Coronavirus COVID-19 has created widespread disruption to the global travel industry. With the highest regard for health, local hotels, places to eat and attractions in Bellingham and the Whatcom County region of Washington State maintain high cleaning standards, while sanitizing their properties daily and hourly to protect guests and employees.
For a full list of Bellingham and Whatcom County hotels and contact info click here. Be sure to call in advance for reservations.
“We have raised the bar to include deeper general cleaning, changing of gloves more often, a new focus on doorknobs, keys, pens, telephones, lamp knobs and paperwork,” said Teri Treat, co-owner of Inn at Lynden. “All staff members are more aware of their own health and the health of other family members at home and have been asked to read all the information from the CDC.”
These actions are echoed by the local hotel community.
Best Western Hotels President and CEO David Kong sent a message to all members of its guest loyalty program saying the company’s hotels, including Best Western Plus Bellingham Airport Hotel, “have enhanced techniques used to clean guest rooms after each stay, paying particular attention to high touch point areas including key cards, public area computers, elevator doors and buttons, door handles, locks and latches, light switches, desk surfaces, telephones, remote controls, and bathroom fixture handles.” They have also “heightened sanitizing attention to their common areas, such as front desk, breakfast room furniture and service items and fitness center equipment.
Marriott SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites in Bellingham regularly use High Contact Touchpoint cleaning guidelines from 360Hotel Group which includes similar measures for guest rooms as well as cleaning the front desk as frequently as possible with approved chemicals and sanitizing pens at the front desk between guest uses. All public spaces are cleaned at least every 2 – 3 hours, including lobby chairs, business center equipment, luggage carts and courtesy vans. They are also providing individually wrapped antiseptic wipes as part of guest room amenities.
John Burns, General Manager at Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel and Conference Center said, “We take standards for hygiene and cleanliness very seriously. Our guests well-being is our main priority.” His staff is following all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control including:
- Ensuring Associate’s areas – restrooms, break rooms and work locations are stocked with hand sanitizers, liquid hand soap and paper towels. Food handlers, including dishwashers, are all using gloves. Housekeepers are wearing gloves and carrying sanitizer on their carts. Disinfectant wipes are used on phones and TV remotes and all other hard surfaces of hotel room and guest areas.
- The hotel has placed sanitizers in all high traffic guest locations in the hotel – front desk, restaurant podiums, fitness rooms, public restrooms and pool area, etc. Kitchen staff is taking additional steps when cleaning surfaces to wipe with the quarternary ammonia disinfectants.
- Housekeeping has been doubled in common areas of the hotel for sanitation.
Hotel Bellwether issued an email to its guests saying, “We have always taken health and sanitation guidelines seriously. With the current concerns around public safety, we are increasing our cleaning protocols and safety precautions across the board. We have also increased the depth and frequency of our scheduled cleanings to further surpass Health Department standards.”
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Hotel Bellwether and the Lighthouse Bar & Grill will be temporarily closed until government-mandated restrictions are lifted. The Hotel Bellwether is accepting reservations for future stays. As of now, the hotel is scheduled to reopen April 29, 2020. If you have a special group need in assisting with COVID-19 crisis management, call the hotel’s direct line at (360) 392-3100 for assistance as the Hotel is more than happy to arrange services at discounted rates for those coming to the area and in need of accommodations.
The Hotel Bellwether is prepared to open immediately when travel restrictions and social distancing requirements are lifted.
Bellingham’s many local businesses are also working extremely hard to ensure high cleanliness standards. The Upfront Theatre improv comedy club in Bellingham wants visitors to know on a daily basis their staff “goes the extra measure to sanitize and disinfect everything.” This includes:
- Sanitizing each and every one of the audience tables and other commonly touched surfaces before each show every night.
- Restrooms are cleaned and sanitized, and have access to warm water and soap. The soap and paper towels come from automated touch-less dispensers.
- Front of house workers continually wash and sanitize their hands and workstations and a sink for washing is available to them in the concessions area.
- No physical tickets or hand stamps are issued in order to eliminate any potential spread of germs.
- All workers, players, and volunteers are asked to stay at home if they are not feeling 100% well.
Bantam 46, a new restaurant in downtown Bellingham also proclaimed on Instagram, “We have implemented strict cleaning and sanitization guidelines for all staff and of course kitchen. This also follows mandating that all employees MUST stay home if they are sick, and we kindly ask guests with signs of cold or flu to remain home.”
As Bantam 46 went on to explain, “the coronavirus has presented unimaginable challenges to small businesses.” The restaurant is accepting To Go orders over the phone for comfort food to enjoy at home or in your hotel room.
Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar in Bellingham also offers To Go orders with Curbside Pick Up service. Customers can order by calling 360-714-8412.
Lombardi’s sanitizes all touch points daily throughout the restaurant including counters, cabinets, door knobs, menu covers, guest check presenters, point of sale screens, sink faucets and handles, bathroom stall handles, toilet seats, etc. The restaurant is also diligent about sanitizing the surfaces of every table in the dining room and bar after each guest to prevent viruses and pathogens.
“We value the trust you’ve placed in us. This is a very difficult time for small businesses,” said Lombardi’s management.
Throughout Bellingham and Whatcom County small businesses such as hotels, restaurants and attractions employ thousands of local residents who care deeply about the health and welfare of their guests.