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How to identify a healthy space when out in public

(NC) As access to indoor spaces varies by month and province, safety is top of mind for many of us as we enter stores, concert halls, sporting arenas and shopping centres. While masks, vaccinations and physical distancing are demanded of people who enter these places, customers are also asking businesses what they are doing to help keep them safer.

Air quality investments: Air quality should be a top priority for anywhere indoors. While strategies to enhance air quality are not always visible, some indications that the building has invested in air quality include seeing working portable or wall-mounted air purifiers inside, hearing the hum of an air system at work or feeling temperate air moving around you. If the room smells musky or stale, that could indicate poorly circulating air.

Hand sanitization: At this point into the pandemic, all indoor spaces should have hand sanitizing or washing stations in high-traffic areas, and enough to accommodate the amount of traffic going through. If the building has no hand sanitizer for guests, that could be an indication that other precautions aren’t being taken.

Limited touchpoints: A business or organization should be investing in strategic renovations and upgrades to limit touchpoints, such as app-based elevator floor selection, automatic doors and automatic faucets. If the building has made it possible to have minimal touchpoints, then they’re ahead of the curve and others will be playing catchup shortly.

Third-party approval: Smart and savvy business owners are working with third-party organizations, like the International WELL Building Institute to achieve the WELL health-safety rating to show employees and customers that they have prioritized health and safety in their evidence-based and third-party-verified operational protocols and management policies focused on air and water quality, health service resources, cleaning and sanitization procedures, emergency preparedness, and stakeholder engagement.

You can identify a building that has achieved the rating by looking for the WELL Health-Safety seal on their door. Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena and the MLSE Launch Pad are among those that have achieved the seal.

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