Opinion: These Burnaby stores need to reopen their washrooms - now

Chris Campbell

If you want people to spend an extended period of time in your store shopping, you need to reopen your washroom facilities.

Some businesses, such as a few Burnaby grocery stores, have shut down their washrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’ve included a photo from my local Nesters grocery store, which is citing COVID-19 protocols. A recent visit to Safeway produced the same result.

And yet many other businesses are keeping their washrooms open, especially restaurants and malls like Metropolis at Metrotown.

If they are keeping their washrooms open, then these others stores should reopen them.

It’s only fair to customers, especially people with disabilities.

Claire Cupples, an emeritus professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at Burnaby’s SFU told CTV News that these washrooms are safe during COVID-19.

“On a scale of one to 10, I’d put washrooms at maybe a three or four,” she is quoted as saying.

So stores aren’t protecting customers. Their staff are already cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, so a washroom should be included on that list.

Finding a washroom while you are out and about isn’t always easy, especially during a pandemic.

Metro Vancouver put together the map to aid residents in locating public washrooms and since April, more than 40,000 people have accessed the washroom finder.

The map’s use has extended beyond park-goers, according to Metro Vancouver.

The map has been shared with the B.C. Trucking Association, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Southwest Regional Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre, and ride share and taxi associations.

It allows business people who are on the move to locate washrooms quickly and easily.

You can check out the map here.

  • With files from Diane Strandberg

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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