Businesses changing restrooms as they move to reopen

Posted at 2:30 PM, May 25, 2020

Businesses are considering how they'll need to change up their restrooms amid the pandemic.

“I do think that most people would agree in the past, even pre-COVID, public restrooms tended not to be the cleanest place in most public venues and this is a real concern given the way germs can be transmitted,” said Steven Soifer, a professor of social work at the University of Mississippi.

Across the country, some businesses have been doing quick fixes like taping off sinks or urinals to encourage distancing. Others have been changing up how often the restroom gets cleaned.

McDonald’s wants its franchisees to clean their restrooms every 30 minutes.

Soifer, who’s also the president of the American Restroom Association, thinks having the cleanings documented would give us all better peace of mind.

“A lot of these public bathrooms in the better places have these charts and they tell you the last time the bathroom was cleaned,” Soifer. “I think that should become standard practice. People know they're cleaning the bathroom every half hour, every hour, once a day.”

Mcdonald’s is also asking its restaurant owners to put in foot pulls so people can open the restroom door without touching it, automatic paper towel dispensers and touchless sinks.

Soifer is hoping these guidelines will set the standard for other businesses.

The American Restroom Association advocates for single stall, enclosed private restrooms, like we see more of in Europe. But they acknowledge this would be a big expense for businesses.

Cheaper, more immediate fixes they suggest are putting hand sanitizer in addition to soap by the sink or even in the stall.