Best Practices for Cleaning and Social Distancing in Amenities

June 26, 2020
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With states beginning to move out of quarantine, residents are looking forward to enjoying amenities again. But without an effective way to reopen them, how will you let residents back in?

If you’ve started opening amenities, or still are working on it, you’ve got a lot on your list to figure out. It will be important to follow the new and evolving cleaning and social distancing guidelines so that residents can use amenities responsibly. In this post, we’ll provide helpful tips and best practices for reopening. Let’s dive in.

Schedule blocks of time for cleaning and sanitizing

Schedules are your friend right now. If you haven’t already, create a cleaning plan that you can implement and revise as needed. Some important steps to include in your plan are:

Itemize surfaces, spaces, and equipment that will need regular cleaning in your facilities.

Routinely disinfect high-touch surfaces and objects, such as:

  • Door handles
  • Handrails & pool ladders
  • Restroom doors, sinks, soap dispensers, baby changing stations, toilet flush levers
  • Light switches
  • Buttons & dials in spas, emergency shut-off buttons
  • Drink dispensers & water fountains

Clean gym equipment after each use. Provide cleaning supplies so residents can clean equipment before and after use.

Limit hours of operation so cleaning times can be blocked out frequently throughout the day or at night.

Clean in accordance with CDC & EPA guidance

Are you unsure about what surfaces need to be cleaned and how often? EPA has put out an infographic of Guidance for Cleaning & Disinfecting that may be helpful to refer to when making your cleaning plans. The CDC recommends cleaning surfaces before disinfecting. Cleaning surfaces routinely with soap and water removes dirt, germs, and impurities from surfaces. This decreases the amount of virus on surfaces, reducing exposure.

Using disinfectants on regularly touched surfaces and objects is an important step in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The EPA offers a list of disinfectant products that can be used against the virus that causes COVID-19. If those aren’t available, alternative disinfectants (such as ⅓ cup of bleach to a gallon of water) can be used.

According to the CDC, hard and non-porous surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected. Soft and porous surfaces need to be thoroughly cleaned or laundered. It’s a good idea to remove soft and porous surfaces, such as rugs, in high traffic areas. In pool areas and gyms, it may be a good idea to have residents bring their own towels.

Use appropriate PPE

Staff is required to wear cloth face coverings under the guidelines of the CDC. Be sure to remind staff and residents to maintain six feet of space from others in shared spaces. Use social distancing markers or floor stickers to show proper distances. Is anyone feeling sick? Make sure staff members stay home if so.

Provide hand sanitizer

Make it easy for residents to stay as germ-free as possible. Install hand sanitizer stations with at least 60% alcohol or provide bottles in all facilities. In spaces like gyms with high-touch surfaces, provide the necessary cleaning supplies so residents can wipe down surfaces before and after use.

Reorganize spaces for social distancing

Are you trying to figure out how to manage healthy social distancing in amenities? Try rearranging spaces to maximize the use of equipment. Do you have group exercise or yoga spaces that aren’t being used right now? Consider hosting exercise equipment in those areas to allow for more room. You may need to rope off every other piece of equipment if rearranging isn’t a practical option.

Are pool chairs and lounge areas allowed to be used in your county? Reconfigure the furniture spacing to keep residents at healthy distances. In common areas, remove seating to keep groups from forming. Reduce the number of chairs at conference tables or in your business center to maintain appropriate distances between residents. As social distancing requirements begin to relax, you can increase occupancy limits and access to your amenities.

Limit amenity passes to give residents fair time

If you limit the time residents can stay in each facility, it will increase the total number of people that can use each amenity per day. The best way to make this happen is to designate available blocks of time for residents to register online to visit amenities.
Check out our previous blog post on determining the right occupancy limits.

Use technology for online amenity reservations

Now that you’ve put in the work to create healthy distances in amenities and plans for cleaning, you need a way for residents to reserve amenity passes.

Amenity Boss is smart software that lets you easily reopen and manage amenities while limiting the number of resident passes available. Residents are able to view the limits & rules, see how many passes are already reserved in each time slot, and reserve their amenity time right from their phone or computer. With the Amenity Pass app, residents can register their own passes based on availability, instead of going into the office to do so. With our cloud platform, you don’t need to install any expensive infrastructure to get started.

There’s a lot to consider as you begin the process of reopening amenities that were closed due to COVID-19. We hope the tips we’ve shared in this blog can help you get started with your cleaning and distancing plan for amenities. Placing limits on amenity times and adjusting occupancy will create fair opportunities for residents to use them. With software designed to allow residents to register for amenity time online, you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Reach out to us to find out how Amenity Boss can be a valuable asset as you open amenities and beyond.

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