Are all hand sanitisers effective for coronavirus? What is the best disinfectant? Marc Hurst, director of Hygiene & Safety Consultants, gives advice to golf clubs
We’re all getting used to touching elbows, avoiding a handshake and regularly washing our hands. But is there more that golf clubs can do to keep coronavirus at bay?
We asked Marc Hurst, of Hygiene & Safety Consultants, who offer services in heath and safety, food safety and training, to give us his best practice advice.
What advice are you giving to golf clubs?
Follow the Government guidelines. Number one is if that if any staff have any symptoms – dry cough, fever, headaches – they have to self-isolate themselves. Anyone who has come into close contact with that person should be aware that they may have spread the symptoms to them.
We don’t know the full incubation period yet, it could be from two to 14 days, and if that person has been at work you’d have to start disinfecting all surfaces they could have coughed on or touched.
When you talk about disinfecting, what products should clubs be using? Can it be a household brand or something more industrial?
Something like Dettol is fine. That is an elite disinfectant and on a contact surface will kill bacteria and viruses. It has to be a disinfectant or, as the Government say, hot, soapy water and thorough washing with that.
But certainly, for surfaces, I would use a damp cloth with Dettol for wiping them down.
When a club has a staff member, or member, presenting with coronavirus symptoms, how far – in terms of disinfecting premises – should they go?
Coughing and touching surfaces and then touching your face, eyes and mouth is the main way of spreading this virus. If I was a golf club, I would already be starting to disinfect on a regular basis throughout the day.
That’s door handles, taps especially, and anything that hands have touched in the building. I would be wiping those down and spraying them. It’s anything that could be hand touch points. A lot of places are introducing hand sanitisers.
They need to consist of more than 60 per cent alcohol. I would be wiping surfaces on a regular basis. I would have hand gels ready for people in reception areas. And if you haven’t got a hand sanitiser, then wash your hands in hot soapy water for 20 seconds. Put signs up asking people to wash their hands.
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For clubs that serve food, how should they deal with cutlery and utensils that are being presented to members and visitors?
Have staff deliver cutlery. Let them put the cutlery on the tray as they plate up in the kitchen and then take it to the customer.
As far as washing is concerned, all dishwashers should wash the final rinse to 80-82 degrees centigrade. That’s the industry norm for domestic and commercial dishwashers. If you see steam, it’s reaching the right temperature.
At those temperatures, that will kill bacteria and viruses. If you don’t have that, use very hot water, pouring it over the cutlery and use hot, soapy water.
There are a number of places within a club where members and staff come together at the same time – whether that’s around a touchscreen or handing over money. What advice would you give there?
It all comes back to hand washing. If you’re behind a bar, don’t touch the top of the glass. They should be holding it half way down or towards the bottom.
It’s all about regular washing of hands – in the hand basins in the bars and kitchens. If anyone has a cough, I’d be saying that they shouldn’t come into the clubhouse.
There are a lot of colds around at the moment but it is a precaution. So I would look at putting signs up saying, “If you’ve got a dry cough, please don’t enter our premises.”
I certainly wouldn’t shake hands.
What is your club doing to protect themselves against the coronavirus outbreak? Have your say in the comments or tweet us.