How will the future of safety and cleanliness look as we move forward? Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Executive Director Patricia Olinger, Hyatt Americas Vice President of Operations Tim Obert, United Service Companies CEO Rick Simon, and GBAC Director Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner discuss the safety procedures that have been created to combat COVID-19. 

Olinger highlights the purpose of the GBAC is to “prepare, respond and recover.” The GBAC was created between 2014 and 2015 due to the Ebola outbreak. Additionally, the current global pandemic has caused new realizations for the GBAC, “we have real concerns and critical shifts,” said Olinger. As a response to the outbreak, the GBAC has created the GBAC STAR accreditation program. This program is a guide to help facilities demonstrate that they can provide specific practices and protocols in combating a pandemic. “We need to be prepared for what’s next and move-on from hygienic cleaning to pandemic awareness,” said Olinger. 

Hyatt Hotels are GBAC STAR credited world-wide. In addition to the GBAC STAR credit, Hyatt has started a Global Cleanliness program that has implemented training via the GBAC, a hygiene leader at each property, global face mask coverings, and ensuring every property is engaged in the accreditation program. 

Dr.Macgregor-Skinner weighs in on the importance of GBAC STAR and explains that obtaining this type of accreditation has helped with the approval of local governments. “If your event is following the GBAC protocols, it becomes easier for the local government to give you the green-light to open,” he says.  

There’s uncertainty of what will happen a month from now, but the point to be made is the importance of planning during these current situations. Dr. Macgregor-Skinner expresses that we all need a “peace of mind” and that we’re doing the best we can do. 

Moving forward, we need to get excited when events start happening, but asking the crucial questions of ‘how do we operate to the highest standards?’ and ‘are we protecting our occupants and the buildings?’ Most importantly Dr. Skinner says, is to focus on the health and wellness of our guests and occupants to show that we care.