest to be given the choice to have rooms cleaned daily, upon check-out, or some other interval.
• Guest may be given this choice upon reservation, check-in, electronically, or through other means.
• Recommend not incentivizing guests to forgo daily cleaning.
POOLS & GYMS
Must follow Sector Rules for Sports, Sports Clubs & Complexes, Gyms, Fitness Centers, & Pools.
Are allowed as long as they are thoroughly cleaned.
Encourage social distancing while using elevators by:
• Encouraging social distancing while individuals queue using visual markers
• Requesting that elevators be shared by family groups only, where possible
• Using signage displaying healthy elevator use protocols including passenger limits and safe distances in the carriage (e.g. markers in every corner)
• Using elevator attendants to manage flow and discourage over-crowding
• Encouraging alternatives, such as stairs, where possible
Install touchless appliances wherever possible, including:
• Contactless payment; mobile check-in and check-out with digital receipts
• Paper towel and soap dispensers
• Doors: make doors no touch or have a door person during high volume times
Install shields if 6 ft of distance cannot be maintained.
HOTLINE FOR VIOLATIONS
Post clear signage that includes the state hotline (211) for employees and customers to report potential violations of these rules
Provide disposable items where possible (e.g. plastic cups, single-use shampoo/conditioner containers, tissue boxes)
PERSONAL PROTECTION FOR EMPLOYEES
• Employees/practitioners are required to wear face shields or eye protection (e.g. goggle with side protection) and a facemask or other cloth face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth. Employees that cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition must provide documentation to their employer.
• Gloves optional; if used they must be changed between customers.
• Gloves and eye protection are required when using cleaning chemicals.
EMPLOYERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING PERSONAL PROTECTION TOTHEIR EMPLOYEES
• If businesses do not have adequate personal protection, they cannot open.
PERSONAL PROTECTION FOR CUSTOMERS
• Customers are required to bring and wear a facemask or cloth face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth.
• Businesses have the right to refuse service to an individual who is not wearing a mask.
Hand sanitizer shall be made available at entrance points and common areas, where possible.
Ensure employees wash their hands routinely (at minimum, between customers) using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
CLEANING, DISINFECTANT PRODUCTS AND/OR DISPOSABLE DISINFECTANT WIPES
Make available near commonly used surfaces, where possible, e.g.:
• Shared equipment (e.g. printers, scanners, phones, vending machines, key card machines)
Use only disposable cleaning equipment where possible and periodically discard of any cleaning equipment made of cloth/absorbent materials (e.g. mopheads, wiping cloths).
Disinfect key cards during handover at check-in and check-out.
Wash linens and uniforms with detergents, dry thoroughly, and store in closed cabinets.
• Launder bed scarves/duvets/ curtains frequently.
• Bag dirty linens in the guest room.
• Uniforms should be laundered dail at no cost to employees.
Empty and clean garbage cans in public areas regularly; ensure trash cans/bins have lids.
Clean and disinfect frequently, and implement use of cleaning log for tracking. Clean multiple times a day and hourly during busy times.
• Recommend posting signage encouraging reduced capacity in bathrooms, and reminding individuals to wash their hands and wear a mask
• Consider placing a wastebasket outside of the bathroom
CLEANING & DISINFECTING
Follow federal guidelines (CDC, EPA) on what specific products should be used and how.
• Use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 and that are appropriate for the surface. Prior to wiping the surface, allow the disinfectant to sit for the necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer. Train staff on proper cleaning procedures to ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.
• Disinfectants are irritants and sensitizers, and should be used cautiously.
• Clean and disinfect common areas, high transit areas, and frequently touched surfaces on an ongoing basis (at least daily) and more frequently if used more often. Clean and disinfect shared objects between use. Examples include:
– Entrances/lobbies and hallways
– Elevators, including panels and buttons
– Door handles/door knobs
– Shared equipment (e.g. printers, scanners, phones, vending machines, key card machines, luggage carts)
DAILY HEALTH CHECK
Ask employees resuming on-premise work to confirm they have not experienced COVID-19 CDC-defined symptoms and to monitor their own symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath, or any two of the following symptoms:
• Repeated shaking with chills
• Muscle pain
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste or smell
Employees should stay home if sick.
IN THE EVENT OF A POSITIVE
Employees shall inform their employers, and follow state testing and contact tracing protocols. In addition:
• Employee should contact local public health to initiate contact tracing.
• Recommend 24-hour passive decontamination in the event of a positive case, and follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting.
• Recommend employer notify landlord of positive case within 24 hours; landlord to promptly disseminate relevant information to other tenants on the movement of the infected individual.
• Recommend landlord notification to tenants include link to CDC guidelines explainingwhat you should do if you suspect you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19
• Additional information can be accessed at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.htm
Employers may not retaliate against workers for raising concerns about COVID-19 related safety and health conditions.
• Additional information for the public sector can be accessed at www.connosha.com
• Additional information can be accessed at www.whistleblowers.gov
Employers shall adhere to federal guidance pertaining to paid leave for employees and provide this guidance to employees. Employers shall post the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Department of Labor poster. The poster can be accessed at: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/posters
• Additional guidance can be accessed at: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave