Protecting the public: 7 steps for disinfecting police stations and more

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Any operation that has remained open has had little time to even take a breath in the past 12 months. Police stations are a prime example.

Keeping people safe while getting everything else done has left staff perpetually pulling double duty. Changes are made on the fly as decision-makers chase ever-evolving guidelines.

If you’re still wondering how to properly disinfect your public-facing spaces — from police stations to municipal lobbies, waiting rooms and more — here’s your quick and complete guide on the actions you can take.

Be strategic, save time

Carefully considering what’s essential, what’s sustainable and what’s affordable will reveal opportunities for time and material savings. Even if you’ve already taken one pass at these steps, consider them again. You may realize there’s actually more you can still do.

Seven simple steps

  • Encourage remote interactions.
    • Where possible, the public should complete tasks online or over the phone. To encourage the public to engage this way, make sure your website and social media accounts include clear contact information.
    • Create and distribute a list of subjects than can be handled remotely. Even going so far as to post the list to your front door can help the public self-screen their in-person visits.
  • Mask wearing, hand sanitizing and temperature checks.
    • Encourage these safety steps via prominent signage. Actively enforce them whenever possible. Provide disposable masks and hand sanitizing stations immediately upon entry and have a dedicated staff person checking temperatures.
  • Screen for symptoms.
    • Whoever is taking temperatures can ask about symptoms, or you can have each visitor fill out a form. If the form is paper, bear in mind any pens, clipboards and forms are a potential exposure risk.
  • Review and streamline check-in.
    • Consider any forms the public fills out, screens they interact with or steps that require staff escorts. Anything that can be cut for some or all members of the public will save time and minimize risk. Always strive to reduce movement around the facility and total staff interactions.
  • Seating.
    • The CDC recommends “arrang[ing] chairs in reception or other communal seating areas by turning, draping (covering chair with tape or fabric so seats cannot be used), spacing or removing chairs to maintain social distancing.”
    • If restricting seating is causing significant hardship, installing plastic shields between seats is an option worth considering. Disinfecting shields between use is essential.
  • Remove the unnecessary.
    • In addition to seating, remove any other furniture and equipment that isn’t strictly needed. For example, in police stations this might include touch screens, fingerprinting stations, counters, clipboards, pens and/or phones. So long as the risk of infection persists, erring on the side of caution is better for all parties, even if it creates some inconvenience.
  • Increase sanitizing.
    • Whatever your pre-COVID-19 sanitizing routine was, your post-COVID-19 routine should be several times more thorough. Ideally, any surfaces a member of the public interacts with should be sanitized before the next person arrives. Having a sanitizing sprayer or sanitizing wipes on hand allows staff to react immediately without having to wait for any janitorial service to arrive.
    • Sanitizing sprayers have the added benefit over wipes of eliminating cross-contamination risk. Generally speaking if you can reduce the number of public-facing surfaces staff need to touch, you should.

At EnviroPro Solutions, we understand the risks people face to assist the public every day. We want to provide the sanitizing solutions that can help keep everyone safe. Whatever your questions, we’re happy to help. Just reach out to [email protected] or by phone at 1-763-296-4449.