Table 1. Disinfectant systems comparison
Image 1. How Bipolar Ionization works
As the Covid cases continue to surge, gaining a Trust of the traveling public is critical for any hotel that is striving to bring back customers.The ions produce a chemical reaction on the cell membrane surface that inactivates the virus,". "It can reduce 99.9% of microbes in a matter of minutes.”— Dr. Philip Tierno, Director Diagnostic Immunology, NYU Medical CenterGREENWICH, CT, UNITED STATES, October 19, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- As the hotel industry struggles for revival amidst the pandemic, ensuring the safety of customers and employees in a hotel is not only a requisite obligation of a hotel owner/manager but it is also a key step towards recovery.
According to a recent survey by Magid, the traveling public is reluctant to stay at hotels because it does not trust Hotels to do everything possible to ensure customer safety. As the Covid cases continue to surge, gaining a Trust of the traveling public is critical for any hotel that is striving to bring back customers.
The health and safety considerations, infection mitigation strategies, and communication are critical components of any post-COVID-19 safety plan to regain the consumer Trust. To be effective, a plan must have a strategy to prevent Covid’s spread.
As Hotels implement these safety procedures, the reality is that the management has to walk a delicate balance between the need to provide a safe facility and the practical application of mitigation measures, and the financial and environmental costs thereof.
It is important to note while formulating a safety plant that our knowledge of how COVID-19 spreads is an evolving science. Initially, it was believed that when an infected person sneezes or coughs, the virus droplets could shoot up to six feet and would fall to the surface within a short time. This understanding led to the recommendations to frequently washing hands and maintaining 6' social distancing. While these measures have helped limit the spread of the virus to some extent, we have been unable to stop its spread.
The Scientific community now believes that COVID-19 aerosol can form even in course of normal conversation, can travel up to 30' in indoor air, and may remain airborne much longer than initially thought. This is a paradigm shift in our understanding of how the infection spreads. It makes the indoor air a critical component to be addressed in any infection containment plan.
Incorporating the CDC and OSHA guidelines in a safety plan is the first step. However, a plan must go beyond the basic guidelines to ensure customer safety if the objective is also to gain customer confidence. CDC guidelines recommend repeated, frequent disinfecting of surfaces with traditional chemical disinfectants. This process is effective in disinfecting surfaces, but it does not protect against viral aerosols in the air. Chemicals may also not be the optimal solution because of other reasons. Chemicals are toxic and harmful to the environment. Frequent chemical applications can increase VOC in the indoor air. Since most guestrooms are not equipped to bring in fresh air to maintain the air quality, this can have a negative outcome in the confined air of the guestrooms. Frequent applications are labor-intensive and increase labor costs.
In light of new information, CDC recommends mixing fresh outdoor air with the indoor to control the viral aerosol contamination. This is a good measure but has some limitations. Most facilities, especially the hotel guestrooms, are not equipped to bring in outside air or automate the outside air intake calibration to maintain the optimal mix of indoor climate controlled air and untreated outdoor air. Where this is possible, heating/cooling continuous flow of untreated outdoor air increases the financial cost.
These costs and constraints are forcing the Hotels and businesses to look at chemical-free disinfecting technologies, such as ionization and UV, etc., to treat and disinfect the indoor air. These technologies have been used in hospital and government facilities for many decades for mission-critical high-quality indoor air free of airborne viruses. Hotels should carefully review and consider their effectiveness and the costs to install and operate these systems. (See Table 1 for comparison)
The ionization technology, the bipolar ionization (BI), stands out as the low-cost system that could effectively disinfect both the air and the surface. It produces a natural bio-climate rich in positive and negative oxygen ions and effectively neutralizing particulate matter, bacteria and virus cells, odorous gases and aerosols, and VOCs.
According to Dr. Philip Tierno, Director of Clinical Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology at New York University Medical Center, as quoted in a recent Business Insider article, "The ions produce a chemical reaction on the cell membrane surface that inactivates the virus,". "It can reduce 99.9% of microbes in a matter of minutes." (See Image 1 to see how it works)
In a third-party test, in Madrid hotel rooms, backed by the Spanish Ministry of Defense Biological Laboratory in Spain, Plasma Air BI showed a reduction of MS2 Bacteriophage, a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by 99% in air and 80% on surfaces in 10 minutes of application. See the test link below.
The BI’s active process provides 24/7 disinfection and removal of harmful mold, bacteria, allergens, viruses, smoke, and other VOCs from air and surfaces. It is particularly suited for hotel guestrooms where the absence of fresh air intake mechanism leads to stale, foul air quality. BI also reduces the need for fresh air intake to save up to 30% energy costs. According to some ASHRAE experts, BI is the most economical option to treat both air and surfaces.
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), after reviewing several Covid-19 risk mitigation options, selected PA BI as the best of available technology for its entire campus. Similarly, Ritz-Carlton and Indian Railways adopted it for their applications. See the links below for details.
Bipolar ionization offers the most economical, continuous, and chemical-free supplemental method to ensure proper disinfection of the indoor air and surfaces in hotels and resorts. Incorporating such a system in the hotel’s safety plan, and communicating it with the traveling public could go a long way in building trust with the customer in the post-COVID-19 era.
Disclosure: Enficiency is the National Distributor of Plasma Air’s Bipolar Ionization systems for Hospitality.