Would Touchless Faucets and Fixtures in Public Washrooms Help Mitigate the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic?

Touchless faucets — the type where all you need to do is wave your hand to activate it so that you do not have to touch it while washing your hands — have found their way in washrooms in airports all around the world…

Would Touchless Faucets and Fixtures in Public Washrooms Help Mitigate the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic?

faucet and soap dispenser

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…but what is the point of having one available when the dispensers for soap or paper towels require you to touch them to use them?

When I first asked that question in this article on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, readers advised me in the Comments section that the main purpose of touchless faucets is to save water; but could touchless items installed in a public washroom be used to attempt to reduce the transmission of microbes from one person to another to decrease the chances of spreading any illnesses caused by viruses — such as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — and not require the user to touch it through manual operation? Should the public washroom either have everything — such as a faucet, toilet, soap dispenser, towel dispenser, and hot air dryer as five examples — touchless?

Of course, disposable paper towels could be used for manual operation of the faucet and other equipment in the public washroom — as well as for opening the door to exit the public washroom — but would touchless items be better in the long run?

The expense up front would likely be more initially; but with the saving of water — and the possible saving of lives as well — the owner of that public washroom might actually save money in the long term.

Summary

I have been in washrooms located in numerous airports and have seen all sorts of combinations of touchless devices combined with manually operated ones — for example, everything is touchless except for an electric air dryer, which has a button that must be pressed to operate it.

The question is not from a “germaphobe” viewpoint; but rather from a seemingly logical one — and I am interested to read your response in the Comments section below.

This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2 or HCoV-19 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 — pandemic in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources…

…as well as attempt to maintain a reasoned and sensible ongoing discussion towards how to resolve this pandemic.

Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:

All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

2 thoughts on “Would Touchless Faucets and Fixtures in Public Washrooms Help Mitigate the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic?”

  1. patrick says:

    “Would Touchless Faucets and Fixtures in Public Washrooms Help Mitigate the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic?” and again you forgot Covid-19. He’s feeling left out.

  2. Bob says:

    Notwithstanding the 2018 Harvard Medical School study on how (un)sanitary those things really are? Perhaps…if their “eyes” (hands-present detection sensors) were adjusted properly.

    As it is — or at least it seems as such in my experience, and thus the basis for my opinion — the installers and/or owners have the sensitivity turned way down to make them extremely energy cost efficient, to the point one damn near, if not actually, has to touch the unit before it will turn on. Unfortunately, that want for savings pretty much negates the touchless aspect, and touching the device to activate it negates any vestige sanitary pretense 🙁

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