COLUMBUS, OH/USA - OCTOBER 21, 2017: University Hall on the campus of The Ohio State University.

As businesses serving the public cope with heightened and ongoing responsibility to help keep patients, customers, employees and students safe from COVID-19 and other pathogens, the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University has introduced a free online course on how to help prevent the spread of infection, with a focus on the important role of cleaning and disinfecting in public spaces.

The course, “Infection Prevention 101 for Public Spaces,” explores best-in-class infection prevention strategies for helping to keep public spaces safer, according to a press release from CloroxPro, which helped to launch the course. The course provides important scientific context and practical tips for employees at the the businesses for which they work.

Experience Columbus, the destination marketing organization for the Ohio city, has adopted the course as part of its Live Forward Pledge, designed to help restart its vital tourism economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognize that there is an opportunity to further educate hospitality industry workers with foundational knowledge about infectious disease prevention,” said Brian Ross, president and CEO of Experience Columbus and an alumnus of The Ohio State University’s Hospitality Management program. “This information is of the utmost importance to keeping the city’s 43 million annual visitors and 2 million plus residents safe and healthy.”

With a focus on healthcare and hospitality, the course content is also highly relevant to other industries adjusting to their “new normal” and helping to keep their communities safer amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including retail, offices, schools, restaurants and more.

“This online class, which is completely free, helps those responsible for the cleaning and disinfection of public spaces understand not only how to reduce the spread of infection but also why this foundational knowledge is so critical to elevating overall health and wellness in the workplace,” said Anne Turpin, senior lecturer in The Ohio State University’s Hospitality Management program who delivered the course. 

With 20 years of leadership experience in the hospitality industry, Turpin worked with faculty, infection prevention specialists and other professionals to develop the course content.  

“Successful completion of the certificate program is valuable on many levels,” Turpin said. “It serves as a visible commitment to healthier environments for guests, patients and team members and it serves as a free professional developmental opportunity for individuals."

A senior infection preventionist in the CloroxPro Healthcare division, Doe Kley is a content expert for the Hospitality Management program and supported development of the Infection Prevention 101 for Public Spaces course. 

“Many of the infection prevention practices we use every day in healthcare settings also have utility in other public spaces,” Kley said. “So there is a strong need for infection prevention education for employers and employees working both in healthcare facilities and beyond.”

The free course consists of the following:

Video 1: Introduction to Infection Prevention in Public Spaces  

Video 2: Where Do Infectious Agents Hide

Video 3: Transmission of Diseases

Video 4: Cleaning, Disinfection, Product Selection

Infection Prevention 101 for Public Spaces” is available for free on ScarletCanvas.