COVID-19 Plan

Bay County Plan for Opening Short-term Rentals

May 15, 2020

The basis of the Bay County Plan for Opening Short-Term Rentals was developed by the Vacation Rental Management Association and the Vacation Rental Hospitality Professionals, with input from Vacation Rental Management companies operating in Bay County. These guidelines (when implemented in addition to standards set by the CDC) seek to establish an industry wide best practice to ensure guest safety. The County recognizes the importance of keeping residents and visitors safe, and as such we would expect the following conditions to be required to reopen short term rentals.

Vacation Rental Reservations from Areas Identified by Executive Order

Vacation rental reservations, from areas identified by Governor DeSantis as high risk, through Executive Orders, must be for periods longer than the quarantine period established in that Order. Guests occupying those vacation rentals must adhere to the quarantine restrictions or be subject to established criminal and civil penalties.

Staffing Standards and Guidelines

Vacation Rental Management Companies shall strive at all times to adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Social Distancing
    1. Encourage associates to maintain a safe distance (at least 6 feet) and not to gather in groups of larger than 10 people.
    2. Stagger arrival times to prevent congregating
    3. Limit access to break areas and look for areas where staff can spread out for breaks. Allow staff to eat their meals in their assigned areas, where possible.
  2. Masks, gloves and other personal protection equipment
    1. Masks and gloves should be worn by all employees who interact with the public, unless a physical barrier such as a Plexiglas barrier separates the staff member from the guest is present. Appropriate cleaning supplies will be provided to clean their work areas and stations
  3. Wellness Checks
    1. All staff members should receive a wellness check upon arrival to work. The wellness check, at a minimum, will consist of a temperature check. b. Staff members who have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be permitted to work.
  4. Hygiene
    1. Wash/sanitize your hands frequently especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces
    2. Avoid touching your face
    3. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or inside your elbow.
    4. Disinfect your work area frequently throughout a shift and before/after a shift if it is a shared space
    5. Individual hand sanitizers will be provided to employees for their assigned work area and for staff members who move through the property and/or community.
  5. Mandatory Training
    1. All staff members will be required to train on and adhere to the minimum standards established by this plan.

COVID-19 Disinfection and Sanitization

  • Surfaces should be cleaned and then disinfected.
  • Cleaning personnel and vacation rental staff should dispose of gloves and use hand sanitizer before entering their vehicle.
  • Cleaning personnel and vacation rental staff should follow CDC handwashing guidelines throughout the day.
  • All cleaning personnel and vacation rental staff should wear splash goggles that protect their eyes from air and/or liquid.

Products, Cleaning Agents, and Equipment

  • Cleaning personnel and vacation rental staff should use cleaning products in line with the EPA’s list of products with “Emerging Viral Pathogens AND Human Coronavirus claims for use against SARS-CoV-2.”
  • Disinfecting procedures should allow for required dwell time to kill the viruses and microbes.
  • Disinfectant products should be used on all major surfaces.

Cleaning and Inspections

  • Extra time must be allowed for enhanced cleaning procedures to take place.
  • Guests should be asked to turn on all ceiling fans and/or HVAC fans when leaving to facilitate air circulation.
  • Remote check-ins should be made available when possible to cut down on face-to-face interactions.

Common Areas – Lobbies, Pool Decks, Elevators, etc

  • Lobby areas should be monitored, and appropriate signage displayed, to ensure social distancing protocols are adhered to
  • Lobby areas should be monitored and disinfected throughout the day
  • Hand Sanitizer should be provided in all common areas, including lobbies, pool decks and elevators
  • Elevators should be disinfected throughout the day.
  • Pool furniture should be spaced to encourage social distancing (6ft apart)
  • Pool furniture should be disinfected between each use.

Soft Surfaces and Upholstery

  • A pressurized pump sprayer should be used to distribute a sanitizing product across all soft surfaces.

Trash Removal

  • For both inside and outside trash gathering, gloves and masks should be worn at all times.
  • Disinfectant should be used on the trash barrel, and a fresh liner or bag should be used inside the barrel or bin.

Maintenance

  • All guests should vacate property before maintenance staff enters.
  • Technicians should wear gloves and masks at all times, and dispose of those properly after exiting. Staff entering a property less than 18 hours after guests have vacated should wear splash goggles.

Owner and Guest Policies

  • Extra throw blankets, decorative pillows or other soft objects should be put away until further notice.