A study published last week concluded that COVID-19 droplets from human speaking can hang in the air for at least eight minutes and on many surfaces, it can last for hours. Obviously, this is not encouraging news. If anything, COVID-19 has elevated washing your hands to a potentially life-saving act. Researchers in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 originated last year, found that even though hospitals were able to prevent the spread of the virus beyond a patient’s room, a high concentration of viral particles remained in air samples from patient toilets. According to the Wuhan study, droplets of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, can remain airborne for up to three hours. Flushing the toilet, then, whisks viral particles into the air. A lid can help contain those particles.
Let’s just say that we’re all dedicated hand-washers now. How do we make sure we are safe in a public restroom? The fact is, “Americans have always had a fear of contamination from public restrooms,” said Soifer, a professor of social work at the University of Mississippi. “What we’re seeing now is part just heightened anxiety, but it’s also part reality-based. Public restrooms in this country generally have open toilet seats — no lids — and high-pressure flushes create a plume of droplets that extends at least six feet.”
Many businesses that don’t already have them are installing touch-free sinks, toilets and urinals in restrooms before opening their doors. McDonald’s is requiring franchisees to clean bathrooms every 30 minutes. Across the country, businesses are replacing blow dryers with paper towels, closing off urinals and sinks that now seem too close together, and removing restroom doors to create airport-style, no-touch entrances.
What if you’re just visiting the restroom to wash your hands? Do not use the hot-air hand dryer! Researchers at the University of Connecticut confirmed suspicions that these hand dryers inhale particles from the air and deposit them on your freshly washed hands. Petri dishes exposed to bathroom air for two minutes with hand dryers off grew no more than one colony of bacteria, as an example. Petri dishes exposed to hot hand-dryer air for 30 seconds grew up to 254 colonies of bacteria.
Whenever possible, look for touchless paper-towel dispensers. On your way out of the bathroom, after drying your hands, use a fresh paper towel to open the restroom door, and please don’t just drop your paper towel, allowing it to fall to the floor, after opening the door. Take it with you and drop it in the nearest garbage container.
COMMERCIAL PLUMBING CLIENTS AND CHURCH/SCHOOL ADMINSTRATORS
Anthony’s Plumbing has multiple solutions when it comes to converting your restrooms into safer spaces for your staff and visitors.
From touchless sinks, to self-flushing toilets and urinals, we can help you plan, acquire and install all the items you need for the ultimate in safety for your business, school or church restroom. Our contractor’s license allows us to make all the changes necessary to your new or existing restroom facilities. We also recommend that you install touchless paper-towel dispensers and let us know if you need help in that area. Call us today and let’s schedule a time when we can talk about your needs. Of course, time is of the essence as businesses, churches, schools and public places return to “normal,” so please know that we are here for you.
You can reach us at: 909-823-3807 or visit us online at: www.anthonyplumber.com.