LENOX — Two dozen employees of Canyon Ranch are defending safety practices used by the Lenox resort to guard against the spread of COVID-19, days after that issue arose in an online school forum and was the subject of a townwide email.
“These are very scary and uncertain times for all of us. Our personal safety, as well as the safety of our families, our community and our guests are of the highest importance,” reads a letter signed by 25 people who identify themselves as employees. The letter was sent to The Berkshire Eagle by employee Lisa Codella.
The statement from the workers follows an allegation at a school forum that the resort “is flouting federal and state COVID-19 directives and guidelines.” It comes as the facility, located in the former Bellefontaine Estate, contends with continuing furloughs of more than 200 workers due to the pandemic’s effect on the hospitality industry.
“We as employees would also like to be heard,” the letter says. “We all must protect each other. This is our home and as we have proven over the past 31 years, we are proud to be a longtime business partner of Lenox.”
The statement comes days after Canyon Ranch Managing Director Mindi Morin was allowed by interim schools Superintendent William Cameron to rebut the allegation, by an unnamed parent, of unsafe practices. The parent suggested that children of Canyon Ranch employees could bring the virus into the school system.
In an email sent to residents, Morin said the resort’s coronavirus safety practices embrace guidelines from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Our standards meet or exceed government and regulatory guidance, and the guidance of our own team of experts,” she said. The resort can accommodate 200 guests, according to its website, in a two-story inn with 126 rooms and suites. But Morin has said that resorts nationwide have been adjusting their capacity in light of the pandemic.
In their letter, the Canyon Ranch workers say they too wondered how the resort would protect public health when it reopened July 23 after four months, but found those concerns addressed. Among other precautions, they say, the resort uses hydrostatic sprayers for cleaning, conducts body temperature checks and requires use of masks, aprons and hand-sanitizing.
“As we drive through Lenox we see the town stores, hotels and restaurants open,” the letter says. “We’re happy to see that we are all trying to find some normalcy while following the state guidelines. We are a team and we must keep each other safe and Canyon Ranch is doing that exceptionally well.”
Along with Codella, the letter carries the names of the following employees: Rebecca Rose, Nikki Adolphson, Melanie Brunnette, Jeannie Reilly-Ortega, Susan Trepania Mount, Sheryl Higgins, Debra Glander, Ashley A. Collins , Lynne Soulja Clausen and Monica Ryan.
Also, Deborah Carter, Kevin Keegan, Ginny Danielsen, Jamie McEnroe, Marcia Sangenetti Harris, Gretchen Bonnell, Linda Bonnivier, Maia O. Daniels, Nicole Brouker, Nicole Kanable, Michele Wojokowski, Holly Leskovitz, Leah Arnold Larmon and Sue Holmes.