Covid-19, Disinfection and Your Fitness Center – Avoid Hidden Problems
As we move through various stages of re-opening across the country, it is essential that the decision to re-open fitness spaces include a plan to comply with the most up-to-date guidelines from federal, state and local authorities. All guidelines must be followed and communicated to staff as well as residents/guests/users. Any re-opening plan should – must, really – include social distancing measures, the use of masks in the fitness facility and extensive disinfecting procedures.
We’ve heard it, read it, talked about it over and over during the last 6 months. Disinfect everything and disinfect often. Hand sanitizer; Clorox wipes; alcohol-based products and many more. But what will work at home and office may not be right for your fitness center. Be sure you don’t damage your fitness equipment with the wrong disinfectant or wipes. The “New Normal” in amenity fitness spaces includes an increased frequency of disinfection and a protective solution to reduce bio-buildup and the spread of pathogens.
Heartline considers the following to be the must-dos for your fitness spaces:
- Make disinfecting wipes* available throughout the fitness room, not just at the entrance or in the middle of the room. If you have one wipe dispenser now, you probably need two more. And include hand sanitizer at each station as well. And be sure there is a trash receptacle.
- Put up signs educating all who enter the fitness center on wiping down the equipment before and after each use. Again, put signs throughout the space. You can combine these with your 6-feet social distancing signs.
- Be sure your cleaning crew, if they even clean the equipment daily, is using the right products on the equipment. If not, provide them with approved gym wipes* to wipe down each piece during their rounds.
- If your fitness room is open 24-hours, consider adjusting the open times so that staffers can properly disinfect the equipment and common areas at least two times during the daytime. Note: any surface to be disinfected must be cleaned prior to the application of the disinfectant for it to be effective. Be sure to read all directions on the product before use.
- Consider providing face masks, temperature and screening stations, post physical distancing signs and implement controlled access points. Regular communication and signage will remind everyone of their own personal responsibility to keep themselves and their neighbors safe.
Here’s a little-known fact to know: any surface, fitness equipment included, must be cleaned and prepped prior to disinfection, no matter the disinfectant used. So, if you’re using Clorox wipes, for example at home (not on your fitness equipment!) to clean off the kids’ toys, give them a wipe down with a mild soap/detergent, dry them off (or let air dry) before you wipe them down with the wipes. This way you will get the full 99.9% germ kill-rate they advertise. Skip the cleaning and you’ll get something less than that.
Of course, there are other considerations to explore during re-opening planning to keep users safe, while creating a welcoming environment for residents to return to your fitness spaces. Heartline has developed a “Re-opening Checklist” with more measures to take before re-opening or even if you’re already open. Download the re-opening checklist here.
Or schedule a one-on-one chat with one of our experts to talk about specific questions and concerns – click here to schedule.
*Fitness equipment can be damaged if incorrect chemicals are used – Bleach, Hydrogen Peroxide, Ammonia, Alcohol Based Chemicals are potentially damaging to your equipment. Heartline Fitness uses and recommends an EPA approved quaternary disinfectant and a proper antimicrobial protectant be applied to the surface after cleaning and preventive maintenance. Download our 3 Step Process.