More than a year ago, the pandemic upended the retail and restaurant industries. Business owners and facility managers everywhere were forced to press pause, then had to figure out how to navigate amid new rules and regulations. While these hard-hit industries continue to hold out hope that things return to normal, there is a growing realization that shopping and dining out may never be the same. As this new reality, plus concern over the Covid-19 Delta variant continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to keep both employees and customers safe in a post-pandemic world.
So what can be done to increase facility safety and minimize risks? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance for workplaces and businesses, some of the most important being cleaning and disinfecting, ventilation and contact tracing. Since less than 49 percent of the United States is currently vaccinated, many workers and customers still have valid concerns about getting sick. To ensure employees and customers feel confident at your establishment, focus on the following improvements:
Having a strict cleaning and inspection policy (and making sure those policies are being followed) is a key part of keeping people safe, especially in a post-pandemic world. Using connected equipment ensures compliance with cleaning and other safety practices through use of a mobile app and workflow templates. By using these types of solutions, businesses can better manage protocols like capturing and automating Covid-19 checklists, or HVAC inspection tasks that help maintain proper airflow.
For example, with Open Kitchen, restaurants, convenience stores, and food retailers can connect, analyze, and control key equipment such as HVAC, refrigeration, and many kitchen equipment brands to automate essential facility functions. With SiteSage, retailers, health clinics, banks, and other businesses can do the same for HVAC, signage, and lighting.
Air and Surface Purification
Covid-19 and many other viruses can be transmitted in the air. While face masks and social distancing are helpful in stopping spread, air purification is also extremely important. For retail and restaurant settings, air purification systems are ideal. Solutions like Bluezone kill more than 99 percent of viruses, bacteria, mold, and other contaminants in indoor spaces by utilizing ultraviolet-enhanced oxidation technology to purify air. An additional benefit is that Bluezone can be integrated and controlled with both Open Kitchen and SiteSage.
Viruses can also be transmitted through contaminated surfaces, which makes it equally important to disinfect countertops and other shared items; but merely wiping things down at the end of the day isn’t enough. Technology like Vyv, which uses continuous antimicrobial LED lighting to greatly reduce unwanted microorganisms on surfaces, is a better choice. Since the innovation does not use ultraviolet light, it is certified for continuous and unrestricted use around people, plants and animals. And just like Bluezone, it can be integrated and controlled with both Open Kitchen and SiteSage.
Ventilation and Air Quality
Increasing ventilation rates and the amount of outdoor air circulation is another way to reduce airborne virus transmission. In a previous blog, we discussed how automation through connected equipment is helpful in ensuring proper air flow. Remotely controlling fans stimulates air movement, and monitoring factors such as humidity, air pressure, CO2, CO and VOC ensures an overall safer environment.
By improving workflow management, air and surface purification, and ventilation and air quality, facilities become a safer place.
If you’re wondering how connected facilities can help your business in a post-pandemic world, email us to chat with one of our experts.