Tags: Coronavirus | restroom | public bathroom | sanitize

Changes to Public Bathrooms Needed to Ensure Health and Safety

public bathroom with sinks with blue and white tiles
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2020 02:41 PM

The primary confined space that Americans share with strangers isn’t mass transit, but public bathrooms. Experts believe that once our nation reopens, using public bathrooms will pose a dilemma.

Do we use them or try avoid them because they may spread disease?

There’s no doubt people have to go. Bus drivers, street vendors, cab drivers — all those out-and-about workers who need to use public facilities will face that dilemma daily.

According to Slate, some changes will have to be made to make public restrooms safer. Euripides Pelekanos, CEO of the chain Bareburger, said he was planning to institute three improvements in the bathrooms in his restaurants: touchless everything, frequent cleaning, and sanitizer outside the bathroom.

Air-dryers may be furloughed for some time and in multi-stall bathrooms, every other toilet may be closed to enforce capacity restrictions, which is already underway in some restaurants in China.

According to The Denver Post, public restrooms in parks are being cleaned more frequently by workers because of the pandemic. But their efforts are not always appreciated by the public.

“Our biggest challenge is impatient people who need to go to the bathroom,” said Mary Ann Bonnell, visitor services manager for Jeffco Open Space, that attracts over 7 million visitors annually.

"When you use a disinfectant product and you spray it on a surface, in most cases it needs about 10 minutes to do the job of killing whatever it is you are trying to kill. That’s called ‘dwell' time. We’ve had visitors barge into the restrooms, swear at our workers, and demand access to the bathroom. We’ve had some people poorly treated by visitors as they’re trying to clean a restroom properly.”

The bottom line, says Bonnell, is that no matter how much we try to sanitize public bathroom facilities, the onus is still on individuals to do their part.

“It only takes one visitor to destroy a bathroom,” she told the Post. “You can have a nice clean bathroom, and the very next visitor can go in and make it a problem.”

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The primary confined space that Americans share with strangers isn't mass transit, but public bathrooms. Experts believe that once our nation reopens, using public bathrooms will pose a dilemma. Do we use them or try avoid them because they may spread disease? There's no...
restroom, public bathroom, sanitize
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2020-41-07
Thursday, 07 May 2020 02:41 PM
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