While COVID-19 has dominated headlines when it comes to infectious diseases in California, the United States, and around the world, professionals involved in the travel and lodging industries need to remain vigilant in regard to other dangerous infections and health issues as well. The reality is that hotels, motels, Airbnb’s, and other types of lodging have had to face the need to be vigilant about providing reasonable protection for their guests against infectious diseases of various types. Owners and managers of different types of lodging properties must have a clear understanding of their legal obligation to protect their guests from becoming ill as the result of exposure to hazardous pathogens that can potentially exist at their properties.

Most Commonplace Pathogens Threatening Lodging Patrons

A number of different pathogens represent the most common biological threats to guests of lodging properties. There are also some other infectious diseases that currently aren’t as commonplace but warrant a look as part of a broader effort to be decently educated about the risks we all potentially can face when traveling and staying at a hotel, motel, Airbnb, or another type of lodging.

  • COVID-19
  • Salmonella
  • Cold viruses 
  • Influenza or the flu
  • Rotavirus
  • Norovirus
  • Diphtheria
  • E. coli
  • Hepatitis A
  • Staphylococcus
  • MRSA
  • Streptococcus
  • Haemophilus influenzae

Legal Duty of Lodging Property Owners and Managers to Their Guests

As is the case with all businesses that have brick and mortar operations, a lodging enterprise’s legal duty to its patrons or guests is governed by what is known as the doctrine of premises liability. Pursuant to the doctrine of premises liability, a hotel, motel, Airbnb, and any other type of lodging must keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition for guests, workers, vendors, and others. 

This legal responsibility extends to reasonably protecting guests and others from infectious diseases. A lodging company doesn’t need to have a perfect protection plan. Perfection is not possible. A hotel, motel, Airbnb, or other type of lodging must take reasonable steps to keep guests and others reasonably safe from harm, including exposure to an infectious disease.  

A test that a hotel, motel, Airbnb, or other type of lodging can apply is based on a consideration of what another business in its class would do to protect against infectious disease. A lodging business needs to take steps to protect against the spread of infectious disease that a similarly situated enterprise of the same type would take under the same set of circumstances.

Creating an Effective Comprehensive Infectious Disease Prevention Protocol

A hotel, motel, Airbnb, and other type of lodging can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable steps necessary to protect guests and others by developing a comprehensive disease prevention plan and protocol. Ideally, infectious disease prevention involves engaging the professional services of an experienced biohazard remediation company. 

An experienced infectious disease cleaning and sanitization company not only can assist with the development of a comprehensive strategy but also provide preemptive sanitization services as well. Ideally, a lodging business wants to address any suspected contamination well in advance of any guest or other individual ending up exposed to it.

Rapid Remediation of Suspected Infectious Disease Contamination

If an owner or manager of some type of lodging property suspects or has actual knowledge of some type of infectious disease contamination, immediate, rapid action must be taken to remediate the potentially dangerous situation. This type of infectious disease cleanup must be undertaken in an expeditious, comprehensive, and safe manner. 

Although it is possible for a lodging property to undertake this type of cleaning and disinfection endeavor on its own, oftentimes smaller motels, Airbnb properties, boutique hotel, and other types of lodging lack the experience, equipment, tools, and other resources needed to thoroughly and safely undertake infectious disease cleaning and disinfection. 

In addition to engaging a professional, experienced, reputable infection disease cleaning company to develop a preemptive strategy to lower the risk of infectious disease contamination at a property, engaging a seasoned biohazard remediation specialist can be crucial to effectively eradicate a potentially dangerous situation. There are a pair of initial considerations to bear in mind when it comes to engaging the services of an infectious disease cleaning company to address an existing issue.

First, you need to engage an infectious disease cleaning and disinfection company that can respond to a situation promptly. The reality is that a lodging property of any type needs to respond to a suspected contamination rapidly in order to satisfy its legal duty to its guests.

Second, you need to identify a reputable biohazard remediation company that provides transparent pricing. The sad reality is that many biohazard cleaning companies lack transparency when it comes to costs and fees. You want to make sure you select an infectious disease cleaning and sanitization company that provides a reliable estimate upfront. You need to retain a biohazard cleaning specialist that provides comprehensive upfront pricing and never charges hidden or additional fees.