We’ve all been drilled on hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing and disinfecting surfaces. But one question that keeps coming up is this: How often must I tackle disinfecting floors, ballet barres, bathrooms and door handles in order to keep my students and teachers safe?
Cleaning and disinfecting are two different things. Cleaning your floors are probably already part of your regular routine — a daily or weekly damp mop with a detergent degrease. (Stagestep recommends ProClean.)
Up until now, the frequency of your disinfecting process has been a seat of your pants and largely intuitive process — you’ve cleaned as often as you felt like you needed to. But now, we have a science-based answer: Adjust the frequency of your cleaning to the infection rate in your community.
The infection rate is the percentage of people in your community who have been tested and have been found to test positive. Generally speaking, those infection rates range from .05% to 5%. You can Google your city or county health department to get the rate for your area. That will determine your cleaning frequency. (Of course, these numbers change day to day, so check online to see how your community is doing and adjust accordingly.)
Let’s say your infection rate is 1%, meaning one in every 100 people tested was found to be positive for the virus. For the purposes of disinfecting your studio, you can have 100 students, teachers and staff pass through your door, at which point it’s time to disinfect. An infection rate of 2% means you disinfect after 50 people come in; 3% means that 33 people can come and go before the COVID protocol kicks in.
This formula provides the guidance you need to create a disinfectant maintenance program which will keep your dance family safe.
Tips about disinfectants and their use
#1. The minute you open the bottle, pour it into a pail and start mopping, the effectiveness of your disinfectant starts to deteriorate. In hospitals, they call it the “three room rule.” After cleaning three rooms, get rid of your disinfectant and make a new batch. You have about an hour to use what is in the pail before it becomes worthless.
#2. Your home disinfectant may say 99.9% effective, or even 99.99% effective. That’s fine for home, but in the world of institutional disinfectants, it will not do. You need 99.9999999% effectiveness to get the job done. Stagestep offers two products that meet these standards: ProClean D and Spray and GO. (These are available only by calling 800 523 0960 x105.)
#3. The most powerful disinfectants are useless on a dirty surface. Clean first, then disinfect. Viruses thrive on organic matter. They die on clean surfaces.
Hope this helps you get through these hard times.
By Randy Swartz of Stagestep.