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IWBI Launches ‘WELL Health-Safety Rating’ For Post COVID-19 Environment


COVID-19 pandemic possess particular challenge on maintaining health safety standard for entertainment and sports venues under the current circumstances.

Dailycsr.com – 29 May 2020 – The “International WELL Building Institute”, in short IWBI, leads the way on a global scale when it comes to certifying “healthy buildings”, whereby on May 15, 2020, it made an announcement reveal the launch of the “WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management”. The latter has been dedicated for third-party verification and rating based on evidence which will focus on “operational policies, cleaning protocols and design strategies” keeping in mind a “post COVID-19 environment”.
The “WELL Health-Safety Rating” will be specific to the requirements of the venues which will be completed by an advisory board comprising of “sports and entertainment” leaders. Moreover, the same rating structure could be also applied to other types of facilities such as “offices, hotels, retail, grocery stores, warehouses, manufacturing, theaters, recreation, restaurants, schools, among others”.
The said structure will help the facility owners as well as operators with “necessary guidance and third-party verification process” in order to be able to adapt as per the health requirements in the post COVID-19 world. Furthermore, the said programme is offers a centralised approach to “validate efforts made by owners and operators” as it draws guidance from “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), leading academic and research institutions” and “the IWBI COVID-19 Task Force” along with “IWBI’s WELL Building Standard” on “the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory disease”.
In the words of IWBI’s chairman as well as chief executive officer, Rick Fedrizzi:
“Critical feedback from leading industry stakeholders is crucial to the refinement and further development of the WELL Health-Safety Rating. By collaborating with industry and subject matter experts in public health, facility ownership, operations, management and policies, cleaning protocols, and building and spatial design, we are able to drive towards broader market transformation and completely rethink how owners and operators can adapt to be more resilient as we emerge from this global pandemic.  We are excited to fast-track this program for sports and entertainment venues and have the industry fully engaged to address the challenges we face today.”
The “IWBI COVID-19 Task Force” consists of over five hundred “public health experts, virologists, government officials, academics, business leaders, architects, designers, building scientists and real estate professionals”, while the body was tasked with developing “Guidelines on Prevention and Preparedness, Resilience and Recovery” as “pathogen transmission concerns” required attention.
Moreover, it also include “17th Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Richard Carmona, former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, and environmental scientist Allen Hershkowitz PhD”. While, the C.E.O of Oak View Group, Tim Leiweke:
“Given the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sports and entertainment industries are going to be changed forever. We’re pleased to help lead the reopening of venues with the International WELL Building Institute, the world’s leading standard bearer and certifying body for healthy buildings, and to provide guidance on how best to ensure people can return safely to sports and entertainment facilities this year. We look forward to working with IWBI and the other partnering companies to ensure the industry has the necessary tools, training, and world-class industry standards, to offer both a secure and welcoming environment for all players, artists, touring personnel, venue employees, and fans.”
Furthermore, the vice-president of “Sports and Entertainment Partnerships” at Jani-King, Mike Biggs stated:
“When it comes to disinfecting and cleanliness of sports and entertainment venues and assisting in securing peace of mind with the public, the two things we have heard most often are the desire for industry consensus and the backing of science. With the support and expertise of IWBI and the group of leaders assembled to date and joining us in the coming weeks, I believe this collective group will accomplish what the sports and entertainment sectors and other market sectors are seeking.”
In the words of the “Chairman Sport and Sustainability International and Environmental Science Advisor New York Yankees”, Dr. Allen Hershkowitz:
"Restoring the sports and entertainment sectors is among the most complicated challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has engendered, socially and biologically. And doing so is also among the most desired goals with the public. IWBI’s effort to help provide confidence to all stakeholders – from fans, audiences, players and performers to staff and the medical community at large – that a sports or entertainment venue is taking proper, verifiable precautions is of the utmost importance."