It’s been months since the first case of COVID-19 was observed in the Hubei Province in China. As of yet, there has not been a ray of light at the end of the dark tunnel.
With almost all countries practicing social distancing laws and lockdown rules, schools have been shut down for good, forcing students to stay at home and study online. And for many parents, this is a good thing. Having their children at home is reassuring.
However, when a time may come where students will return to their classes, many are concerned that reopening will cause a surge in COVID-19 cases. That is why the government, as well as the National School Boards Association, is preparing to implement systems for disinfecting and maintaining clean schools.
Keeping Schools Clean—What to Do
As of yet, organizations have not made any concrete decisions as to when disinfections will begin. Given that the 2019-2020 academic year has been cancelled, there is still time before students return.
However, until then, school administrators are asking for recommendations as to how they can prevent an outbreak, and what they should know about containing it. We asked the leading service in New Jersey, Sanitize 360, about their opinion on cleaning and disinfecting schools.
Expensive Cleaning Equipment Won’t Help
Fearing an outbreak at school, many schools and district leaders are tempted to buy dedicated, state of the art cleaning equipment. However, these units are typically priced above $90,000, a sum that is estimated to go up.
Instead, focusing on using cleaning essentials, such as soap, hand sanitizers, alcohol wipes, and routine cleaning products, will not only help maintain cleanliness, it won’t overwhelm the school budget either.
Go Beyond the Basics When Cleaning Facilities
In addition to increasing the custodial team’s responsibilities, bringing in a Disinfecting Service will help significantly in minimizing any exposure to specific contaminants. For example, many schools and educational institutions in Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey have opted to bring in professionals such as Sanitize 360 for clean-up.
Not only does this assure them that their facilities are clean, it helps in assuring parents and students as well that they’re taking the right steps for the good of the community.
Educate Facilities on Transmission and Infection
Ever wonder how filthy your phone screen can be? According to an article in USA Today, a lot!
Send out newsletters online and educate the masses on high-touch surfaces that carry germs. Door handles, desks, lockers, bathrooms, handrails, light switches as well as personal items like wallets, cellphones, phone chargers, and headphones—list all overlooked practices to minimize contact and educate the masses on how they can stay safe.
Coordinate with the Community on What Their Responsibilities Are
When schools open, students and teachers, as well as bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and custodial staff, all must know what they should do to stay safe. Communicate changes for everyone’s roles in keeping the community clean. Students must practice personal hygiene and keep their items away from the floor or each other. Teachers and staff must be responsible for cleaning their items and keeping the classroom organized. Every person must inform the school administration if they feel any symptoms, and self-isolate in a less-crowded space until help arrives.
By following these steps and maintaining communication, these are the only ways we’ll be able to reopen schools without risking spreading the virus.