18.03.20

Covid-19: Keeping AV kit clean

Keeping POS displays, such as this Philips 10” T-Line, clean, is essential

Philips Professional Display Solutions has published advice to keep AV equipment clean and to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 ‘Coronavirus’.

Keeping screens and AV equipment that we interact with every day has never been so important, with keyboard users potentially exposing themselves to 20,000 times more dirt than a toilet seat and for items such as touchscreens and kiosks in public places, the risk is even greater. 

Before the virus hit, a report published by Kiosk Marketplace found that more than 70% of users were worried about using public touchscreens, with an online survey highlighting that 80% of bacterial infections originate from what we touch. 

The World Health Organisation has stated that Covid-19 can spread from person to person via small droplets spread by coughing or exhaling, which if not caught can land on objects and surfaces, spreading the virus to others who touch the objects or surfaces and later touch their eyes, nose or mouth. 

While little is known of how long Covid-19 can remain contagious on hard surfaces, similar coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS have been shown to stay alive for up to three hours in the air and up to two or three days on metal, glass and plastic surfaces. 

Which purpose built displays for the healthcare sector may include hydrophobic glass, antimicrobial casings and no raised buttons, other interactive displays could need extra care to combat the spread of the virus. 

Of course, common sense prevails. Everyone should practice basic hygiene habits such as washing hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and catching droplets from cough or sneezes in tissues before safely disposing of them, however for equipment, there are extra considerations to bare in mind. 

Like everything else that we come into contact with, it is imperative to practice regular cleaning of touchscreens and displays using antibacterial wipes, with keyboards and desks recommended to be wiped down at least once a week or even once a day. 

Non-abrasive antibacterial foam should be sufficient, however these products are not recommended for screen cleaning. Additional cleaning accessories, such as cleaning swabs, can be used to reach those harder to reach areas on your equipment. 
Philips also recommends the use of a personal stylus to avoid coming into direct contact with interactive touch displays as well as mobile devices such as tablets. 

Touch screen utility gloves can also be worn to prevent direct skin contact, with the gloves being regularly cleaned and removed before making any contact with your body parts such as the eyes or mouth. 

Deliveries from overseas have also caused concern for some in the AV industry, however the World Health Organisation (WHO) has marked the likelihood of an infected person contracting Covid-19 from a commercial goods package to be low, regardless of whether the travel has been moved or exposed to different conditions and temperatures. 

Individuals concerned with the risk of Covid-19, its treatment and potential precautions should visit the WHO’s website for more information.