With governments around North America increasingly attempting to go back to life as usual, we have seen more and more businesses such as restaurants and retail stores open up. Gyms have started opening up as well despite many questions surrounding its status. More and more condos have also begun taking measures to re-open their gyms. But how gyms in condos take the necessary precautions to ensure that it is a safe environment for its residents? We explore several ways to property managers and boards can do that.
The tricky part about re-opening gyms is that it has many very high-contact surfaces. As such, stringent social distancing and cleaning measures must be in place before they open.
In Ontario, as part of phase three of the re-opening rules, they have stated that "the total number of members of the public permitted to be at the facility in areas containing weights or exercise machines at any one time must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the facility, and in any event cannot exceed 50 persons.”
The above provides for a general guideline on how to ensure safety.
The general public has now been educated at a high level on the fact that disinfection of surfaces is a necessary measure to ensure safety in all environments. However, most are still not aware of some of the specifics of disinfection. The application of these aspects of disinfection is a must especially for a place like a gym where risks run high. Here they are:
- Pre-clean: This one is often overlooked, but before a disinfectant is applied, surfaces need to be cleaned beforehand. What this does is it removes soil that can reduce the effectiveness of the disinfectant.
- Registered disinfectant: There are many products that have not been approved by authorities. It is highly recommended that you use ones that are registered with either EPA (US) or DIN (Canada). These are products that have been approved and proven to be effective at killing viruses.
- Label directions: It is imperative that directions are followed precisely in terms of dilution in order to ensure effectiveness of the disinfectant.
- Dwell time: The amount of time the disinfectant is left wet on a surface is an important factor in how well it will be effective.
Despite the instructions on labels, most facilities do not follow the above guidelines. A gym that only respects these guidelines would ensure the safety of its residents.
Surfaces to Disinfect
In the case of gyms, the surfaces to disinfect is quite simple: most everything! By its very nature, a gym is a place where most of the surfaces are touched on a regular basis. That means, the maintenance staff will need to do a very thorough job of ensure all surfaces are disinfected on a regular basis.
More specifically, gym equipment, handles, door knobs, water fountain, and others are on the target list of viruses. Further it will do a lot to provide comfort to residents to notify them and put up signs to inform them that the gym area is regularly being disinfected.
Seek Help from Residents
The sheer amount of cleaning may simply be too much for the maintenance staff to handle on their own. It is highly recommended that each condo creates an environment where the residents are encouraged to be proactive and help ensure safety. The best way to do that is by putting in place self-cleaning stations.
The stations should have clear instructions and information such as the fact that the products being used are registered with Health Canada and its effectiveness against Covid-19.
As the easing of restrictions is an ongoing topic, we will do our best to update you on best practices and recommendations. We recommend for now, to subscribe to the Condo Manager blog in order to get the latest directly by email.