Greater, SAfer, San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO, TX (Sept. 29, 2020) – Amid the uncertainty in the current atmosphere, travelers can be confident and assured that San Antonio keeps innovating to ensure health and safety is priority number one. This commitment to safety is shared across the destination and recently saw the addition of born-in-San Antonio disinfecting robots now in use at San Antonio International Airport and other city facilities, additional protocols and building retrofits to the city’s convention center and more than 2,000 businesses and organizations pledging to be safer together.
These efforts, combined with the shared responsibility that’s been embraced by residents and visitors, have resulted in San Antonio having one of the lowest current hospitalization rates of Texas cities as well as leading the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District to declare the current COVID-19 Risk Level as “Safe,” the lowest in a five-level risk assessment scale.
San Antonio International Airport
Regularly lauded for its focus on customer service, San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is the first airport in the world to purchase and deploy the Xenex LightStrike robot – the only ultraviolet (UV) room disinfection technology proven to deactivate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Even through the pandemic, customer service has remained at high levels, resulting in J.D. Power ranking SAT among the top 15 overall and top 10 in medium-sized airports in its 2020 North American Airport Satisfaction Study.
Inside the airport terminals, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided SAT, Customs and Border Protection, Emergency Medical Services providers and TSA with public health readiness measures. While following all CDC guidelines and recommendations, the Airport Operations team is ensuring that there are abundant hand sanitizing stations and that the custodial services are placing an additional emphasis on public touch points in all areas, including handrails, bathroom stalls, seating, door handles, chairs and tables, touchscreen directories, credit card machines, etc. These are just a few of numerous preventive steps ensuring travelers through SAT are safe.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center has taken proactive measures in response to this rapidly evolving situation and continually monitor information from various resources. The Convention Center is proud be the first Texas convention center to have received the Global BioRisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Accreditation. GBAC is a division of International Supply and Sanitary Association (ISSA), the worldwide cleaning association. This accreditation program assesses cleaning and disinfection practices and infectious-disease prevention. GBAC is currently the industry’s only accreditation for outbreak prevention, response and recovery establishing requirements to control risks associated with infectious agents, such as the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Center is ready to work with meeting planners to develop plans and procedures specific to each event. Current guidelines encompass information from the CDC, Texas Governor’s Office, City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, and International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). The following is a highlight of measures taken to ensure a clean and healthy environment for guests, employees and partners – full details are available on the Convention Center Reopening Plan.
- Sanitation methods have increased for high contact areas including guest information desks, escalator and stair handrails, elevators, water fountains, public furniture, door handles, push bars and restroom surfaces.
- Free-standing hand sanitizer units are available for strategic placement.
- Signage is prominently displayed in facilities with CDC protocols for hand washing.
- Custodial managers and supervisors were trained by the ISSA on improved cleaning procedures. As a result, a comprehensive training program was administered to custodial staff.
- Ventilation standards were adjusted for increased outside air intake/air change rates.
- Screening measures are employed for all partners, staff, vendors, and contractors utilizing City of San Antonio guidelines.
Greater. SAfer. Together.
San Antonio business owners and associations have produced The Greater. SAfer. Together. Pledge (in accordance with CDC guidance) with the aim to protect the health and safety of employees and customers. More than 2,000 San Antonio organizations have pledged to use face coverings, practice social distancing, conduct temperature checks, provide hand sanitizer, follow CDC cleaning protocols, implement contactless payment when possible and provide general COVID-19 awareness training for employees.
In the city’s walkable and open historic downtown, Centro San Antonio (which maintains the downtown district) is redirecting many of their staff to clean and disinfect high touch areas such as crosswalk buttons, doorknobs, scooter handles and bus stops. Centro is performing extra cleaning near high possibility areas such as retirement homes and hospitals as well as power washing sidewalks in high trafficked areas with additional bleach.
For additional information on how San Antonio is a safe choice for travelers go to VisitSanAntonio.com.
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Dee Dee Poteete
Visit San Antonio