Hospitality Guidance for Change in Operations

Hospitality groups across the country have been asked to help with the overwhelming demand for housing or quarantining medical professionals during this unprecedented time. Many are being approached by governmental entities to convert their hotels into overflow alternate care facilities to treat or quarantine COVID-19 positive patients. Hoteliers choosing to accommodate these requests should take preventative action and seek adequate protection and legal counsel to identify potential unforeseen legal and property exposures.

  • Communicate with your insurance agent about any potential change in operations to better understand the possible exposures and risks.
  • Know and understand the expectations of how to comply with CDC and local and state health guidelines to prevent and control infection for alternate care sites.
  • Close pools, spas and exercise rooms. In addition to following your state guidelines, consider a more conservative approach and close these facilities since it is not possible to enforce social distancing requirements.
  • Sprinkler protection may no longer be adequate for the proposed change in occupancy. 13R sprinkler protection is designed based on occupants being able to self-evacuate and may not provide the level of protection needed for those who have difficulty evacuating the facility. Develop updated evacuation procedures and communicate them to employees in writing. Running drills is highly recommended.
  • Make plans to continue inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection systems. Sprinkler systems and fire detection systems should remain operational and in proper working order.
  • Consider how you will perform facility maintenance if typical hotel staff is not present or if maintenance companies are not staffed to provide reminders.
  • Evaluate your electrical systems to ensure they can handle loading medical equipment if it’s brought on-site.
  • Review any changes to commercial cooking operations.
    • - Increased amounts of cooking may result, which could lead to a lapse in proper cleaning and sanitation.
    • - Increased frequency of cleaning filters, baffles and exhaust systems may be necessary to avoid excess grease buildup.
    • - Strong consideration should be given to using outside food service as a part of any contract.
  • Ensure fire barriers and fire doors remain operational as a part of the fire prevention standards.
  • Communicate with your employees about the exposures related to having COVID-19 positive patients residing in the facility.
  • If the facility is designated as an alternate care facility, meet with employees to discuss the facility use and protective measures being developed.
  • Ensure housekeeping has received appropriate training for cleaning facilities designated and operating as alternate care facilities.
  • Have appropriate personal protective equipment available to your employees and provide training on the proper use of PPE.
  • If employees are required to wear a respirator for personal protection, they will need to follow OSHA protocol.
  • Give consideration to employees who are concerned about working in the area, allowing them to leave if they are not comfortable working with COVID-19 positive patrons. Here are some tips for coping during this stressful time.

Please contact your local independent agent if you decide to enter into an alternate care facility contract or if you have questions for your Cincinnati Insurance loss control representative.

Our loss control service is advisory only. We assume no responsibility for management or control of customer loss control activities or for implementation of recommended corrective measures. These materials were gathered from trade services and public information. We have not tried to identify all exposures. We do not warrant that this information is consistent with Cincinnati underwriting guidelines or with any federal, state or local law, regulation or ordinance.

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