In this post, I'll share the latest news in sanitizing and disinfecting to prevent COVID-19, how it may affect your property, and provide tips for what to do next.
Safe & Sanitized
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and MXM, a technology company specializing in member tracking within the fitness industry, found that fitness facilities are safe and are not contributing to the spread of COVID-19. They analyzed member check-in data across 2,873 gyms, sports clubs and boutique fitness centers from May to August 2020. “The check-in data proves that health clubs – when following strict cleaning and safety protocols – are safe,” said Brent Darden, IHRSA interim president and CEO.
Overall, the data they gathered proved two major points:
1.) Properly sanitized gyms are safe for employees and members and
2.) Gyms are not linked to spikes or spreading of COVID-19.
Our Survey Results
Gathering feedback from residents is important to understand their wants, needs, and priorities. In our most recent survey, we asked more than 1,000 residents about their interest in group fitness activities. 98% of residents at two properties surveyed said they would take a class if, and only if, protocols and CDC guidelines were in place. With the help of an online amenity scheduler, residents can seamlessly sign up for class while the scheduler helps to monitor capacity in order to adhere to social distancing standards. Mats used during class are thoroughly sanitized before and after use, and stored in a locked storage area between classes. Beyond a COVID-19 world, these services will still add value to the property and enhance positive interactions with the fitness studio.
Clean, Disinfect, Sanitize - What’s the Difference?
It’s not exactly common knowledge that cleaning isn’t the same as disinfecting, and sanitizing achieves a different result entirely. Here’s the breakdown:
- Cleaning: Germ-removing with soap/detergent + water; removes impurities & germs (but doesn't 'kill' them)
Disinfecting: Germ-killing with chemicals (but doesn't 'remove' them)
- Sanitizing: Germ-depopulating, or lowering the number of germs to a safe level
FLO Wellness, a top leader in gym and facility cleaning products, created cutting edge disinfecting wipes for gyms that clean, remove stains and deodorize. They’re alcohol-free and bleach-free, which is industry best practice and formula for cleaning products. Ammonia causes irreparable damage to equipment and isn’t 100% safe for people, so it should never be used to clean or disinfect fitness studios. The FLO Wellness wipes have a pleasant, subtle lemon citrus scent with odor remover, and are well-suited for many types of dispensers. It's crucial to keep items like this stocked at the gym, as well as any other gym-safe cleaning products.
What This Means For Communities
Maintenance teams have long to-do lists to keep a property up in top condition. Painting touch-ups, make-ready's, general repairs and emergency repairs are constant. Attending fitness facilities is a priority, but there isn’t always enough time in a given day to properly disinfect, sanitize, and monitor capacity. Bringing on a vendor that can focus solely on the gym management aspect is money well spent and time well-preserved.
Keep up with local and national guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety protocol, and be sure to constantly communicate with your team regarding updates and any changes.
- Texas cleaning guidelines: https://open.texas.gov/uploads/files/organization/opentexas/OpenTexas-Checklist-Gyms-Exercise-Facilities.pdf
- Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html
While not required, it is recommended to take extra steps in keeping facilities well-sanitized. Residents appreciate that their safety is being put first, and they can feel comfortable using common area amenities.
In the place they’ve chosen to call home, tenants should feel secure. Gated communities, FOB-only entry, protected parking and onsite security are some measures that have become commonplace to establish a secure property. Resident health and wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular, as they benefit the entire community from a physical and mental health perspective.
Fitness centers are a big selling point, but it’s not enough to simply have the space. Standing out above the crowd by pristinely managing the gym and providing fitness and wellness services keeps residents involved after they’ve signed their lease.