At The Merrill Hotel and Conference Center, we feel a great sense of responsibility for the role we play in the lives of our guests and our community and assure you that we have become even more vigilant in practicing strong hygiene and sanitation protocols. We carefully follow all WHO, CDC, and State of Iowa safety standards and recommendations during these extraordinary times and have added additional cleaning protocols above and beyond what is normally necessary to maintain safe sleeping, dining, and working environments. Here are some of our COVID-19 plans to put your mind at ease.
Protecting Ourselves, Our Guests and Our Patrons:
- The Merrill public spaces are cleaned throughout the day by three, staggered eight-hour shifts of attendants, for a total of 24 hours of cleaning. High touchpoints are cleaned at least once per hour during their shifts.
- All frequently touched surfaces such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs are routinely cleaned.
- All social distancing practices apply if entering The Merrill. No one with COVID-19 symptoms is permitted to enter.
- Areas where guests or Artists queue are clearly marked for appropriate social distancing where possible.
- Plexiglas barriers have been installed where needed.
- We require transactions to be conducted with credit card or room charge only.
- All pens and key cards are sanitized after each use.
- Signage is posted by the elevators to practice social distancing and limiting each elevator ride to one person or family.
- Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building and masks are available to guests upon request.
- All rooms, floors, and carpet have been deep cleaned during the months of April and May.
- We are taking our Artists' temperatures upon reporting for work using the CDC guideline of 100.4 degrees as defining a fever. Employees will be sent home if they have a fever and must stay fever-free for three days in order to return to work.
- All Artists must complete a daily attestation each shift, a self-health check for COVID-19 related symptoms.
- The Merrill requires all Artists to wear non-medical grade face coverings while performing their job.
- We practice good hand hygiene (minimum once/hour with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds).
- Artists will not be shaking hands with guests or other Artists.
Housekeeping and Laundry Procedures:
- We have reviewed our cleaning chemicals with our supplier, Ecolab, who has identified an all-purpose cleaner claiming effectiveness against "emerging viral pathogens."
- The list of chemicals being used by Housekeeping can be viewed here and available to overnight guests.
- Rooms left vacant for a minimum of three days are currently available upon request.
- We have added additional wrapped, disposable cups to our guest rooms to use instead of glasses if desired.
- Cribs are sanitized prior to being distributed and upon their return.
- We have suspended Housekeeping service for stayover rooms. We can tidy rooms upon request.
- Make a Green Choice points are being awarded to Bonvoy members.
- Guests requiring replacement amenities or linens are asked to call the Front Desk and Housekeeping will deliver the items to the guest's door.
- Additional trash can liners are being provided to guests to leave trash outside their door.
- All bed linen, including mattress pads, comforters, pillows, and pillow protectors are being changed with each departure.
- Artists use gloves to handle dirty linen and are being changed with each load and before handling clean linen.
- Laundry bins are being sanitized after each load is emptied.
In Our Kitchen:
- Access to all food handling and storage areas has been restricted to essential Artists only.
- Current ServSafe Food Safety certifications are available for guests to view.
- Our Culinary/Stewarding team practices social distancing, respecting assigned stations.
- Disposable food handler gloves are used in food preparation.
- Disinfecting procedures and logs have been implemented throughout the entire Food & Beverage
Every guest room is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to your arrival. During your stay, we will not provide housekeeping automatically every day. If you wish to receive daily housekeeping refresh service, please let our guest services team know. We will be happy to schedule service according to your preferences. Please note that if you are staying with us a bit longer, we will automatically clean your guest room after every 6th night.