In “Cleaning Things Up II I mentioned one educator pleaded for guidance, asking:
“Don’t we have any national disinfecting standards to follow?”
Standards that can guide educators and others in this timely hygiene challenge do indeed exist. Take for example the recent Hologate hygiene and safety standards for virtual reality available for download here. These standards are designed to “bring a uniform process to the location-based entertainment industry”, but are clearly applicable to other shared equipment environments or educational facilities. Although one must heed any local and national laws/regulations as well as the published guidance of government health agencies, the Hologate standards “are based on [our] years of experience operating systems and attractions”, they elaborate.
Some important perspectives are offered in the above standards document. Hologate reminds us about our changing times by suggesting “post coronavirus, we must accept the reality that we will be unable to operate as we have before. Cleanliness and disinfection will have to become paramount to customer’s confidence in enjoying our attractions and location-based entertainment”. These standards also remind us that hygiene must be maintained by professionals, and not merely “left to the customer” to address on their own.
Although location-based entertainment has suffered greatly during the recent economic and viral downturn, there is much to be learned for application in other environments, such as the education sector. The Hologate standards document reminds us that “virtual reality headsets and accessories [and, I would add historically, 3D glasses] have always been the target and topic of hygiene conversations, so it’s more important than ever to make sure that you have proper cleaning”.
In short, the VR hygiene methods recommended by Hologate are outlined below, and apply to headsets, controllers, vests, and fasteners alike:
- Check, Clean, Dry (see the standards for a detailed breakdown)
- Use sanitizing wipes
- Employ Disposable VR Mask covers
- Consider UVC light cleaning as an added defense