November 30, 2021
The Omicron Variant and Restrooms

Called the “variant of concern” right now, the omicron variant has many mutations and is stealth at spreading, many experts stating that it is more than 500% more viral than Delta, which was at about a 70% increase from Covid-19.

As property managers, restrooms are a cause of concern for all viral and bacterial situations because of the small space of the restrooms, heavy usage, and often, lack of ventilation.


Can you take care of your bathrooms?

Unclean bathrooms are not only incredibly unsafe to use, but they are also highly unhygienic and spread germs, including COVID-19. While most of the world is bracing and watching as Omicron unfolds, property managers have an even more tedious task at keeping their bathrooms and washrooms clean and safe.

An obvious key to tackling a more viral variant is increasing disinfection.

Services it will behoove you to address on an increased rotation include disinfecting surfaces with high-quality disinfectants and providing this quality to bathrooms in residential buildings, healthcare settings, corporate settings, and retail. This includes gyms, offices, stadiums, grocery stores, schools, and industrial buildings as well.

Increased rotation means increased staffing and increased quality control strategies in place. If you already work with iRestify, you know this is as simple as a few clicks on the app, but if not, make sure that whatever system of execution and quality control you have, you get it in place as soon as possible.

At this time of this writing, that 500% viral transmission rate means that if you hear about it within your region, you can assume it is everywhere in the area, statistically speaking.

You want your buildings to weather this new storm within the pandemic, and like any storm, the key is preparation.


On the To-Do List for Omicron-Walls and Stalls

Omicron brings increased needs for disposable wipes, not reusable. This will reduce the risk of contamination, cross-contamination, and the breaking down of fibers from disinfectants.

The quality control should be training to ensure that the staff is taught to clean from the top down, to remove airborne contamination near vents.

Also, the cloth should be different for differing surfaces. For instance, wall cloths should be other than stall wipes and counters. Floor surfaces also must be a different wipe or mop than other areas.

Does a business have to provide a restroom?

COVID has been a game-changer, and it is suspected that the new variant will create continued transformation in norms, including laws.

Depending upon your location, business, and building, the short answer is “no” a business or building does not legally have to provide a restroom, but generally, most buildings ethically need to provide a bathroom or washroom.

If this pertains to you, check laws to define the requirements for restaurants and other businesses to provide restrooms to the public. These requirements are widely varied and are instrumental in compliance and safety of the general public and liability with the property manager.


How often should office bathrooms be cleaned?

With the new variant, it is worth noting that common office spaces such as high traffic areas, breakrooms, and of course, bathrooms often get much dirtier than other spaces.

Property managers need to be mindful that now with this new variant, that hand dryer might actually contribute to the spread as COVID is airborne, so this is another potential liability to review in your quality control with disinfection of restrooms.


How do you clean an office bathroom?

While property managers often have staff, knowing critical steps to cleaning a bathroom is essential. They include but are not limited to the following steps.

First, always protect yourself if you have to clean the restroom yourself. A mask, gloves, and protective eyewear are a good idea. Make sure that you use protective wear that is specifically disposable when possible.

For instance, you don’t want to clean a bathroom with your daily masks that you take home and clean. You want quality and safety-focused masks, and you want them tossed as soon as you exit that restroom.

Always wear protective items before you move to another space within that building.


Final thoughts

You want to maintain restroom facilities that look good and work efficiently.

In the past, the most crucial aspect to visitors of a bathroom and its cleanliness was a particular design atmosphere.

For instance, luxury buildings often have fresh flowers in a vase with water, towels out, and perfume bottles to sample. The idea of stagnant water and people touching towels and bottles sends most people into fear, knowing more now than ever about the importance of sanitary areas.

Ensure you have quality control in place to inspect your facility to ensure you are showcasing not only a clean, sanitary and safe space but also one that conveys that sanitary message.

The Omicron variant is the most viral of the COVID variants, has the most mutations thus far, and can be the most lethal.

Property managers help to bring an endemic when they focus on quality control and increased disinfection practices.

To learn how iRestify can help you modernize your buildings’ cleaning and maintenance, click here.