Kyle targets frequently-touched surfaces to prevent coronavirus spread along I-35

Hays

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — How many people have touched that door handle?

The City of Kyle is taking steps to make people more aware of frequently-touched surfaces and taking steps surrounding them to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Mayor Travis Mitchell announced the “Touch Points” campaign Sunday. It began with requiring gas stations to keep their front doors open so people don’t have to touch door handles to come inside, accompanied by a sign that says “The front door of this business shall remain open during operating business hours until further notice.”

He specifically wanted to make sure stations along Interstate 35 — what he called “the COVID highway” — were doing this to help prevent any spread for those passing through the city.

“Nobody is solving the problem for us,” he said. “We’ve got to figure it out ourselves and that’s what every city, especially the cities along the interstate corridor, whether you’re moving into shelter in place procedures or not.”

touch points campaign kyle
Gas stations in Kyle must keep their doors open to reduce the spread of coronavirus from door handles (City of Kyle Photo)

He explained he, his staff and county leaders have been brainstorming ways to help, and shared their thought process on the touch points campaign.

“Let’s say you sanitize a door handle every 15 minutes at a gas station,” he explained. “You’re still going to have a number of people touching the exact same spot between those sanitation procedures. So what we really need is to ensure that everyone entering the business washes their hands prior to entering and when they exit they wash their hands prior to leaving. So opening up the front doors is really just the first thing that we could think of to slow the spread of the virus through probably the most critical touch point.”

The next steps, Mitchell said, are to roll out signs marking other touch points at Kyle businesses, such as door handles, point of sale machines, counters and gas pumps. They are also working on protocols for lining up in front of and inside stores to keep people at a safe, six-foot distance, as well as installing “sanitation stations” so people can wash their hands.

Mitchell said these measures are additional steps cities can take along with shelter-in-place orders throughout the state and additional sanitation procedures.

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