New Cleaning Expectations for Schools, Daycare Centers, and Fitness Centers
The word “cleaning” is taking on a whole new meaning.
Many facilities and organizations, including schools, daycare centers, gyms, and fitness centers, are having to adopt new cleaning techniques and strategies that will help keep visitors safe while reducing the spread of disease through the general population.
“Cleaning” and “Disinfecting:” There are Differences
These two terms, while similar, are not completely the same. According to the Centers for Disease Control, cleaning is the act of removing germs, dirt, dust, and other impurities from surfaces and objects. Often done with soap and water, this may not kill germs, but it will lower their numbers, thereby reducing the risk of spreading a disease.
Disinfecting, on the other hand, is a more aggressive approach that kills chemicals on surfaces. EPA has compiled a list of disinfectant products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes.
Schools and Day Care Centers
Schools across the country will be heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to massive changes in the daily routines of students, teachers, and administrators. While organizational measures will be implemented (fewer multi-class activities, for example), the CDC also recommends that schools clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. Disinfecting should occur at least once a day, although more disinfecting may be needed if possible. Shared school objects, such as gym balls or art supplies, will also need to be wiped down or disinfected regularly.
Schools will also have to create cleaning and disinfecting procedures for areas that have been used by sick individuals. The CDC recommends waiting at least 24 hours before disinfecting an area, which will clearly create scheduling challenges for numerous schools in the coming year.
Another challenge for schools could be proper storage of cleaning and disinfecting materials. For obvious reasons, chemicals used to disinfect surfaces and object will need to be stored safely out of reach from young hands, and locks will likely be needed to ensure a high level of safety.
Fitness Centers and Gyms
Sharing space is one thing, sharing physical objects like workout equipment is an entirely different battle when it comes to cleaning expectations. A gym has always been an area that needs proper cleaning and disinfecting, but wiping down gym equipment has become more important than ever.
As reopening plans are put into place, gyms should consider the heightened need for thorough disinfecting. Most gyms will need to hire a cleaning specialist. Reminding gym members and staff to wipe down equipment will only go so far, but a trained, experienced disinfecting specialist will create a cleaner, more sanitary environment for gym members and staff.
Instead of a clean-as-you-go approach, some fitness clubs will implement a rigidly-scheduled cleaning period. For example, they may have a one-hour (or longer) workout period where gym members are allowed entry, with no one allowed inside once the period begins. After the workout period is over, the staff cleans the facility for a half hour, then another workout period is started.
If any members or staff test positively for the virus, gyms should quickly halt operations and thoroughly clean and disinfect the facility. This could obviously create disruptions, but it will be crucial for maintaining a healthy environment and will show members that you take cleaning and disinfecting seriously.
Let Us Handle the Thorough Cleaning and Disinfecting at Your Facility
If you need help properly disinfecting a school, day care center, gym, or fitness center, contact Service By Medallion today! Give us a call at 650-625-1010 and discover how we can help you protect everyone who visits your building.