Victorian Hotels Lacked COVID Cleaning Advice

Victorias quarantine hotels were not provided with specific advice on cleaning procedures until mid-June, an inquiry into the program has heard.

Unni Menon, a senior executive at the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, was tasked on the afternoon of March 27 with contracting hotels to be used in the program just 48 hours later.

He said the government contracts stipulated hotels would be responsible for general cleaning, and training staff in infection control and use of personal protective equipment.

Hotels were also contractually responsible for providing staff with PPE.

But rooms occupied by returned travellers who tested positive to COVID-19 would be cleaned by Department of Health and Human Services contractors.

There were no specific instructions provided to hotels for cleaning, except that it be at a “standard consistent with the most recent recommended public health standards in respect of COVID-19.”

“The onus first and foremost with the contract was for the suppliers to make sure that they have taken every reasonable effort to access information, to satisfy themselves that they were consistent with the practices and the recommended public health standards in respect of COVID-19,” Mr Menon told Victorias hotel quarantine inquiry on Aug. 31.

He said a “three or four-page” brochure had been provided by the hotels association before the quarantine program began.

The brochure, created by the federal health department, detailed how COVID-19 is likely to spread and what cleaning practices and self-hygiene measures should be adopted.

Arthur Moses SC, the lawyer acting for security firm Unified Security, asked: “No formal written instructions were issued to or discussed with hotels on applicable infection control requirements at the time they entered into a formal agreements with the Department—correct?”

“There were no formal instructions that I received, thats correct,” Menon replied.

Two days after the program began, Menon asked the DHHS for further advice regarding the “minimum acceptable standard of cleaning” required in hotel rooms and public areas.

He also asked if there was a difference in cleaning standards for rooms where guests with COVID-19 had stayed versus non-infected guests.

It wasnt until late April he received some further information from the DHHS, inRead More – Source