Reopening plans are being put in place as businesses brace for a changed world following the COVID-19 outbreak. There are many aspects to consider, but the first and most important is to create a clean and safe environment for your health club’s staff and members.
To achieve that, cleaning is not enough—you’ll have to add more disinfecting and sanitizing to your regimen as members return to your gym.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing are defined differently:
- Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
- Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
With these definitions in mind, it’s easy to see that only cleaning won’t cut it. You’ll have to put steps in place that disinfect and sanitize equipment, door knobs, and other high-touch areas.
Colin Grant, CEO of Pure International Group—based in Hong Kong with clubs also in Singapore, Shanghai, Taiwan and New York—discussed in a webinar how important new cleaning practices were as government restrictions relaxed, allowing limited reopening at his facilities.
“It was important for us that members … could see cleaners walking around the clubs [and] studios actively cleaning on a regular basis,” Grant said. “Having a lot more cleaners being active around the club was very helpful. At the same time, we increased the number of hand sanitizing stations around the club. That also was very popular.”