A vector image of several robots

With flu season fast approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic still booming in the United States, infection prevention professionals are desperate to restore some semblance of order. As part of their response, those working at hospitals, airports and other commercial facilities are now looking to cleaning robots to help slow down germs, reports The Washington Post.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, California spent $250,000 on two ultraviolet light-blasting cleaning robots after its environmental services director talked administrators into the big buy as the pandemic was just starting out. The robots seem to be worth the hefty price - each can disinfect an operating room in 12 minutes, compared to the hour and a half it takes for a human to do the same job. The robots are used to clean about 30 spaces throughout the hospital, including all rooms holding COVID-19 patients and a few of the breakrooms.

Like hospitals, airports and public transportation are spaces where the COVID-19 pandemic is a massive concern. Cleaning robots are being increasingly used in these spaces, too, which is a massive help to both the general public. It is also both a blessing and a curse to janitors.

One of the biggest heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, cleaning professionals risk their health and the health of their families by going to work during the pandemic. By using cleaning robots, facilities reduce the exposure janitors, housekeepers and custodians have to germs. However, one could argue the robots also harm these workers because robots reduce the need for them.

For more on how technology could impact the job outlook for cleaning professionals and how it influences the cleaning industry as a whole, read the rest of The Washington Post's article here.