Play area Covid-19 sanitisation slashes microbe numbers

Sanitisation regimes at Uckfield play areas to protect users against Covid-19 have significantly reduced the number of microbes found during tests.

Locked gates while the play areas were closed

After weeks of being shut due to the pandemic, Uckfield town councillors agreed a re-opening programme for the sites at Hughes Way, Victoria Pleasure Ground, Hempstead Road, Oakwood Drive and Rocks Park.

Many residents pushed for an earlier re-opening as the lockdown eased but the town council delayed because of legal liability issues and its insurance company being cautious.

A closed sign at Hempstead Road play area

The ‘closed’ signs came down and padlocks were removed from the gates at the end of July after the equipment was sanitised.

Swab tests were carried out beforehand on all the equipment, including adult gym pieces.

Results showed that all six play areas were “high risk” or “extreme risk”, a report to last night’s meeting of Uckfield Town Council stated.

Immediately after the tests, an anti-bacterial substance was sprayed on the equipment and the equipment was checked again.

Results showed the microbes risks had dropped dramatically.

The anti-bacterial spray is effective for a month and the spraying exercise was repeated at the end of August.

The figures below represent the total microbes found across all pieces in the play area on the days stated.

Hughes Way
July 30
Swab test before spraying 1,297 microbes
Swab test after spraying 49 microbes
August 28
Swab test before spraying 55
Swab test after spraying 19

Victoria Pleasure Ground
July 30
Swab test before spraying 925
Swab test after spraying 24
August 28
Swab test before spraying 80
Swab test after spraying 17

Hempstead Road
July 30
Swab test before spraying 3,160
Swab test after spraying 30
August 28
Swab test before spraying 83
Swab test after spraying 8

Oakwood Drive
July 30

Swab test before spraying 1,478
Swab test after spraying 20
August 28
Swab test before spraying 91
Swab test after spraying 7

Ridgewood
July 30
Swab test before spraying 891
Swab test after spraying 13
August 28
Swab test before spraying 74
Swab test after spraying 10

Rocks Park
July 30
Swab test before spraying 921
Swab test after spraying 50
August 28
Swab test before spraying 34
Swab test after spraying 6

Luxford Field
August 28
Swab test before spraying 94
Swab test after spraying 9

Contamination risk of number of microbes found on a surface

Food safe: 50 or below
Low-mild risk: Around 100 or below
Low-mild risk: 101-250
Caution: 251-500
High risk: 501-1,000
Extreme risk: above 1,000

Last night’s council meeting agreed to continue with the sanitisation programme.

The cost to Uckfield is now  £695 + VAT a month after Framfield Parish Council joined the scheme and contributes £100.

See our story about the re-opening here

See also:

Wealden Covid-19 case numbers spike

Parliament told of Uckfield area Covid testing problems

Night-time closures of Uckfield by-pass

Petition aims to stop development at Downlands Farm

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