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Hotel Investigation Raises Doubts About Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

July 6, 2020

Although major hotel chains have committed to enhanced cleaning protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a television news show investigation found that some hotels in New York City are still getting accustomed to the new standards, USA Today reports.

Producers with the syndicated news show “Inside Edition” checked into three hotels—the Hyatt Place Times Square, the Hampton Inn Times Square Central, and the Trump International overlooking Central Park—where they applied a spray that becomes visible under ultraviolet light to pillows, bed sheets, and bath towels to determine if these items were changed between guests. They also applied a clear, washable gel to high-touch surfaces such as the TV remote control, thermostat, and desktop.

At the Hyatt Place Times Square, the markings appeared on bed sheets and pillowcases after the room was cleaned for a new guest, making it appear the linens were not changed. The gel was visible on the TV remote, raising the possibility that it had not been cleaned thoroughly.

Hyatt officials said they take the report seriously and are contacting the hotel’s owner to require swift action to improve housekeeping practices.

At the Hampton Inn Times Square, producers investigating the room after a cleaning found the marks on sheets, a pillowcase, the TV remote, and the thermostat. Hotel officials said the housekeeping team relied on a visual inspection of the room’s cleanliness, which was a deviation of the hotel’s protocols.

Housekeeping staff at the Trump International Hotel had changed the bedsheets between guests, except for the pillowcases. However, the TV remote didn’t appear to have been wiped and a handprint that producers left on a surface to test the hotel’s efforts remained after the room was cleaned. A hotel official disputed the findings, saying they were false.

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