While building cleanliness has always been a priority at ExtraMile Arena, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, sanitation and disinfection measures took on a greater importance.
This increased focus led to a partnership with an industrial hygienist from the L&R Group, a Meridian, Idaho, based environmental services firm who partners with many of the largest energy and manufacturing companies in North America.
The L&R Group conducted a full site assessment of the arena and were able to identify best practices for sanitation protocols specific to the venue.
Katie Matthews, the arena’s assistant director of housekeeping, sustainability and energy management and Jeffrey Silva, custodial foreman, determined that implementing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing for the arena would be important to determine if the recommended protocols were effective. The ATP test detects the amount of an enzyme that is present in all living cells and is used after cleaning a surface to determine if cleaning and disinfection are producing the desired results.
“The safety and health of our guests remains as our top priorities,” said Matthews. “Our partnership with the L&R Group has helped us identify and implement enhanced sanitation protocols, and by conducting ongoing ATP testing, we are keeping our building safe for the community.”
Some of the enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures necessary to achieve consistent passing ATP scores include:
- Daily sanitizing and disinfecting of high-traffic areas with EPA approved solutions, sprayers and cloths that minimize cross contamination
- Visual inspection of all areas to look for residual chemicals, dirt or stains
- Restorative disinfection of all facility touchpoints after guest departure
The testing results are collected, analyzed and tracked to gauge the success of the disinfecting measures in place. The results have shown the arena is within the standard set for medical facilities, and the staff hopes to continue to use ATP as a training tool and to confirm cleanliness prior to each event.
Arena staff attributes the successful implementation of these industry best practices and meeting their testing goals to their dedicated staff.
Student employees comprise 87 percent of the ExtraMile Arena housekeeping team and have been an essential edition to the arena staff for decades.
“The staff are all great and the environment is fun and caring,” said Maria Rodriguez, an arena student employee since 2016 who is pursuing a degree in elementary education.
“This job always keeps me on my toes with new opportunities and having a new task to do,” added Mercedes Martinez, a student working toward a biology degree.
In addition to implementing enhanced sanitation measures and ATP testing, the arena has also taken additional steps to ensure they are operating safely.
“We’ve completed multiple exposure control trainings, developed disinfecting schedules for equipment and work spaces, implemented protective distancing guidelines, and ensured all staff have access to personal protective equipment,” said custodial foreman Jeffrey Silva.
“As we continue to navigate these challenging times, every day we learn more about how we can most effectively and efficiently maintain the facility in order to keep arena staff and guests safe.”