Cleaning & Disinfecting Information
One of the cleanest facilities you'll ever workout in.
We want to let our friends and clients know what WeBeFit is doing, to address the coronavirus matter.
To fight the spread of COVID-19, these are the most significant things we're doing. Below this list is a more detailed explanation of each item. That's followed by references so you can read some of the source material that helped us decide on what to do.
- All customers and trainers are required to wear masks.
- Every customer has their temperature taken before they can begin a session.
- Anyone with a temperature higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit will be asked to go home until their temperature falls back into the normal range.
- Upon entering our facility, every customer must wash or sanitize their hands.
- We require our trainers wear Protective Eyewear and provide the same for our clients.
- Once in the gym, our customers each have a designated workout area.
- Dumbbells, kettlebells and high touch surfaces have been covered with copper, as one of our passive forms of protection.
- Every weight that a customer uses is set aside for cleaning. Spraying a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution is one way to kill the virus.
- We added air purifiers into each workout pod.
- At the end of a customer's session, we move high-powered UV-C lights into the workout area. We run the lights in each workout pod, for 5 minutes, after a client finishes their session. That guarantees that any viral particles in the air are eliminated.
- We also run UV-C lights in each workout pod, for 1 hour, at the end of the day. This not only cleans the air, it destroys any lingering germs that are left behind, that haven't been killed by our constant equipment cleaning or by the copper-covered surfaces.
- We run UV-C lights after each person finishes using the bathroom and locker rooms.
- We've increased the humidity in our facility to above 50%. COVID spreads far easier in a low humidity environment.
- We upgraded our HVAC system to one that gives us 9 air exchanges per hour.
- We monitor the CO2 in our facility.
- Customers who are sick are never charged a cancellation fee.
All customers and trainers are required to wear masks. A relatively low number of viral particles are needed to establish an infection. Some doctors like Willem van Schaik a professor of microbiology at the University of Birmingham believe it's as low as 1,000 to 1,500. (1)
The math is simple. A successful infection happens when you have repeated exposure to the virus over time. Your job is to reduce the amount of the virus you're exposed to by requiring everyone to wear masks and stay far enough apart so the virus can't reach you (social distancing).
Customers without masks have the potential to spread far more viral particles into the air during a 30 minute to 1-hour session, than someone passing you on the street. Going without masks would put the trainers at risk.
Remember, the masks people wear in public aren't that effective at stopping you from GETTING the virus. Their primary function is to prevent someone who is infected, but doesn't know it, from GIVING the virus. YOUR mask helps protect ME and MY mask helps protect YOU. Going out in public without a mask doesn't put you at risk, it threatens the people around you and is an incredibly selfish thing to do.
This article is also quite informative: Do Masks Make You Breath too Much Carbon Dioxide? (Spoiler alert, they don't.)
You can get more information about masks by reading our article: Mask-Wearing Myths and Realities
Every customer has their temperature taken before they can begin a session. Anyone with a temperature higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit will be asked to go home until their temperature falls back into the normal range.
A person is diagnosed with a fever once their temperature reaches 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celcius. The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can vary in people from 97 to 99.
It's not uncommon for someone to be sick, with an elevated temperature and not even realize it. This is a way to make sure people who are sick, are going home to rest and recuperate from whatever they are dealing with.
The World Health Organization stated that 88% of people infected with COVID-19 experience a fever. However, that number has been revised down to 78% after considering asymptomatic people. That means temperature is an extremely effective means of initial screening.
Upon entering our facility, every customer must wash or sanitize their hands. That must be done for 20-30 seconds, as detailed in our article about handwashing here. Handwashing and Your Health - Soap and Water versus Hand Sanitizers
We require our trainers wear Protective Eyewear and provide the same for our clients. Face MASKS are great at preventing someone who has COVID-19 from spreading it to others. However, PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR (in combination with a face mask) can reduce your chances of getting infected by 85%.
Jobs that require long exposure to customers and clients such as teachers, dental hygienists or personal trainers should consider wearing a face mask AND protective eye-wear/safety glasses. Several studies have been done on eye protection. (2)
Once in the gym, our customers each have a designated workout area. There is a minimum of 150 square feet per person, separated by floor to ceiling room-dividing curtains. These curtains are to prevent one customer from accidentally getting too close to another during the workout.
Dumbbells, kettlebells and high touch surfaces have been covered with copper, as one of our passive forms of protection.
In a typical gym, many of the surfaces are covered with stainless steel and plastic. Studies show that COVID-19 can last up to 72 hours on those surfaces. There may not be enough of the virus left to infect someone after three days, but researchers still don't know how long those surfaces can pass an infection on.
On copper, no viable COVID-19 was measured after just 4 hours. There is a 50% reduction of the virus on a copper surface in just 1.1 hours. (3)
"...incorporation of copper alloys in communal areas could help to reduce infection spread from touching surfaces contaminated with coronaviruses." (4)
Copper doesn't just kill viruses, it's also deadly to bacteria. By covering things with copper we dramatically reduce the germs that can survive in our facility. There was a study that compared using gym equipment with regular stainless steel grips versus copper alloy grips. The bacterial numbers were 94 percent lower on the copper alloy grips.
"Copper-containing surfaces may be a beneficial addition to commonly applied cleaning practices, because they provide continuous and persistent antimicrobial action even with surface wear and oxidation. In our study, when copper was incorporated into various fomites, it resulted in a reduction in the microbial load on associated surfaces on a busy acute care medical ward. Most importantly, the surfaces that were frequently touched by the staff, visitors, and patients, such as door push plates, pull handles, and tap handles on the ward, were less contaminated when copper fittings were used than when standard fittings were used." (5)
Copper covered dumbbells at WeBeFit Personal Training Center.
Every weight that a customer uses is set aside for cleaning. Spraying a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution is one way to kill the virus. We use fine misters and spray the surfaces so they can kill germs for up to a minute. (Don't wipe the solution while it's wet, let it stay on the surface and do its job.) (6) (7)
We do not use a 99% solution, because it evaporates too quickly.
Routine testing of surfaces is performed using our Hygiena Ensure Touch Luminometer to verify what we're doing is working.
We added air purifiers into each workout pod. They use HEPA - H13 Filters (higher rated than True HEPA) and provide 99.9% particle removal.
The clean air delivery rate (CADR) should be at 240 or above. This is what Consumer Reports recommends:
“CADR reflects, in cubic feet per minute, the volume of clean air that an air purifier produces on its highest speed setting. For example, a purifier with a CADR of 250 for dust particles reduces particle levels of dust to the same concentration that would be achieved by adding 250 cubic feet of clean air each minute. The higher the CADR, the faster and more efficient the air purifier is. Portable air purifiers with HEPA filters often achieve the highest CADR. In our tests, a CADR above 240 gets an Excellent rating;”
The air purifiers we chose have a registered CADR of 250. Each unit cleans the air in the pod they're located in 5 times per hour.
We also made sure to avoid any product that produces Ozone. This is what Consumer Reports recommends:
“If a unit has an ionizer (which attracts particles via an effect like static electricity), it may produce ozone. Because California has banned home air purifiers that emit ozone levels above 0.05 parts per million, they are sometimes erroneously marketed as emitting “activated oxygen,” “super oxygen,” or “energized oxygen.” If you see any of these terms on the packaging, move on.”
At the end of a customer's session, we move high-powered UV-C lights into the workout area. That light kills the virus in the air and on all exposed surfaces.
(Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions.)
“...Ultraviolet light in the "C" range, also known as UV-C, has been shown to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The big challenge with using UV-C light is being sure your UV lamp provides a large enough dose of UV-C light to all the surfaces you need to disinfect, such as a mask, phone, or an entire room, and that you are not exposed to the UV-C light, as it is dangerous.” (8)
To use UV-C safely, WeBeFit is cleaning each section with UV-C lights behind barriers. One of the highest recommended products for UV-C light sterilization is from CureUV. WeBeFit is using the GermAwayUV Mobile UVC Surface Sterilizer with Motion Sensor Shutoff for UV light sterilization.
UV-C sanitizing lights at WeBeFit Personal Training Center.
Aerosolized particles of the virus are about five microns in size (for reference, a human hair is 100 microns) and can survive in aerosol form for about three hours, a recent New England Journal of Medicine article concluded. (9)
Because aerosolized particles can linger in the air for up to 3 hours, UV-C lights are one of the solutions to clean the air, especially if you don't have large numbers of air exchanges happening. A Department of Defense study found UV-C lights can kill the airborne virus as quickly as 90 seconds. For larger spaces, running smaller units can clear the air reliably in about 3-5 minutes.
First, we run the lights in each workout pod, for 5 minutes, after a client finishes their session. That guarantees that any viral particles in the air are eliminated.
Second, we run the lights in each workout pod, for 1 hour, at the end of the day. This not only cleans the air, it destroys any lingering germs that are left behind, that haven't been killed by our constant equipment cleaning or by the copper-covered surfaces.
We also run UV-C lights after each person finishes using the bathroom and locker rooms. This not only kills COVID but helps eliminate staph, strep, MRSA, E. coli and numerous other potentially dangerous germs people can carry into our facility.
We've increased the humidity in our facility to above 50%. COVID spreads far easier in a low humidity environment.
Maintaining the relative humidity between 40% and 60% decreases the bio-burden of infectious particles in the space and decreases the infectivity of many viruses in the air. Humidity at 20% or lower, effectively doubles the risk. (10)
We upgraded our HVAC system to one that gives us 9 air exchanges per hour. According to ASHRAE, it takes three air changes for the removal of 95% of the contaminants in the space of a well-mixed system. (A well-mixed system is one that draws at least 50% of air from outside.)
The World Health Organization suggests 6-12 air changes per hour, with 12 being the ideal number for new construction. The building we're in is nearly 50 years old, so we upgraded our HVAC system to one that provides 9 air changes per hour.
For units that have external airflow, the following formula is how you calculate the air exchanges per hour.
Formula: Air Changes per Hour = (CADR in cfm x 60) / (L x W x H)
The typical airflow per ton of cooling capacity in an air handler is 400 CFM.
If you have the CADR ratings in cubic meter per hour (m3h) format, then convert it into CFM by dividing by 1.699.
This information is from the EPA. Ventilation and Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/ventilation-and-coronavirus-covid-19
An important approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants or contaminants including any viruses that may be in the air is to increase ventilation – the amount of outdoor air coming indoors. Ensuring proper ventilation with outside air can help reduce the concentration of airborne contaminants, including viruses, indoors. However, by itself, increasing ventilation is not enough to protect people from COVID-19. When used along with other best practices recommended by the CDC and others, increasing ventilation can be part of a plan to protect people indoors.
Aerosolized viral particles may be “the main way the virus is transmitted” according to the CDC. Without ventilation, aerosols remain suspended in the air and become increasingly dense as time passes.
The key to infection is “exposure over time.” If a client was infected with COVID-19, the longer they are in a room, the more infectious particles come out and the greater risk for the people nearby.
In general, the greater the number of people in an indoor environment, the greater the need for ventilation with outdoor air. In other words, the ventilation rate should be based on the number of people that occupy an indoor space (and a few other factors). The CDC has stated that “Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.” Give special consideration to increased ventilation when occupancy is high. Also, make sure high-traffic areas have additional ventilation. In addition to helping reduce the risk from airborne transmission of viruses, improving ventilation also benefits indoor air quality by reducing exposure to products used for cleaning and disinfecting potentially contaminated surfaces.
We monitor the CO2 in our facility.
Every time you exhale, you release CO2 into the air. Since COVID is most often spread by breathing, coughing or talking, you can use CO2 levels to see if the room is filling up with potentially infectious exhalations. The CO2 level lets you estimate if enough fresh outside air is getting in.
Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere is a trace gas. As of August 2020, the average concentration of CO2 levels outdoors was 409.5 parts per million by volume (or 622 parts per million by mass). Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide fluctuate slightly with the seasons, falling during the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer as plants consume the gas and rising during northern autumn and winter as plants go dormant or die and decay. Concentrations also vary on a regional basis, most strongly near the ground with much smaller variations aloft.
Information from: NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory DATA - Trends in Carbon Dioxide: Globally averaged marine surface monthly mean data.
To test the “freshness” of air in a room, you can use a CO2 monitor. First test the outside background levels. Typically you'll see the outside range between 409 and 414, with higher concentrations in urban areas. Then test the air inside. A room that's well ventilated, won't have the CO2 concentrations rise above 800 ppm.
When you put more people in a room, for longer periods, the CO2 from their breath increases. Large air exchanges can help bring that number down. The key is making sure it doesn't go over 900 ppm. If it does, you should empty the room and disinfect the air.
Remember that CO2 is an indicator. We sanitize the air with UV-C lights after every session AND we use medical-grade air purifiers. However, neither of those processes scrubs CO2 from the air. That means even though the air may be virus-free, because of the number of people in the facility the CO2 levels may be higher than ideal. To eliminate that as a problem, we are working with our HVAC vendor to find ways of keeping CO2 in check.
Customers who are sick are never charged a cancellation fee and they can re-schedule whenever they're better.
By following all these procedures, we are trying to prevent the virus from coming in. If it does come in, we're letting it passively die on the copper and killing it actively with isopropyl alcohol, high air exchanges and UV lights.
All our previous cleaning and disinfection procedures will continue. These procedures are above and beyond what we've done in the past.
(1) The average number of viral particles needed to establish an infection is known as the infectious dose. We don’t know what this is for covid-19 yet, but given how rapidly the disease is spreading, it is likely to be relatively low – in the region of a few hundred or thousand particles, says Willem van Schaik at the University of Birmingham, UK.
NewScientist - Does a high viral load or infectious dose make covid-19 worse?
HEALTH 27 March 2020 - By Linda Geddes
(2) Journal of the American Medical Association - SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Community Health Workers in India Before and After Use of Face Shields https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2769693
(3) The New England Journal of Medicine - Aerosol and Surface Stability of SAR-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1
April 16, 2020
(4) Human Coronavirus 229E Remains Infectious on Common Touch Surface Materials
Sarah L. Warnes, Zoë R. Little, C. William Keevil
Centre for Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
(5) Cambridge University Press - Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology - The Antimicrobial Efficacy of Copper Alloy Furnishing in the Clinical Environment: A Crossover Study
T.J.Karpanen,PhD;1 A. L.Casey,PhD;1 P.A.Lambert,DSc;2 B. D.Cookson,FRCPath;3 P.Nightingale,PhD;4 L. Miruszenko,RGN;5 T.S.J.Elliott,DSc5
January 2012, vol. 33, no. 1
(6) The Most Effective Ways to Kill Coronavirus in Your Home
March 18, 2020 - By Robert Preidt - HealthDay Reporter
(7) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Cleaning and Disinfection for Households
Interim Recommendations for U.S. Households with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
(8) ConsumerLab.com - Do UV light sanitizing wands and boxes kill coronavirus (COVID-19)?
(9) New England Journal of Medicine - https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973
(10) ASHRAE - Building Readiness - https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/building-readiness#ecip
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