UNITE HERE Local 5 on Monday announced “Safe Hotels, Safe Hawaii” guidelines intended to encourage the hotel industry “to immediately adopt” them to ensure the health and safety of hotel guests, hotel workers “and the broader public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Local 5, which represents many hotel workers especially in Waikiki, said it developed the guidelines with the advice of medical professionals including Dr. Scott Miscovich.

Waikiki Beach and Hotels and Manoa Koolau Mountains aerial 0361.
Waikiki Beach and hotels in 2019 — that is, pre-coronavirus. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

They apply to safe room cleaning practices, proper protective equipment for workers, safe laundry handling and preparing rooms to allow thorough disinfecting, according to a press release.

Many Hawaii hotels have closed due to the pandemic while others are open to serve essential workers such as first responders.

Here’s one example of safe practices:

  • Deep clean and sterilize remaining furniture, counters, walls, bed frames, vinyl mattresses, and bathrooms utilizing Centers for Disease Control approved cleaners. Mattresses present a unique challenge as traditional cleaning utilizes a vacuum. However, utilizing a vacuum creates the risk of causing virus droplets to spread into the air and/or on to the employee. It is recommended that plastic mattress covers be utilized for easy cleaning and sanitizing.

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