The Townsend Hotel Health & Safety Precautions in Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Issued: May 26, 2020


The well-being of our employees, guests and community remains The Townsend’s highest priority. As we closely monitor and adhere to changes in government policy, The Townsend has enhanced our health and safety precautions to comply with the recommendations and guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Michigan and Oakland County Departments of Health. We will continue to elevate our standards as best practices evolve.

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At The Townsend Hotel, our associates, loyal guests and close-knit community are the heart our organization. Every effort to support your health and well-being remains vital to our purpose. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID–19 in our workplace and community, and that requires full cooperation among our employees, management and guests.

Our leadership team has meticulously reviewed every aspect of our operations to implement enhanced safeguards, some clearly noticeable, while others remain invisible to our guests. We have also involved our employees and guests in this process by taking their expressed questions, concerns and ideas into consideration in the development of this plan. All are meaningful in regards to how we deliver a safe work environment for our associates and a safe, memorable hotel and dining experience for our guests.

The purpose of this living document is to share our ongoing plans and precautions. We hope we have anticipated your needs and shown that our efforts will meet and exceed all government guidelines and industry recommendations. We will continue to update this program as developments that benefit public health progress, and we learn how to best move forward together.

When you feel the time is right, we will be here, with our doors open to welcome you back.


Steven Kalczynski

Managing Director


Guest Reservations & Arrival: As a condition of making a reservation, guests will be requested to attest that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and exposures. They will also be asked if they have recently traveled internationally. Points of entry to the property will be limited for all guests. Guests will be required to wear cloth face coverings in all public areas as this is recommended by the CDC and the State of Michigan. Signage will be posted to instruct and remind all visitors of requirements.

Health Concerns: Our employees have been trained on how to respond swiftly and report all guest or employee presumed cases of COVID-19 to their direct manager, who will coordinate operational protocols.

• For presumptive cases, such as if a guest advises or displays symptoms of COVID-19, the guest will be isolated to their guest room where they must stay while awaiting departure transportation.

• Isolated guests are prohibited from engaging with others and cannot receive visitors. Hotel staff will be able to deliver food and other supplies that the guest may require, in a contact-free manner. Isolated guests will not receive any housekeeping or in-room services, and they are prohibited from leaving their room and using any hotel outlets or facilities.

• Our management team will facilitate medical attention as needed, as well as departure transportation from the hotel.

If we are alerted of a positive case of COVID-19 at the hotel, we will communicate with the Oakland County Department of Health and follow their recommended actions.

Medical Services: Should employees or guests express any health concerns, we will refer them to an area healthcare facility as designated by the Oakland County Department of Health.

Physical Distancing: Glass partitions have been added to our front desk area, providing an extra level of precaution for guests and employees. Guests and staff will be reminded to remain a minimum of six feet away from others.

Restaurant seating, and lobby furniture will be arranged to provide appropriate distancing. Government mandated occupancy limits will also be closely monitored and enforced.

Sanitizing Resources: Hand sanitizer stations and no-touch waste disposals will be placed in all public spaces and employee entrances, particularly at high- traffic areas and key touch points such as reception desks, elevator landings, fitness center, restaurant entrances, and inside every meeting room.

Signage: Visual reminders for health, hygiene and physical distancing practices will be displayed throughout the hotel in both guest and employee areas.

Staffing Capacity: Management determines staffing based on business levels while ensuring the highest standards of service. We are revising our operational plans and service delivery options to maximize our ability to maintain physical distancing and provide flexibility for guests who want to minimize human interaction.


Benefits: Our employees and their families will continue to have access to numerous wellness and financial resources. The Townsend Hotel has leave policies that promote employees staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a healthcare provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household.

Hand Washing: Proper hygiene and frequent handwashing are vital to combat the spread of COVID-19. All employees have been instructed to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing; before and after eating, going on break and starting a shift. In addition, employees will use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Sanitizing stations will be available throughout employee areas.

Health Screenings: Upon arriving for work, employees will be screened daily for COVID-19 symptoms and temperatures over 100°F. Employees confirmed to have symptoms or a temperature over 100°F will not be allowed to enter the property and will be immediately directed toward appropriate medical care.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Appropriate PPE will be worn by all employees based on their role and responsibilities, and in adherence with state and local regulations and guidelines. Training on how to properly use and dispose of all PPE will be provided. Every employee will be issued cloth face coverings and required to wear them as appropriate.

Physical Distancing: Employees will be reminded to practice physical distancing whenever possible. This will include seating in all break and dining areas, shared offices, workspaces, meeting rooms and other high-traffic areas. Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work and staggered shift times, will be used to reduce employee density.

Policies: Safe return to work guidance will be provided to our employees and will include additional personal and medical leave options, protocols for daily health screenings, personal hygiene and physical distancing requirements, property and workspace cleanliness standards, and detailed steps for responding to presumed COVID-19 cases.

Pre-Shift & Timekeeping: Daily pre-shift meetings will be conducted in areas that allow for appropriate physical distancing. Larger departments will stagger employee arrival times to minimize traffic volume in back of house corridors, stairwells and service elevators. Hand sanitizer will be provided next to each time clock location.

Shared Employee Space: The use of shared employee spaces will decrease as we practice physical distancing and flexible work arrangements. Our employee cafeteria will be closely monitored and we will provide grab and go food options for our staff. All office and break areas will be cleaned and disinfected daily.

Shared Equipment: Shared tools and equipment will be cleaned and disinfected before, during and after each shift, or anytime the equipment is transferred to a new employee. Examples include work phones, keyboards, carts and tools.

Signage: Signage will be displayed throughout work areas to remind employees of physical distancing and personal hygiene practices, such as hand washing.

Training: Employees will continue to train in all enhanced health, hygiene and physical distancing practices to ensure they are consistently followed. Employees will also be trained to recognize and report COVID-19 symptoms and follow medical care and isolation procedures as recommended by the CDC.


Reservation Process: Guests will be asked during the reservations process to verify their recent travel history and if they have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Information needed for check-in will be obtained in advance to reduce contact and time spent at the Front Desk.

Arrival: The Townsend Street entrance will be used for all guests’ entrance and exit. Upon arrival at the hotel, guests will verify their room or dining reservation and then proceed to park. Self-parking in the city garage and valet parking will be available.

Valet attendants will not be permitted to open car doors. A bellman will be stationed at the main entrance between 6:30am and 11:00pm and will open and close the main door for all entering and exiting guests. Luggage assistance will be available upon request. Bell carts will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.

Check-In & Front Desk: A minimum number of receptionists will be stationed at our front desk and they will utilize every other workstation to ensure separation between employees and to minimize shared equipment. Glass partitions have been added to separate the receptionist and guest. Guests will be asked to insert their own credit card into the verification machines provided at the Front Desk.

Elevator Use: Elevator buttons will be cleaned and disinfected frequently. Capacities will be limited to one family or party at a time, up to four people.

Transportation: Guest transportation can be arranged through All-Star, Uber or Lift.


Prior to COVID-19, The Townsend employed extensive health, safety and hygiene measures that adhered to OSHA and EPA Guidelines. These operational practices will continue and we are implementing additional systems and new technology for cleaning and disinfecting.

Air Filtration Systems: There will be increased cleaning frequency of our HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems in all guest rooms and public spaces.

Cleaning Products: A variety of antimicrobial and surface disinfectants will be utilized, which include hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and bleach-based solutions. These cleaners meet CDC requirements for use against viruses (such as COVID-19), bacteria and other airborne and blood borne pathogens.

Communal, Meeting & Public Spaces: The frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all public spaces will increase. There will be emphasis on high-traffic areas and key touch points, such as the check-in desk, elevator landings, house phones, meeting rooms, public restrooms, door handles, stair handrails, trash bins, ATMs, fitness equipment, restaurant entrances, dining surfaces and seating areas. Furniture will be arranged to allow for physical distancing.

Front Office & Guest Services: Glass partitions have been added at the reception desk; they will be cleaned and disinfected frequently.

Guest Rooms: EPA approved cleaning products and disinfecting protocols will be used for guest rooms with particular attention paid to high-touch items, such as doors, furniture handles and pulls, nightstands, toilet seats and handles, telephones, thermostats, light switches, alarm clocks, luggage racks, safe keypads, carpet and flooring.

The TV remote control will be cleaned and disinfected prior to guest arrival. Newspapers will be available digitally via Pressreader. Housekeeping has discarded magazines, paper menus and other collateral upon every guest arrival.

Housekeeping: A guest can accept or decline daytime housekeeping service, and adjust their preferences daily. Turndown service will only be provided upon request. To minimize contact with guests while cleaning, housekeepers will offer to return at an alternate time for occupied rooms. Should housekeeping day service or evening turndown be desired, housekeepers will wear a cloth face covering and gloves. Carts and equipment will be cleaned and disinfected at the start and end of each shift.

Laundry: Bed linen and towels will be changed every other day, or in response to guest preference. All items will continue to be washed at a high temperature and in accordance with CDC guidelines. After departure, all linens and towels, whether they appear used or not, will be cleaned.

Public Restrooms: All public restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected frequently.

Room Recovery Protocol: In the event of a presumptive case of COVID-19, the guest’s room will be removed from service and quarantined. The room will not be returned to service until the case has been cleared. In the event of a positive case, the room will remain out of service for the recommended time frame needed for the virus to die, and it will then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting when someone is confirmed positive.


Bicycles: The hotel bicycles will be available for use and will be disinfected by our staff upon return to the hotel.

Business Center: Partitions have been added to our Business Center workstations to allow for an additional layer of protection for our guests.

Guest Shipping: For guest packages, our Mailroom Team will call each guest to confirm preferred delivery time. Packages will be delivered to the room and placed outside the door. Our team will then knock and wait six feet away to ensure the package is retrieved.

Laundry & Dry Cleaning: Services will be available using physical distancing pick-up and delivery protocols.

Fitness Center: Our Fitness Center will open at a later date. At that time, fitness equipment will be cleaned and disinfected between each use and spaced accordingly to accommodate physical distancing. Suggestions for alternate options (drive to open parks or local walking routes) will be available to guests at the Front Desk. Online Yoga sessions, or heath channel recommendation lists, will be available in all guestrooms and at the Front Desk.

Vendors: Every vendor who enters the property will be subject to a temperature screening and required to wear a cloth face covering. Delivery times for vendors will be scheduled/staggered when possible to ensure minimal overlap.


Our restaurant will only provide a la carte meals and our banquet events will offer table service or pre-packaged food items.

Condiments and sugar options will be served in single use containers (either disposable or washed after each use). Straws will be available upon request and individually wrapped. Disposable and digital menus will be utilized. Check presenters and pens will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.

We continue to follow the FDA’s Food Code recommendations for hand washing and disposable glove use in all food service areas.

Banquets & Catering: Each event area will have hand sanitizer stations for attendee use. All equipment, linen and meeting amenities will be cleaned, disinfected and replaced between every event.

We are currently redesigning our banquet menus and reimagining our food and beverage service. We will work with each group and meeting planner to determine their individual needs. We are working hard to introduce individually packaged, fresh- food options; upscale box lunches and an expanded menu of plated selections. Modified menus will highlight available service styles and food selections. Coffee and other meeting break refreshment items will be attended and served by staff. Individual cans or bottles of water will be provided; this will be in lieu of water carafes on meeting tables and self-serve water stations. Flatware to be provided as a roll-up, glassware will remain behind the bar, and all cocktail garnishes will be pre-skewered. Single use notepads and pens will be provided. Seating capacities and floor plans will be reviewed and customized for each event to ensure appropriate physical distancing.

Food Safety: We will continue to work with Ecolab and Oakland County to enhance our guidelines for hygiene and disinfecting, as well as provide training for all food service employees. All food handlers and supervisors are trained in safe food preparation and service practices. Food & Beverage Managers are required to conduct self-inspections using the company’s food safety standards as guidelines.

Rugby To-Go: Guests may order by calling our reception desk. Rugby To-Go will provide no-contact delivery. Food will be preset and either served with plate covers or in disposable bags and placed outside of the guest room door for guest retrieval. Guests will place their tray in the hallway outside of their room and alert our staff removal.

Restaurant & Bar: Our restaurant and bar will reduce seating capacities in compliance with government mandates. Hostesses and supervisors will manage physical distancing at restaurant entries. Hand sanitizer stations will be available at entry. Guests should arrive in a timely manner for their reservation. Walk-in guests will be asked to wait in a designated area until their table is ready.

Point of sale (POS) terminals will be assigned to a single server when possible and cleaned and disinfected between each user and before and after each shift. If multiple servers are assigned to a POS terminal, servers will sanitize their hands before and after each use. Dining tables, bar tops, stools and chairs will be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Cocktail garnishes will be prepared in advance and bar snacks will be served per individual guest and not shared by the table. Menus utilized will be single use or digital.


Meeting & Event Space: Floor plan layouts and seating capacities will be reviewed on an event-by-event basis to ensure physical distancing guidelines are in compliance with CDC and state recommendations.

All conference room door handles, tables, chairs, light switches and other equipment will be cleaned and disinfected after each group use. Every event area will have a dedicated hand sanitizing station for attendee use.

Menus: See banquet menus under previous Food & Beverage Section (VII).

Site Inspections: Site inspections with clients will be conducted virtually when possible and/or appropriately physically distanced.