At first blush, having a sanitizing mat at your retail store, office tower, or other public building might not seem essential. “I don’t walk around doing handstands – why should I care about whether or not my floor is contaminated with COVID-19?” While that’s likely true for non-acrobats, the danger isn’t in direct, primary contact with your floor; the danger is in “secondary” or “incidental” contact with a contaminated surface.
Mark Warner, the education manager at the International Sanitary Supply Association, recently said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic the janitorial and cleaning industry is rapidly shifting away from “cleaning for appearance” to “cleaning for health”. This new cleaning paradigm must include the floor in order to be effective at stopping the spread of infectious diseases in our publicly-accessible buildings.
Common touchpoints in buildings – like countertops, handrails, elevator buttons, and doorknobs – are all easily-spotted danger zones for contagion. But 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 Warner, 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.