As gyms reopen for fitness, should we minimize risk to ourselves and others? Be mindful of other things?
We all now know the steps we must take to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. In everyday life we have become accustomed to measures such as screens, masks, hand sanitiser stations and, of course, social distancing.
But as we are allowed to return to gyms to keep our fitness in check, do we need to be mindful of other things and consider minimising the risk to ourselves and others? And what should we expect the owners and managers of leisure facilities to do to ensure our safety and well being?
The Government have issued their guidance ‘Working safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19): Providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities’ and this sets out the requirements for those responsible for such premises. Amongst other areas, it focuses on ventilation, a key area for consideration since the potential for transmission of the virus via an aerosol is now widely understood (and recognised by the World Health Authority).
In a section dedicated entirely to ventilation, the guidance speaks about how the fresh air supply to every area of the facility needs to be maximised, taking into account occupancy levels and the air flow which can achieved. There are suggestions of what the minimum available square footage per person should be and, of course, acknowledgement of the fact that the areas where the highest intensity exercise takes place will demand particular attention. The advice on recommended flow rates is also expanded in CIBSE’s COVID-19 Ventilation Guidance document.
The quality of the air is just as important as the volume or rate at which it is supplied to those exercising. In order to ensure that the air is both fresh and safe it must not be recirculated between areas and must be filtered to be free of all impurities. This means that the ventilation system itself must be clean and must be maintained in a hygienic state throughout the time that it is in operation. Additional inspections and cleans/disinfections may be required for added peace of mind to ensure that contamination, be it physical or microbiological, is not allowed to build and find its way into the passing airflow.
At System Hygienics we understand the current increased need for pure, safe air and that is why we will continue to support all of our clients, including those owning and managing gyms and leisure facilities, to maintain their systems in optimum condition. Clean air is our business, and we have a number of tailor-made solutions including specific cleaning and disinfection and inspection and testing regimes, to allow our clients to remain open throughout the tiered system of lockdown.
For more information on keeping everyone safe, visit System Hygienics.