Business

The Guide to Contact Tracing and Hospitality in the USA

Following safe working practices in an industry that employs 1 in 10* people.

The cdc.gov is consistently updating the standards of hospitality in the United States and recommends that hotels follow any state and local regulations on top of the following recommendations.  While many public places are reopening, it's important to inhabit safe practices.  What the CDC (Center for Disease Control) does not state, is that contact tracing apps should be required.  But how can contact tracing apps provide value added safety to your guests and employees?

Even Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been stressing contact tracing from the very beginning.  "It’s extraordinarily important to get our arms around this outbreak by doing successful contact tracing," Fauci told the team at the University of San Francisco in August, in an educational chat at the invitation of Michael Reid, the project's leader, over Zoom. 

Epidem is the answer to successfully and conveniently ensuring safety in the workplace while respecting the privacy of others.

1.Efficient Scheduling and Symptom Tracking

First, hotels are suggested to allow employees sick leave without feeling the pressure of reprisals.  If they have a sick family member, it should be permitted that they stay home to take care of them and also to prevent the spread of the virus amongst other workers if they have been in contact with an infected person at home.  In this instance scheduling employees and tracing symptoms will be easier for management with Epidem.  Getting back to work should be done safely and managed carefully.

Epidem is also the way to privately track symptoms within your organization after doing CDC recommended daily temperature screenings and symptom tracking of employees on their work days.  Safe work practices are boosted tremendously with Epidem contact tracing software.

2. How to Proceed After Suspected or Confirmed Cases in the Workplace

During symptom checking and temperature screenings, should an employee be identified that could be infected, the CDC recommends they should take private transport home and “self-isolate and contact their health care provider immediately.” With the Epidem contact tracing app, managers can notify anyone who was in contact with the suspected or confirmed party.

3. Closing Off Possibly Contaminated Areas

The CDC also suggests, “Close off any areas that were used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person, if it is practical to do so.”  Having the Epidem contact tracing app, managers and other employees can better see in what areas the infected person was.

In addition, the CDC states to “Perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection after anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in the workplace. Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared equipment used by the sick person, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces or objects. If other workers do not have access to these areas or items, wait 24 hours (or as long as possible) before cleaning and disinfecting.”

4. Quickly Notify Staff of a Positive Result

Employees have been told by the CDC they should immediately notify their employer in the event they test positive for COVID-19 and with the Epidem contact tracing app, that is a simple task that would alert everyone in contact with the person immediately, instead of management having to retrace everyone’s steps for hours and calling everyone individually.  It’s best to control the situation without wasting any time where people could be infecting others.  Having a set protocol in place in this event with Epidem will alleviate extra unnecessary stress.

Based on the health care provider’s consent, not only test-based, should the employee return to work or receive sick leave.

contact tracing app

5. Provide Easily Accessible Hand Washing and Sanitizing Stations

All CDC precautions:

“Provide employees adequate time and access to soap, clean water, and a way to dry their hands for handwashing.

  • Remind employees to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, they should use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Provide hand sanitizer, tissues and no touch waste baskets at the cash registers and in the restrooms.
  • Place hand sanitizer stations throughout the hotel, especially in common areas and outside of elevator doors.
  • Provide tissues and no touch waste baskets at the reception desk, in restrooms, the lobby, and in meeting rooms.”

6. Precautions to Take After an Ill Guest Has Checked Out of a Room

Epidem can also help with tracking precautions taken for cleaning a room after an ill guest has checked out of the hotel room:

  • Notification to staff to stay away from the area for 24 hours.
  • The CDC suggests the windows and doors to outside should be opened if it isn’t hazardous to other staff or guests to create air circulation.
  • The CDC also recommends, “Carpeted areas should be cleaned using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter, if available.”
  • Once at least 24 hours has passed, clean and disinfect the room, and easily trace your steps in the Epidem app.  Then the room can be occupied safely by another guest.  Re-opening the room should be done with extreme care.

7. Sanitizing Hotel Linens

According to CDC regulations: “Wash all hotel linens according to the manufacturer’s label and dry on the highest setting possible. Allow items to dry completely before removing.

  • Staff should wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry. Wash hands immediately after removing gloves.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Use a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if available.”

Easily trace with the Epidem contact tracing app, if an employee has come in contact with possibly contaminated items.

8. Always Wear a Mask

“In the current COVID-19 pandemic, use of PPE such as surgical masks or N95 respirators is being prioritized for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance, unless they were required for your job before the pandemic.”  

Masks worn should all be cloth and be laundered and aired out as much as possible and removed and laundered and replaced with another if it becomes wet or visibly soiled.  Please use care putting on and taking them off to prevent mask contamination.

Epidem will easily show managers and other staff who are complying with mask-wearing and social distancing local and hotel regulations to give staff and guests the safest workplace and customer experience possible.

9. Always Practice Social Distancing

  • Redesign common areas such as lobbies, break rooms, and restaurants to practice distancing.  Space chairs appropriately to avoid close contact.  Epidem is a great tool to alert people if they are in close proximity to another person without reason.
  • Making foot-traffic signs and details for single file movement in common areas, with 6-foot distant regulations is recommended.  Use of visuals for people who speak different languages is key, like using red tape and arrows, for example.
  • Use contactless delivery measures whenever possible for room service.
  • Limit the occupation in common areas.  Respect the occupancy requirements stated by local and state health departments.
contact tracing hospitality
*This WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) study shows, "Recent figures published by the WTTC suggest a global contribution of 8.8 trillion USD to the global economy in 2018, representing 10.4 percent of the world's total GDP. 3 - The hospitality and travel industry accounts for one out of every ten employment opportunities."  

 

Epidem is a fast and convenient way of contact tracing in the workplace that can cut hours of time off manually retracing steps and measuring time frames of contamination.  Saving time is one of the most important steps in controlling the spread of the virus, keeping your employees, their family members, and hotel guests safe, and keeping the hospitality industry in business as well as the economy.


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