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Forget Spas and Bars. Hotels Tout Housekeeping to Lure Back Travelers.

  • August 05, 2020

Given the industry’s dire economic crisis, some of the changes it’s adopting cost little, or even save money, said Bjorn Hanson, former dean of hospitality at New York University who has also spent years working inside the industry. For instance, he said, hotels can save money on housekeeping by not cleaning rooms every night, or by promising not to put guests in adjoining rooms, as some hotels have done (in reality, there’s not enough occupancy to have high density anyway).

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The Coronavirus Outbreak ›

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated August 4, 2020

  • I have antibodies. Am I now immune?

    • As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it’s highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.
  • I’m a small-business owner. Can I get relief?

    • The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don’t know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.
  • What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?

  • Should I refinance my mortgage?

    • It could be a good idea, because mortgage rates have never been lower. Refinancing requests have pushed mortgage applications to some of the highest levels since 2008, so be prepared to get in line. But defaults are also up, so if you’re thinking about buying a home, be aware that some lenders have tightened their standards.
  • What is school going to look like in September?

    • It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California’s two largest public school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won’t be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation’s largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There’s no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.

“Safety doesn’t necessarily cost money,” he said. “It could be an excuse for saving money,”

Some would-be travelers say they’re just not ready to return, no matter the assurances.

“I’ve stayed at nice hotels in the past and found something sticky. If I found something sticky and smudgy now, it would send me to the moon,” said Kevin Mercuri, chief executive of a New York public relations firm. He and colleagues recently decided against visiting a client in Georgia partly to avoid hotels. His concern about hotels, in a nutshell: “Fear of infection.”

The C.D.C. has recommended that people who stay at hotels check in online, choose properties where staff wear masks and that regularly clean or remove shared-touch items, like pens or phones, and disinfect doorknobs, ice and vending machines, among other things.

Charles Gerba, a professor at the University of Arizona who studies hotel cleanliness, said hotels do not pose significant risk of transmission of Covid-19 so long as they clean with products known to kill the virus.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/04/health/coronavirus-hotels-infect.html

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