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September 2, 2020

How to Use Public Toilets During Corona Virus Pandemic

public toilet

Lagos the hardest hit city and Nigeria in general is gradually reopening public places after the lock down cause by COVID-19. There has been partial opening of markets to operate only 3 days in a week, then other  offices, churches, schools and airports. have been permitted to resume activities

Therefore, as more people begin to venture out of their homes, the need to use public facilities becomes increasingly necessary. The question now arises on how safe these places will be to prevent furthr spread. We intend to look into that in this write up

How safe are Public Toilets?

Multiple people using the same space concurrently could increase the infectiousness of public toilets. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, public toilets were places that could be infectious by touch and air. Breathing in an enclosed shared airspace could put us at risk of some airborne diseases like influenza and measles as people with these diseases can leave the air surrounding them hazardous for periods of time after they have vacated the area.

As well as general air contamination, toilet plume, the term given to the array of microbes that are thrusted into the atmosphere when the toilet is flushed, is also a more common hazard in public bathrooms. Toilet plume gives the potential for harmful microbes to then rest on the surrounding floors, toilet seats and lids and nearby surfaces

Steps to Staying Safe While Using Public Restrooms

  • The Larger the Better: If you have options then choose larger public rest rooms. This is simply because they have space for more air circulation.
  • Time Spacing: Leave some time at least 60 seconds after someone left the toilet before you go in to use. This will help to minimize the risk of toilet plume in the air and on surfaces.
  • Use PPE if available: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like face masks and hand gloves helps prevent you from infection. It is advisable to constantly wear face masks during the pandemic and especially while trying to use the toilet as they help reduce the risk of contracting air borne diseases. Even after the pandemic, it is advisable to have your masks handy so you can use in public toilets.
  • Cover the wc water with tissue: This helps to avoid the water splashing on you while in use.
  • Close the lid before flushing – This will significantly reduce the amount of toilet plume.
  • Observe Hand Hygiene Procedures: After using the restroom, wash your hands and dry it with an automatic hand dryer or tissue paper. If the following are not available you can simply use a hand sanitizer which you should always carry along wherever you go

Observe these rules and keep yourself and loved ones from contacting the disease.

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