The Fort Worth Convention Center (FWCC) and the Will Rogers Memorial Center (WRMC) have received the STAR Facility accreditation status from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), an outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.
"GBAC accreditation is the gold standard of prepared facilities," said Mike Crum, director of public events for the City of Fort Worth, in a press announcement. "Meeting planners will find that we have gone the extra mile to assure their event attendees have as safe an experience as possible while in our buildings."
GBAC accreditation means that a facility has:
- Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus
- The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease
- Highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response
Among the enhanced cleaning protocols, for example, technicians are deploying the use of an ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) meter, used widely by janitorial experts, to obtain readings on the cleanliness of the building. By doing this in-house, they are able to target high traffic areas and increase frequency of disinfecting where and when needed. Touch points are the most significant places of the transfer of bacteria and the spread of viruses; WRMC and FWCC have reduced as many touch points as possible in restrooms by installing auto flush toilets and urinals, automatic sink faucets and auto-dispensing equipment for soap, sanitizer and paper towels. In addition, bipolar Ionization systems were also installed in the FWCC and WRMC. This process involves releasing ionized particles (molecules with a positive/negative charge) that will attach to and deactivate harmful substances like bacteria, mold, allergens, and viruses at the molecular level. The result is cleaner and healthier air.
As part of the requirement for accreditation, 18 Public Events Department employees also received a GBAC Trained-Technician certification. Individuals earning the certification are trained in planning, knowledge and processes needed to respond to a biohazard crisis in the workplace. They also mastered preventive, response and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations such as COVID-19.
Approximately $2.4 million in facility investments were funded by CARES Act federal stimulus dollars received by the City of Fort Worth.