Public Space Procedures to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

woman standing outside wearing a mask

As the figures pass tens of millions, people are always reminded of the seriousness of coronavirus. Individuals must all be doing their part to limit the virus’s spread within communities and public spaces. To do so, everyone needs to be practicing health and safety measures, they’ve likely heard several times—wash hands and socially distance. However, how can one promote better safety procedures in public areas?

Here are seven public space procedures that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Invest In Thermal Cameras

Using thermal cameras to read temperatures is one of the best ways to detect something is ‘wrong’ with a person. Although using thermal imaging solutions in public spaces and the rest of the country isn’t sufficient on its own—it serves as a great first indicator. Seeing above-average temperatures allow facilities to confine possible infected individuals fast.

Encourage Regular Cleaning of ‘High-Touch’ Surfaces

Although it’s still unclear if COVID-19 can spread through fomites (contaminated inanimate objects) through humans or how long the virus can live outside the human body, being cautious can go a long way. That’s why it’s best to take extra precautions and regularly clean high-touch areas like doorknobs, tables, light switches, toilets, and faucets to prevent the virus’s spread. This rule is especially crucial for high foot-traffic places like supermarkets.

Ensure cleaning protocols are adjusted now and then continually meet the ever-changing demands of different situations. So, ensure to increase cleaning frequencies and replenish cleaning supplies ahead of time.

Implement Wider Seating Plans

Social distancing and physical distancing doesn’t end in queues, so make sure to incorporate them in seating plans. This approach is an efficient way of containing the spread of the virus. That’s why it’s best to double the standard 1-meter or 6-feet apart rule when it comes to seating arrangements for the best results.

Post Educational Handwashing Signs Throughout Public Areas

Although most people are aware of the precautions to take, it doesn’t hurt to remind them now and then. Health organizations and medical experts recommended washing hands the correct way—using soap and water for at least 20 seconds as much as possible. To remind everyone to do this correctly and regularly, it’s best to post educational handwashing signage throughout public areas.

woman wearing a mask on a bus

Increase Ventilation and Filter Indoor Air

Although recirculating air has become the standard in most enclosed public areas, ventilating outdoor air has become more crucial. That’s because it can dilute or eliminate airborne contaminants, decreasing the transmission rates. If an enclosed public area doesn’t have built-in HVAC systems, consider opening all windows to let in more outdoor air.

Additionally, besides increasing ventilation in a particular area, filtering indoor air is crucial. While changes to air filtration approaches can take more time to achieve, they can help communities prepare long-term. Several studies have suggested that filtering recirculated air can reduce transmissions of airborne infectious diseases—including COVID-19. When operating at their maximum capabilities, HEPA filters can remove up to 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns.

These air filters can eliminate dust, vapor, bacteria, fungi and capture tiny viral particles transmitted by droplets, the number one transmission method of COVID-19.

Always Maintain Optimal Humidity

Science-backed evidence shows that most viruses, including COVID-19, survive better in low-humidity environments. That’s why in enclosed public areas like malls and supermarkets, it’s best to maintain optimal humidity levels. You can increase humidity levels through heating and ventilation systems, keep it between the ideal range of 40% to 60%, or buy and install portable humidifiers throughout the vicinity.

Practice Cashless Payments

Cashless payment is when you carry out financial transactions without using actual cash or physical currencies like bills and coins. Although it’s not a new concept, people and businesses are just catching up on the approach. Many individuals are now choosing to pay for services and goods through cashless means. These include cheques, demand drafts, net banking or online transactions, debit or credit card payments, gift cards, electronic wallets, and UPI applications.

Healthy communities and general public places play a crucial role in bringing the world back to its ‘normal’ condition. That’s why besides the daily precautions people take, ensuring the safety of public spaces like malls, libraries, supermarkets, and other establishments is crucial. Taking extra precautions can help create a safer environment for everyone—and the strategies mentioned can ensure optimal safety and health.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a drastic toll on worldwide economies because of halted productions, struggling healthcare systems, and disruptions in supply chains—and taking measures to ensure a healthy public space is prudent to prevent illnesses and productivity loss.

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