The COVID-19 pandemic has altered many on-base services, the 11th Force Support Squadron’s Presidential Inn on Joint Base Andrews, Md., is no different. To ensure the safety of patrons and staff the following changes were enacted: wearing gloves and masks, disinfecting surfaces frequently, a dedicated floor for quarantining individuals, while also only accepting reservations for essential personnel and those on permanent change of station orders and temporary duty travel travelers.
Megan Gonzalez, 11th Force Support Squadron assistant lodging manager, said “[Our] mission is to provide quality lodging facilities and services, to maintain mission readiness and quality of life, while maintaining the safety of our guests and employees.”
That is what the lodging team is doing. One example, is a devoted floor of the Temporary Lodging Facility to quarantine guests upon their arrival.
“Due to quarantine, we do not enter those guest rooms while they are staying with us,” said Rebecca Walker, Presidential Inn housekeeper. “Instead, the guests request any items they need and we leave them in a bag outside of their door and remove their trash and towels, which they also leave in bags outside of their door.”
Some supplies, such as hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and masks, are on back order from vendors. However, lodging personnel have not let that stop them.
“We have had to resort to locating supplies at local stores and while we are not always successful, we have been able to obtain limited amounts of supplies for our staff to utilize,” said Gonzalez.
Supplies have also been donated from the local community as well as some assistance from the base fitness center and dining facility.
“Luckily, people have donated masks to us and we have been able to wash and reuse them instead of throwing them away,” said Walker.
Thanks to these resiliency and comradery efforts, lodging is able to continue to provide a clean atmosphere for employees and guests to keep the mission going.