Q&A: Brewers On How They're Cleaning Against COVID
The Milwaukee Brewers' home stadium was renamed from Miller Park to American Family Field just before the start of the 2021 MLB season, but that's not the only big change to occur at the ballpark this spring. After being left out in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans are being allowed to enter the 20-year-old stadium, albeit at a reduced capacity to start the year.
Hoping to gain a better understanding of how MLB ballparks are being cleaned and disinfected since reopening from the pandemic, we reached out to Brewers, who has partnered with SC Johnson to clean and disinfect their stadium.
The following are questions answered by Steve Ethier, the team's senior vice president of stadium operations.
CleanLink: I see that there's been a big uptick in the amount of signs in the ballpark so that fans are well informed of what they should be doing. Is there any new signage related to hand hygiene, and if so, what does it say?
Ethier: The handwashing signage illustrates the proper method for cleansing hands, including using soap and washing for 20 seconds. The hand sanitizing signage is simply identifying the specific locations of the hand sanitizing stations.
CL: Building off of that, how does improved hand hygiene among fans make cleaning and disinfecting efforts easier?
Ethier: It hasn't changed our approach or efforts.
CL: During a game, what objects do staff clean and sanitize or disinfect?
Ethier: Typical high-touch surfaces, such as drink rails, hand rails on stairs and escalators, elevator buttons, etc.
CL: What measures take place after a game or on a non-game day?
Ethier: Seating sections and restrooms are fogged with EPA List N-registered sanitizing product after cleaning and disinfecting, and concourses are cleaned with auto-scrubbers. The concessionaire cleans, disinfects and sanitizes all concession stands and portables with EPA List N-registered products.
CL: Tailgating is a big deal for Brewers fans at the games. What is being done in the parking lots to improve infection control? Ethier: Tailgating is permitted for fans within the same seating pod, vehicles are parked in every other stall and housekeeping has a dedicated staff disinfecting and sanitizing the exterior restrooms from the time auto gates open until first pitch.
CL: Did your janitorial staff undergo any new types of training in preparation for this season? If so, can you briefly describe what that entailed?
Ethier: American Family Field achieved GBAC Star Accreditation earlier this year. Our staff has had training in accordance with GBAC standards and requirements.
CL: Obviously the attendance is reduced to limited capacity right now. What do you have planned to help maintain the same high level of infection control once more fans are allowed to attend games?
Ethier: Given that we are already allowing for 6’ distancing between seating pods and using the entire seating bowl, the cleaning practices would continue as they are currently being performed.
For more on what's taking place at American Family Field, check out this story from FacilitiesNet, a sister website of CleanLink.com who sent its senior editor to tour before the year's first pitch.
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