Washrooms and Public Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Knowledge is power, and as you travel, you might want to keep these kinds of references in mind. These references include:

1) Making Public Restrooms Safe During COVID-19. Parks & Recreation. Nov2020, Vol. 55 Issue 11, p51-51. 1p 

Earlywine (2020) suggests approaches to making public washrooms safe. These range from removing as much surface contact as possible, limiting public access to and regularly disinfecting fixtures, and disabling handryers, regularly refilling soap dispensers, and maximising improving ventilation, physical distancing between members of the public.

2) Assessment of the bacterial contamination of hand air dryer in washrooms

Alharbi, Sulaiman Ali ; Salmen, Saleh Hussein ; Chinnathambi, Arunachalam ; Alharbi, Naiyf S ; Zayed, M.E ; Al-Johny, Bassam O ; Wainwright, Milton

These authors wrote, “Bacterially contaminated air was found to be emitted whenever a warm air dryer was running, even when not being used for hand drying.” 

3) Virus transmission from urinals

Wang, Ji-Xiang ; Li, Yun-Yun ; Liu, Xiang-Dong ; Cao, Xiang

Physics of fluids (1994), 2020-08-01, Vol.32 (8), p.81703-081703

A virus-laden particle movement from urinal flushing is simulated. Similar to the toilet-induced flushing, results indicate that the trajectory of the particles triggered by the urinal flushing manifests an external spread type. Even more alarmingly, the particle can reach 0.84 m (man’s thigh) in 5.5 s when compared with the diffusion performance of the toilet-induced one (around 0.93 m in 35 s). A more violent climbing tendency is discovered in this Letter. Wearing masks should be made mandatory in public washrooms, and anti-diffusion improvements of facilities in public washrooms are urgently needed, especially in the current “SARS-CoV-2” crisis.

4) Legionella and COVID-19: The issues surrounding thermal scalding and bacterial amplification. Yates, Dave. PM Engineer. May2020, Vol. 26 Issue 5, p20-22. 3p. 

On the other hand, COVID -19 has been detect- ed in human feces, and flushing a toilet aerosol- izes fine water droplets, which can contain COVID -19 and remain airborne for 15-minutes, or longer (exacerbated by the use of exhaust fans), allowing the virus to be inhaled (stalls in public restrooms) or settle on skin, clothing, wood, stainless steel, china,… 

Caveats: Updates about COVID-19 are continuing to be revised in the light of experience and theory.