It’s undeniable that the Coronavirus pandemic has changed society’s perspectives on hygiene and sanitation practices. As more states are allowing—or are considering allowing—businesses to reopen, a major concern is how spa owners can welcome back employees, therapists, and guests while keeping them as safe and healthy as possible. In order to address these issues, the International Spa Association (ISPA) has been working with nearly 100 volunteer spa leaders, governing bodies, medical professionals, and resource partners to develop the ISPA COVID-19 Reopening Toolkit: a collection of resources tailored to helping spas reopen safely and successfully.
The resources released so far include the organization’s Spa Industry Sanitation and Hygiene Standards, a Spa Reopening Checklist, communications templates, and a reopening press release template. These tools are designed to be customizable to allow all spas to meet their respective governmental guidelines and individual needs. “Consumers need access to spas now more than ever due to the stressors generated from dealing with a pandemic,” says Lynne McNees, ISPA president. “The spa industry is committed to closely following the reopening guidelines established by various governing bodies across the globe and working cohesively to reintroduce spa back to the consumer in the safest manner possible.”
Among the guidelines listed in the toolkit is a list of spa sanitation and hygiene standards. According to the toolkit, not only are visibly clean spaces more inviting to guests, but thoroughly sanitizing and disinfecting all areas of a spa can be critical to the health and safety of every person who walks through its doors. The document provides guidance on how to effectively sanitize and disinfect a spa after a shutdown period to reduce the spread of communicable diseases as much as possible. It also explains the differences between the terms “cleaning,” “disinfecting,” and “sanitizing," based on the definition used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects, and works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
- Sanitizing lowers the number of germson surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This processworks by either cleaning or disinfectingsurfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
The document advises spas that before sanitizing the spa, they should make sure they have appropriate cleaning materials and personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand, such as soap, EPA-registered disinfectants, disposable gloves, disposable gowns, face masks, household bleach, isopropyl alcohol, and Barbacide.
To learn more about the specifics of cleansing and sanitizing a spa, click here.