REGINA -- Ahead of Friday’s Roughriders game and the Queen City Exhibition, Regina Exhibition Ltd (REAL) says it has achieved a cleaning accreditation known as the “gold standard for prepared facilities.”

The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation.

“(This) really is the highest level standard in cleaning practises. It is an audited standard and it is a compliance standard that happens, not only across Canada and North America, but is really a global standard,” said Tim Reid, president and CEO of REAL.

Reid said the process to implement GBAC STAR cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention protocols began in early 2021.

“The customer coming out of COVID-19 will have a heightened level of awareness and a greatly heightened level of safety concern,” said Reid. “We wanted to find a best practise, something that we would be held accountable to.”

To achieve the accreditation, REAL had to adhere to 20 categories. These include guidelines on tools and equipment, cleaning chemicals, personnel training, risk mitigation strategies, personal protective equipment and waste management.

Reid said following this standard increases REAL’s cleaning costs by about 20 per cent, due to the increase in staff, equipment and chemicals.

“There’s a capital investment that we made that was about half-a-million dollars on the front end, relative to the equipment that we were going to need. And then there’s at least a quarter-million to half-a-million dollars of increased costs associated with cleaning procedures,” said Reid.