There has been much reported about the Wuhan China Coronavirus and people are concerned. Understanding the virus, how it's spread, and how to protect yourself is the best way to ease fears and protect the public. The World Health Organization has been following the spread of this new Coronavirus and has made recommendations.
An update on COVID-19 and product efficacy: Our Antibacterial Wipes are effective and approved by the EPA for use against the virus responsible for COVID-19. Additionally, Zogics Commercial Disinfectant Concentrate, the Protexus Electrostatic Sprayer, and PUR:ONE & PURTABS disinfectant tablets have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. Therefore, these products can also be used against SARS-CoV-2 when used in accordance with their directions against Norovirus on hard, non-porous surfaces.
The first thing you need to know is that this is a new virus that has never been observed before. It is in the Coronavirus family but is not the same as previous Coronaviruses. They've named this COVID-19 and we know that it originated in Wuhan, China.
This virus presents with serious respiratory compromise. Currently, there have been 77,976 cases worldwide. Of those cases, 54,299 cases are currently active. You can stay up to date on real time numbers for this virus here.
The CDC has also released recommendations. What we know about COVID-19 is that it is spread from person to person and that according to the current rate of spreading, there are theories that it may rise to the rate of a global pandemic. The good news is that there are common sense ways to protect yourself and your facility from the virus.
Tips for Fitness Facility Management to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
The 2019 Coronavirus is spread through contact with infected people. The current belief is that it's most contagious while the person shows symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, and running a fever. It is possible that the disease can be spread before the carrier exhibits symptoms. For this reason, it's important to be vigilant in the maintenance of surfaces in public spaces. In your fitness facility, this will include machines, mats, bathroom facilities, locker areas, and even the front desk.
This virus is spread through bodily fluids, such as saliva. One of the most common ways to contract it is by touching an infected surface and then touching your face or eyes without washing your hands. This can easily happen if an infected person sneezes in the area. The virus may live for 6 hours on a surface. When you think about this, it is the same way that you would spread the flu or colds.
For the fitness industry, the main focus should be to increase the amount of attention paid to disinfecting and wiping down surfaces. It's also important to educate your clients on best practices. The reality is that the more your clients follow recommended guidelines, the lower the probability of spreading the virus in your facility.
Some tips to help keep your facility virus free:
- Wipe down and disinfect machinery regularly.
- Have staff wash hands frequently. Put out hand sanitizers to make it easier still.
- Wipe down all common areas several times a day.
- Educate customers through reminders on boards, handouts, and verbal reminders.
Tips to Stay Healthy at the Gym
Your customers are the real key to keeping illness at bay. If they use best practices, it keeps the facility safer as a whole. Here are some of the things you should promote in your gym membership:
- If you're sick, stay home. Make sure customers know to stay home when they have symptoms.
- Make wiping down machines a priority and remind customers regularly.
- Remind customers to wash hands regularly and avoid touching their face while in the gym.
Exercise helps maintain a healthy body and boosts your immune system. But it also means sweating and other body functions which can pass illness on to other people using equipment in the same facility. Wiping down equipment and using good hygiene are important to keeping yourself and the rest of the facility healthy.
The best, most practical advice, is to stay home when you are sick. Athletes often want to push past illness, but you're not only taking a chance on your own wellness. You take a chance on compromising other people's health.
Head here for some additional information on how to best protect your facility and prevent the spread of viruses.
Tips to Stay Healthy All Year
The gym is not the only place where you should be concerned about the spread of illness. In general, it's important to wash hands frequently, especially after coming in contact with public spaces or handling money. Cover your mouth when you cough and stay home if you're not feeling well. If you've been in contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19, contact your primary care physician for recommendations.