Stadium cleaners to go to extreme measures to ensure AFL players are safe from COVID-19

Stadium cleaners to go to extreme measures to ensure AFL players are safe from COVID-19

Spare a thought for the cleaners. Every AFL match this season, cleaning contractors will spend more than 80 hours scrubbing, scouring and disinfecting stadiums, even using an antimicrobial disinfectant sprayed from a fogging machine.

AFL venues will be decontaminated by staff cleaning changerooms and media facilities for 80 hours before and after every contest to ensure players stay free of COVID-19.

And venues including Marvel Stadium and the MCG have been assured they could be kept safe during matches even when fans flood back into AFL grounds.

The AFL is aware a single positive coronavirus test could force significant changes to the season despite 5000 negative tests so far for players and officials.

It means the league will go to extreme lengths to keep surfaces clean, with Quayclean Australia having contracts for seven of the eight AFL venues to be used.

The staff will scour venues to clean down every surface including interchange benches, coaches boxes, light switches and even the inside of player lockers.

They will be given a second layer of protection with an antimicrobial disinfectant sprayed from a fogging machine, with clean areas then sealed before players arrive at grounds.

The cleaners will spend 22 hours pre-game and 60 hours post-game cleaning venues.

Quayclean CEO Mark Piwkowski said yesterday all his staff had been through a specialised COVID-19 infection control training course to ensure venues were safe.

“Keeping players safe is the ultimate goal and for that anyone attending these locations. It’s our job to go through the venues before the players arrive and clean all the touch points, all the surfaces, then go through with a fogging machine which disinfects the surface and leaves a barrier so by the time players enter a room it is safe,” he said.

“Then once the players are finished a game we go back in and do a full clean again.

“It gives the players confidence so they can focus on their games, not their own personal safety.”

The Herald Sun revealed last week venues had detailed plans to introduce fans back into venues which will include staggered seating and temperature checks for arriving patrons.

Piwkowski said he was confident areas like toilets and entrance areas could be kept clean for fans attempting to social distance but needing to use venue facilities.

“From a patron’s perspective it can be cleaned to a particular level. During games you will see our guys with vests on walking around and touchpoint cleaning on benches, cisterns, behind door handles and light switches and from a patron can walk into an environment confident they won’t catch something.”

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