Let’s face it. The U.S. has lagged behind our European peers in public restroom design amenities for years. Coronavirus has made that blindingly obvious. It’s one of the many reasons why reopening is being done in measured steps. We have public potty anxiety—and for good reason—it’s downright dangerous.

As our country begins to reopen and safety measures are put in place by virtually any entity that operates a public space, one of the trickier questions being posed is what to do about public restrooms. It’s inevitable that people will have to use the facilities when they venture out, which is now a more unsettling journey than ever. And since Americans have always been a little wary of public restrooms, how can their health and safety be ensured in these new uncertain times?

Consider that most public restrooms don’t have lids on toilets. Just one flush releases a potentially toxic “toilet plume” of droplets that coats the air and surroundings with potential infection. This plume can travel six feet in every direction. Science Daily has reported confirming that coronavirus can live in human waste up to 33 days after a person tests negative. Americans were already nervous about public restrooms and now the unpleasant high-pressure flushes that throw droplets six feet have crossed into a more threatening anxiety. So much for social distancing.

 

Some Solutions

There are ways to ease anxiety over using public restrooms.  Below are some of the solutions being implemented to help elevate sanitation and provide peace-of-mind.

  • Adding lids to public toilets
  • Adding touchless flushing
  • Installing touchless soap dispensers and faucets
  • Replacing hand blow dryers with paper towel dispensers
  • Installing touchless door opening solutions
  • Hiring restroom monitors: limiting capacity, supervising social distancing and cleaning as often as possible
  • Cleaning the restroom every 30 minutes
  • Retiring every other urinal to enhance social distancing
  • Requiring masks before entering

Another route some are taking, though extreme, is to simply not reopen until proven methods for how to safely operate a restroom are in place.

Touchless Fixtures

Rethinking Public Restroom Design in the Age of COVID-19 1A recent Healthy Handwashing Survey by Bradley Corporation has shown that “78% of Americans are now washing their hands six times a day and that 20% of those Americans are washing their hands sixteen times a day.” Most Americans are now reporting they believe it’s ‘extremely important’ to have touchless options when they use public restrooms. This data has increased demand for all kinds of touchless fixtures in restrooms.

Kohler and American Standard have also reported increased demand for touchless fixtures in the wake of the coronavirus. While touchless fixtures do solve some concerns regarding using public restrooms during the pandemic, there are other struggles that are more difficult to remedy.

 

Powerhouse is Your Solution

One thing is for certain in these changing times – the public’s demand for safety and security will continue to drive these changes. In the coming weeks and months, we will be watching to see what kind of solutions are implemented to satisfy public health and safety and peace-of-mind. As these answers begin to emerge, know that Powerhouse is here for you with turnkey solutions to guarantee you stay at the forefront of each reopening phase.

 

Visit our website or email us to learn about our COVID-19 Services

Stay up-to-date on CDC Guidelines for Businesses and Workplaces, as well as all other COVID-19 related recommendations.

 

Sources:
https://chainstoreage.com/survey-covid-19-accelerates-consumer-demand-touchless-fixtures-restrooms?utm_source=omeda&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NL_CSA_Store+Spaces&utm_keyword=&oly_enc_id=4468G2008934C6X
https://www.bradleycorp.com/handwashing
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/coronavirus-reopen-bathrooms/2020/05/18/a6ed57fc-93ba-11ea-82b4-c8db161ff6e5_story.html
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200506133603.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html