With universities and colleges preparing to open as near to normal as possible in September 2021, they will be planning for a range of scenarios, with a hybrid form of teaching taking place that combines face-to-face and online seminars to maintain social distancing.
The fact that they can operate online to reduce the contact between large groups in seminar formats helps, but they still have to contend the issue that students also attend higher education with expectation of the social life experience alongside the qualification. This involves meeting and mixing with others from all parts of the UK and overseas, socialising and building shared memories.
The challenge remains for universities to provide a safe environment, not just in lecture theatres but around campus, libraries and in halls of residence. After a year of fee reductions and conference income streams being curtailed, the bigger challenge is providing this safe environment within budget.
While high visibility, regular cleaning can be reassuring for students, there is also the question over whether cleaning alone can really prevent the transmission of SARS CoV-2 and its variants on high-touch surfaces. In truth, probably not, unless every surface is cleaned between every individual contact touch – which is just not realistic, practical or economical.
The government has advised universities and colleges to follow the cleaning advice for ‘Cleaning of non-healthcare settings’, where it says cleaning agents that are effective against “enveloped viruses” should be employed. The advantage of using this type of cleaning agent in relation to SARS CoV-2 is that they are effective irrespective of variant: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta or whatever comes next.
One enveloped virus-effective option available to universities is a tested and certified long-term antimicrobial nano-coating: Liquid Guard®.
It kills all enveloped viruses along with many other common infections on surface contact. Liquid Guard® has been taken up extensively throughout the business sector in the last 18 months due to its extremely high abrasion resistance and efficacy, which allows one application to keep the treated surface constantly killing viruses and bacteria for 12 months, allowing pre-pandemic cleaning regimes to be reinstated.
Liquid Guard®’s active ingredient functions through ‘nano spikes’ which puncture the microbe’s cell wall and membrane, physically neutralising it on contact, and thus preventing it from being able to multiply or be transmitted to the next person to touch the surface. The bonus of the physical nature of the ‘kill’ is that it prevents microbes from mutating and becoming increasingly resistant to chemicals, thus helping to combat the rise in drug-resistant microbes.
This may all sound very futuristic and too good to be true, and scepticism is understandable in the current climate.
However, before its UK launch in December 2019, Liquid Guard® had spent the previous two years being tested for its effectiveness on various key performance parameters:
1 Kill effectiveness against everyday household microbes, such as Influenza A, recently SARS CoV-2 and therefore enveloped viruses, MRSA, listeria and many other common pathogens. Independent test certificates are available.
2 Abrasion resistance to everyday cleaning and wear and tear on different surfaces, including textiles; demonstrating its durability and supporting the 12-month reapplication guideline.
3 Independent dermatological testing – being awarded a rating of ‘Excellent’.
In the field, post-application, ongoing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hygiene swab testing of treated surfaces allows users to monitor cleanliness.
Liquid Guard® antimicrobial coating can be applied manually (simple spray and wipe) or by fogging/misting equipment. It is a two-part application that leaves surfaces self-disinfecting after a curing period of six hours. Post-application cleaning is simple, as dirt and dust can simply be removed using a damp cloth or, where additional surface cleaners are needed, by using a non-abrasive multi-surface cleaner with a pH between 4–9.
While meeting government guidelines for ensuring cleanliness of places of learning, Liquid Guard® also provides a sustainable solution to infection control as it’s fluorine-free, does not contain SVHCs PBT or PvB, and reduces the need for strong bleaches and detergents as antimicrobial agents.
Liquid Guard® antimicrobial coating provides universities and all HE facilities and students with the reassurance of a constant backdrop of microbial kill on surfaces. This actively contributes to the prevention of transmission of infection through hand-surface-hand contact on contaminated surfaces – 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year – with one easy-to-apply treatment.
The practical and cost benefits – from a reduction in upheaval for students, staff and visitors caused by daily/weekly anti-microbial deep cleans, to the ability to return to ‘normal’ cleaning regimes – are highly tangible.
For more information visit www.nano-care.co.uk or to discuss Liquid Guard please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 654282