Federal Signal’s Response to the Field Museum’s Reopening

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Federal Signal’s Response to the Field Museum’s Reopening

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many businesses operate, limiting overall capacity, reducing hours and emphasizing the importance of clean spaces. The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, welcomes more than 1.3 million people each year, but the typically crowded exhibits had to close for several months to help reduce the spread of the virus. Before reopening, they were able to adopt new, more stringent cleaning regimens so they could welcome back patrons safely.

In addition to cleaning high-touch areas like rails and doorways, regular steam cleaning and disinfecting the exterior of the building was required. Ernst Pierre-Toussaint, Field Museum Director of Facility Planning & Operations, states that high-touch areas have always required extra attention due to the nature of the museum’s services and worldwide visitation. But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now an even greater concern and they needed to do more to keep their facilities safe and make visitors feel confident in returning.

To provide a service in a time of great need, Federal Signal Corporation realized its Vactor or TRUVAC units could be adapted to assist with cleaning high-traffic exterior spaces of the museum. The converted equipment can be mobilized immediately for efficient and effective large-scale cleaning and sanitizing.

During planning, Federal Signal recognized the fragile nature of the building materials and vegetation and developed a plan to not only thoroughly clean and sanitize but to keep the museum’s aesthetics intact. According to Pierre-Toussaint, Federal Signal developed a detailed and comprehensive scope of work that followed museum standards after the initial walkthrough.

The many steps outlined in the plan have been instrumental in the museum’s reopening and recovery. Transforming the equipment to clean and sanitize the exterior spaces has brought confidence back to the community, and Pierre-Toussaint states that the Field Museum’s dedication to cleaning has not gone unnoticed. “The early morning joggers and passers-by have stopped to ask questions and were pleasantly surprised at our attention to the safety of our visitors,” he says. “We also feel confident that our staff members feel safe entering the building.”

Pierre-Toussaint says that some of the advantages of using Federal Signal’s equipment is the mobility and the specialized equipment for the various types of materials that require steam cleaning and sanitizing. “We would recommend consulting with Federal Signal about equipment and processes to do this type of work. They are professional, knowledgeable and have a can-do attitude. With their help, we can ensure the public that the museum is meeting CDC requirements for health, safety and cleanliness.”

The Field Museum has been steam cleaning and sanitizing each week and continues to adapt so it can remain a safe and educational space for the public to explore. Additionally, the museum has put in place other safety protocols including face coverings for guests and staff, limiting overall capacity, increasing extensive cleaning procedures, adding signage to maintain social distancing and placing limitations on high-touch areas.

To learn more about Federal Signal’s response to safeguarding the community, visit www.fedsignresponse.com.


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