January 16, 2019
Warning - Recreation Facilities Are Potential High Risk Venues For Spreading Colds and Flu

Daycares, schools and medical buildings all rank as high risk venues for contacting and spreading viruses that produce cold and flu outbreaks. But what about recreation facilities?

The ORFA reminds recreation facility owners and professionals responsible for these buildings that they have the potential to act as a catalyst to community health outbreaks if recreation facilities are not properly cleaned and sanitized. Public access touch points include:

      • door knobs
      • light switches
      • toilets
      • sinks
      • urinals
      • faucet handles
      • hand railings, and 
      • soap pumps
When Public Health Units warn of a higher risk of colds and flu facility staff may need to be even more careful in cleaning and sanitizing duties. A further reminder that internal use of phones, cupboard handles, remote controls, key boards and mouse use can all lend to staff and community sickness through contact. This requires facility staff to be more diligent in their efforts in controlling outbreaks.

Members who have attended the ORFA Building Operations and Maintenance course would have learned the distinct difference between facility cleaning and facility sanitizing. Cleaning is the removal of items such as, but not limited to, urine, feces, smudges, marks or food that can be seen by a human eye. Sanitizing is the removal of bacteria and viruses that may be left behind unseen after cleaning occurs. The quickest form of diligence in controlling bacteria and viruses is to determine staff understanding of the sanitizer being used and the required contact time for it be effective. Consider what is being used to wipe away the sanitizer once applied and proper contact time reached – single use towel or a rag/cloth that may end up spreading bacteria and viruses. Reminding staff of the importance of properly and regularly washing their hands throughout their shifts is a simple approach to worker safety.

Recreation facilities are an important stakeholder in community health and safety. Our recreation facility users expect our commitment in these obligations.

For more information about preventing flu outbreaks LINK