COVID-19 forces businesses to revamp public restrooms

Many businesses are grappling with how to limit COVID-19's spread in public restrooms once they reopen, according to The Washington Post.

Most public restrooms in the U.S. have lidless toilets with high-pressure flushes that can send droplets at least 6 feet, according to Steven Soifer, PhD, president of the American Restroom Association. This could pose an infection risk, as the virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in human waste and can linger in the air for eight to 14 minutes.

“There's no standard for public restrooms other than the building code," Mr. Soifer told the Post. "Now we need to extend social distancing to restrooms, and it's going to be very hard. Even if you limit the number of stalls, you then create a line of people outside."

Businesses are taking various steps to eliminate infection risks, including hiring "bathroom monitors" to ensure social distancing, installing motion-sensor sinks and removing restroom doors to create no-touch entrances. McDonald's is even requiring its restaurants to clean their bathrooms every 30 minutes.

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