Hot Spots at the Gym …
No, not the spot that you connect your laptop to at the gym. We’re talking about hot spots that are the primary places that germs love to live and happily call home.
These are the places where the flu bug has the opportunity to thrive: the lobby, cardio room, weight room, group fitness room, locker room and daycare center.
A Quick Recap
In our previous blog “Keepin’ It Clean at the Gym” we reported that germs, cross-contamination, and airborne bacteria are variables within your control. By being aware and implementing cleaning protocols a clean gym, free of flu epidemic symptoms is a viable reality.
Hand Hygiene, odor control, restroom cleanliness and staff training are the key elements of the blog in managing a healthy facility. Whether you manage a gym. health club or fitness center maintenance program, or are a member of a gym, a good read, with great tips.
Flu Realities Here & Now
As of our last writing, statistics for the ubiquitous flu dilemma has jumped off the charts. So cleaning basics are especially relevant now. The scourge of Influenza has increased dramatically. In an article By Bloomberg, January 16, 2018, it has been noted:
“… Flu is everywhere in the U.S. right now,” said Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “This is the first year we have had the entire continental U.S. be the same color on the graph, meaning there is widespread activity in all of the continental U.S. at this point …”
H3N2 & You
The predominant version of the flu this season is the presence of H3N2. This variable has compounded the damage usually wrought by the annual flu outbreak. In its severity, this flu has the ability to evade the protection provided by vaccinations.
It has been suggested that those affected should stay home, wash your hands and minimize physical contact: shaking hands, touching your face, etc.
The Show Must Go On
Being proactive minimizes chances for cross-contamination and contracting the flu. But, the gym is particularly vulnerable to the spread of germs and contracting influenza.
After all, this is the place where everyone comes to share blood, sweat, and tears in the pursuit of living a clean, healthy life.
There is no point in being counterproductive. So, follow some simple but important guidelines for the sake of containment. Adopt a holistic approach to cleaning and focus on hot spots where germs live, breathe and spread.
In the best case scenario, the flu and an influenza epidemic are only as powerful as our negligence in making every effort to keep them in check.
Everyone engages in some way in the lobby. From aesthetics to practicality, the lobby requires consistent and thorough cleaning before, during and after operating hours. This is where the action is for people coming together, sharing germs, included.
Surfaces should be wiped down multiple times during operating hours.
Vacuuming throughout the day is a good idea too. Using a HEPA filter vacuum minimizes the opportunity for germs to spread. The HEPA filter is designed to remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles measuring 0.3 micrometers or greater in diameter passing through the filter.
The best. If you don’t have one, buy one. HEPA filter vacuums are a scientific marvel and well worth the investment.
Sweat happens here & lots of it. Just use common sense. Mopping & disinfecting the floors and matting before and after class and at the end of the day is a given. Carpet absorbs sweat and is susceptible to mold and odors.
Again, a HEPA filter vacuum will do wonders, but regular steam cleaning is also necessary.
Also, develop specific instructions on cleaning cardio equipment to mitigate the risk of damaging components. Never spray liquid on a treadmill display, spray the cloth first and then wipe the display.
Look for disinfectant sprays that meet the needs of your facility as well as ease of use by staff.
Typical free weights have 362 times more germs than a toilet seat. Yep, you read that right. The weight room is the hardest area to clean. Cleaning involves moving and lifting heavy weights after all, so it takes the right person for the job and scheduling staff accordingly.
Vacuuming also requires moving and lifting heavy weights. Make sure your staff knows how to use the attachments on the vacuum so they can get into tight small areas.
Remember, the toilet seat statistic, that’s why it really, really matters.
Group Fitness Room
The floor should be dry mopped after each class. If this is not feasible, it should at the very least be dry mopped after the last class of the morning and the last class of the evening. The floor should be wet mopped at least once a week.
If the mops you are using have been around since purple leopard print 80’s leg warmers, think about getting new mops.
And those yoga mats that everyone uses? If you are not cleaning them, throw them away.
Not only does everyone pass through the locker room, bodily fluids of every ilk happen here – and the area is wet – so the locker room is one of the most difficult areas to keep clean.
Wet areas within the locker room need to be monitored and mopped religiously throughout open hours.
Also, stay on top of the john, (not literally) of course. There are hundreds of options to keep that toilet bowl or urinal clean, so study the best option and do not be shy about bathroom matters. It’s important work.
The kids! We love them, but they are little harbingers of germs and little nasties that they love to share. So, the daycare center is a serious germy hotspot. Be diligent. Be vigilant.
The daycare center must be kept extraordinarily clean. But don’t use harsh cleaners. Spartan Green Solutions Industrial Cleaner is a green seal certified product and an excellent choice for areas where kids live, learn and play.
Remember to soak and clean their toys at least once a day during flu season.
Sani-Chem Cleaning Supplies is a family owned and independently operated business.
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