At first, it doesn’t seem obvious why you need sanitizing mats at your building entrances.
“I don’t bend down and touch the floor, so it’s fine.”
“Why should I care about whether or not my floor is contaminated with COVID-19? I don’t walk around doing handstands.”
What most people don’t realize is that the contamination danger isn’t in direct, primary contact with your floor; the danger is in “secondary” contact with the floor.
How often have you put your purse or bag down on the floor? Or dropped your phone, or a pen, or some other object? If you’ve put your shoes on or taken them off, you’ve made secondary contact with the floor.
Japanese state broadcaster NHK simulated what can happen when people dine in close quarters, such as at a buffet or being served family-style in a restaurant. The 35-second clip shows 10 people sitting down to eat — including one “infected” person whose palms were coated with a paint that is invisible to the naked eye, but can show up under UV light. It’s supposed to mimic what would happen if the infected person covered a cough with his hands, but then proceeded to serve himself at a buffet and dine in a group without washing or disinfecting his hands.
Viral material is broadcast into the air by sneezing, coughing, speaking, and even simply breathing! Although it’s incredibly tiny and lightweight, this viral material is still heavier than air; over time, it falls out of suspension and lands on the largest horizontal surface in your building…the floor!
As the single largest reservoir of pathogenic microorganisms in a building, the floor is also a superhighway for these microorganisms that are transported on the soles of shoes, wheels and carts. Even if you’ve been careful to sanitize all the common touchpoints in your building, untreated shoes from the outside can easily carry COVID-19 into your building because people certainly aren’t washing their shoe soles every time they wash their hands! From a purse, to a pen, to a cell phone dropped on the floor, these “secondary vehicles” carry contagious microorganisms from the floor directly to your hands; this is known as secondary or incidental contact. And once the contagion has been spread onto people’s hands, it’s easily spread around to all those common touchpoints as they move through your building’s areas.
According to Mark Warner, education manager at ISSA, the average person has more than 50 of these secondary floor contacts in one day. Even people exercising extreme caution to avoid dropping personal items still have to touch their shoes to put them on or take them off – it’s virtually unavoidable to make secondary contact with the surfaces you’ve walked on during the day, both indoor and outdoor.
Fortunately, it’s easy to drastically reduce the amount of contagious material coming through your doorways: with a sanitizing mat system like Grizzly Sanitize. And unlike the typical open-tray style sanitizing mats, Grizzly Sanitize is 100% compatible with all of the traffic in your building: wheelchairs, walkers, and rolling carts can all be disinfected without splashing mess or deep barriers for people with mobility issues.