ENHANCED HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES TO COMBAT COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting us, on a daily basis, with health and safety challenges that are unlike any others we have experienced in our lifetimes. We are, without a doubt, living in an incredibly dangerous and difficult time.
The seriousness of the situation prompts us to remind everyone that reason, respect and kindness are absolutely essential to keeping the pandemic at bay. Granted, emerging vaccines and improved medical treatment eventually will save lives. In the meantime, though, each of us must continue to take steps to limit the transmission of COVID-19. To be effective, we must follow the reasoned guidance of scientific and medical experts and must treat others with the same respect and kindness that we would want in return. We are confident that if we use our brains and hearts in equal measure, we surely will be able to contribute significantly to defeating COVID-19.
With these guiding principles in mind, we wish to provide you with information about the enhanced health and safety measures that we have taken to protect our guests, staff, suppliers and all other persons who come into contact with the Inn. We, of course, want you to enjoy yourself during your stay at our Inn. At the same time, given the circumstances of life in a COVID-19 world, it behooves and benefits everyone to take a serious approach to public health and safety.
Our Commitment to Health and Safety
We value, first and foremost, the health and safety of all persons who engage in any way with the Inn. Health and safety come before anything and everything else. With this mindset, we intend to comply with all applicable health and safety legal requirements and to implement best practices recognized in the lodging industry for the protection of public health and the prevention of COVID-19. We recognize and have taken into account the rules and guidelines issued by the following governmental authorities and lodging industry associations:
United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention
Maine Department of Economic & Community Development
American Hotel & Lodging Association – Safe Stay™ Program
Association of Lodging Professionals – Stay Safer, Safe Travels™ Program
Select Registry – Stay Safe, Stay Select™ Program
HospitalityMaine – Maine Lodging Promise™
Health and Safety Measures
We have set forth below the health and safety measures that we have developed and implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have separated the measures into five categories relating to guests, staff, facilities, operations and COVID-19 cases. While they are treated separately here, it is important to understand that every measure is an essential part of an integrated, holistic approach to promoting public health and COVID-19 prevention.
- We will send notices to our guests before their arrival advising them of our commitment to health and safety, the measures we have taken to protect public health and prevent COVID-19, and the health and safety requirements that they must meet in order to stay at the Inn.
- Guests must meet BOTH of the following personal health requirements established by the Maine state government:
- The guest must not have experienced or displayed, within 24 hours before check-in, any of the following symptoms of COVID-19: fever or chills; sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, or other respiratory symptoms; muscle aches or severe fatigue; or change in taste or smell.
- The guest must not have had close contact, within 10 days before check-in, with anyone who, to his or her knowledge, is confirmed to have COVID-19.
- Adult guests who live anywhere except Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont must meet ONE of the following COVID-19 prevention requirements established by the Maine state government:
- The guest has received a negative test result for COVID-19 on a specimen taken no later than 72 hours prior to his or her arrival in Maine, consistent with Maine CDC guidance.
- The guest will quarantine either (a) for 10 days upon his or her arrival in Maine, (b) for the duration of the guest’s stay if it is less than 10 days, or (c) until he or she receives a negative test result for COVID-19 consistent with Maine CDC guidance.
- The guest already has completed a 10-day quarantine in Maine prior to his or her stay.
Residents of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are exempt from these testing and quarantine requirements.
- Guests must adhere to EACH of the following safety measures to protect their health and the health of other persons:
- The guest must wear a face covering when entering, moving about or exiting the Inn.
- The guest must maintain social distancing at the Inn by keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from any person who is not in his or her traveling party.
- The guest must wash his or her hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer on a frequent, regular basis.
- Guests must complete, sign and submit to the Inn, before or at check-in, a certificate of compliance stating that they have complied and will comply with each of the requirements set forth in the three preceding bullet points.
- We have educated and trained our staff regarding the health and safety measures we have adopted to protect public health and prevent COVID-19. We will continue to reinforce their health and safety education and training on a regular basis.
- Our staff will be mindful of their personal health on a continuous basis. We also will conduct wellness checks of our staff at the beginning of each workday. The wellness checks include inquiring whether the staff person is currently experiencing or displaying any symptom of COVID-19 and obtaining a reading of the person’s body temperature. Any staff person with a COVID-19 symptom, including a confirmed body temperature of 100.4°F or above, must remain at or return to his or her home and undergo quarantine and will not be allowed to return to work at the Inn until he or she has been symptom-free for at least three days without medication.
- If any of our staff notices a coworker, guest or other person at the Inn exhibiting any symptom of COVID-19, he or she is required to immediately contact a manager.
- Our staff will wear face coverings when they are in the Inn, especially when they interact with guests and deal with food and beverages. We will provide our staff with training on the proper ways to wear, remove and dispose of their face coverings.
- Our staff will maintain social distancing by keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from guests and other persons, not gathering in groups, and staying out of crowded places, in each case both inside and outside of the Inn.
- Our staff will wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or if soap and water are not available, will apply hand sanitizer to their hands and rub them together until they feel dry, at appropriate times during the workday. Such times include before and after work; before and after preparing, handling and serving food and beverages; before and after cleaning and disinfecting rooms in the Inn; after accepting anything from a guest such as an ID, credit card, cash or key; after eating, drinking or smoking; after sneezing, coughing or touching the face; and after using the restroom.
- To the extent practicable, our staff will wear disposable gloves when they are engaged in cleaning and disinfecting activities in the Inn. We will provide our staff with training on the proper ways to wear, remove and dispose of their gloves.
- Our staff will have limited interactions with suppliers, mail carriers, delivery persons and other persons from off premises who come to the Inn. As warranted, they will remind such persons of the Inn’s health and safety measures, particularly as to wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing. Our staff will follow touchless practices when receiving packages and other items delivered to the Inn.
- Our staff will take breaks and eat meals in the owners’ quarters or outside of the Inn.
- To the extent possible, our staff will cover their sneezes and coughs with a tissue or flexed elbow. Our staff will try not to touch their faces without previously washing or sanitizing their hands and will wash or sanitize their hands after any such touching.
- We have placed health and hygiene reminders in important areas around the Inn, including the entrances, guest rooms, high-traffic common areas, laundry room and supply room. These reminders address relevant topics such as washing hands, using hand sanitizer, wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, and other ways to avoid COVID-19 infection.
- We have placed hand sanitizer – with at least 70% alcohol content – and disinfecting wipes at key places around the Inn, including the entrances, guest rooms, high-traffic common areas, laundry room and supply room. In the guest rooms, there are both room-sized and individual-sized bottles of hand sanitizer. We encourage guests to take the individual bottles of hand sanitizer with them whenever they leave the Inn, including when they check out.
- We will put disposable face coverings in the guest rooms and will have more face coverings available in the kitchen. We also will put small paper bags in the guest rooms so that guests can place their face coverings in the bags when they are not wearing them.
- Upon request, we will provide guests with disposable nylon gloves. The wearing of gloves is viewed as a supplement to the preferable methods of washing hands with soap and water and using hand sanitizer on a frequent, regular basis.
- We have removed magazines, booklets, decorative pillows and other non-essential, high-touch items from the guest rooms and common rooms in the Inn. These items remain available to guests upon request.
- We have revamped our guest check-in, check-out and payment processes to make them as contactless as possible.
- While our staff remains willing to assist guests in taking their luggage to their rooms, we have instructed them to minimize their contact with guests’ personal belongings.
- We will disinfect the keys to guest rooms between guest stays and leave them in the rooms.
- We have modified our coffee and tea service in the morning before breakfast and in the afternoon by requesting that guests not pour their beverages and, instead, have our staff, if they are present, pour the beverages for them. We have placed hand sanitizer nearby for use by all persons, whether staff or guest, before pouring the beverages.
- At breakfast, we will seat guests in ways that ensure social distancing. Guests also will have the option to eat breakfast in their rooms, which we will deliver and pick up using a no-contact method.
- We will not set dining tables until the night before or the morning that guests arrive for breakfast.
- If guests wish to order take-out lunch or dinner from a local restaurant, we will provide them with the accommodations to eat their meals in either our dining areas or their guest rooms, as they wish.
- We will individually wrap the cookies and other baked goods, if any, that we serve to our guests in the kitchen during the afternoon and evening. We have placed hand sanitizer nearby for use by guests before they take a baked good.
- We will discuss with guests the nature and frequency of the housekeeping that they desire for their guest rooms. We will not enter guest rooms without permission, except for agreed-upon housekeeping, to comply with health and safety measures, or in exigent situations.
- To the extent possible, we will open the windows of a room before, during and after cleaning it to increase air circulation.
- We have enhanced our normal cleaning procedures to increase their frequency and to include disinfectants approved for use against COVID-19. In particular, we will clean and disinfect high-traffic common areas and high-touch surfaces on a frequent, regular basis. High-touch surfaces include stair handrails; room locks and keys; door knobs and drawer pulls; light and lamp switches; heat pump controls, thermostats and fan pulls; window latches and curtain pulls; TVs and TV remotes; alarm clocks; charging stations; counters, sinks and faucets; toilet seats and handles and toilet paper holders; clothing hangers and luggage racks; trash cans; refrigerators, freezers, ovens and stoves; dining tables and chairs; condiment containers; appliances, utensils, tools and equipment; desks, computers and telephones; kiosk screens; and hand sanitizer dispensers.
- After cleaning, we will not enter guest rooms between guest stays except to ensure their readiness for the next guests, to comply with health and safety measures, or in exigent situations.
- To the extent possible, we will leave guest rooms empty for at least one day before and after cleaning and will open their windows to improve ventilation.
- To the extent possible, we will limit the sharing of appliances, utensils, tools and equipment among our staff.
- With regard to laundry activities, we will place used bed linens, bathroom towels and mats, and other washable items in laundry bags and carry them from the guest rooms to our laundry room; wash the laundry, including reusable face coverings, on the highest recommended temperature setting; and ensure that the laundry is completely dry before returning it to service.
- We will increase the frequency of cleaning heat pump air filters to enhance air circulation.
- We will respond swiftly to any presumed or confirmed case of COVID-19, including reporting it to the local health authorities. We will endeavor to protect the confidentiality of any person suspected of being infected with COVID-19 as required by applicable law.In the event of a presumed or confirmed case of COVID-19, the affected guest room will be removed from service and quarantined for at least 24 hours and will undergo
- enhanced cleaning and disinfecting utilizing EPA-approved products before it is placed back in service.
- For contact tracing purposes, we will maintain a record of our staff who have direct interaction with each guest.
In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, a prominent French physicist, that there are only two certainties in the world: death and taxes. In 2020 and 2021, we believe one more certainty can be added to this list. COVID-19 will be with us much longer than we want or expect, unless all of us are willing to make a concerted effort to curb the outbreak. A disciplined, we’re-all-in-this-together attitude underscores the common-sense health and safety measures we have adopted at the Inn. By following through on these measures, we can do our part to turn things around. But we can’t succeed without your willing involvement and active participation. Everyone has to put forth the extra effort for us to have a credible chance of success. And with a concerted, collective effort, a visit to our Inn will be as it always been: an occasion for rest, relaxation, joy and happiness. Let’s make it happen . . . together.