As COVID-19 and its wicked delta variant continue to spread, schools are struggling with how to best keep their students and staff safe.
Understanding the truth behind the virus, how it’s transmitted, and how we can protect each other is the first step towards protecting our schools and each other.
Based on data provided by the CDC, these 5 tips can help lower COVID-19 transmission in your schools.
1. Implementing exclusion policies
Exclusion policies refer to protocols in which any person who is believed or confirmed to have recent contact with someone who has contracted the virus must stay home and quarantine.
The CDC suggests that schools who cannot implement a full exclusion policy should instead use their best judgment to minimize exposure and protect everyone. This may include virtual learning.
Because symptoms may not develop for several days after exposure, it is critical that school staff remain alert to any flu-like symptoms arising in themselves and their students, as well as encourage COVID testing.
2. Ensuring routine disinfection of air and surfaces
We highly recommend a routine disinfection schedule of once every 24 hours in order to keep surfaces, equipment, and other classroom materials safe.
Let’s face it–kids are gross. The odds of a sick kid coughing all over their desk and another student touching that same desk and then sticking their fingers in their mouth are not slim.
Along with daily surface disinfection, we also recommend using UVC disinfection like Spiro-Max to clean the air. This type of disinfectant kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses both in air AND on surfaces as air filters through your HVAC system.
3. Monitoring all students for fever, without exception
Fever is one of the first signs that someone has contracted COVID-19. Despite this, some schools still do not monitor their students’ temperatures until they start exhibiting other symptoms.
We highly recommend using a standalone temperature screening kiosk, like SafeScreen, to scan your students’ and staff’s temperatures as they enter your school each day.
This can help with early detection as well as ensure that students who may not be able to speak or express themselves are monitored for signs of illness that they may not be able to vocalize.
Not only that, but because SafeScreen is quick and self-operating, there’s no need to take up extra time in the morning hiring volunteers to manually take students’ temperatures as they walk into school.
4. Enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing
All students and staff should wear some form of cloth face covering at school, as well as maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between each other at all times.
Cloth face masks are a great way to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools. They are washable, reusable, and available in bulk to protect students and employees. When you order your masks from Quality Face Wear, you can select from a variety of add-ons to help your masks fit better, including adjustable ear loops and nose bridges.
5. Sharing information about infection control practices
The CDC has been working with schools to provide education around the best practices for infection control. Your school should have established a pandemic plan by now so that everyone knows how to navigate this unique school year. This plan should include reminders about hand washing, mask-wearing, maintaining a safe social distance, and absences. It should also include information about virtual schooling opportunities.
By following these five simple tips, schools can lower their transmission rates and ensure that education continues uninterrupted. Screening for temperatures, enforcing masks, and taking extra precautions by sanitizing the air are the best ways to decrease COVID cases in schools. Quality Face Wear’s screening technology, UVC disinfectant, and high-quality face masks provide additional layers of protection to keep your school or workplace safe. Contact us today to request a quote!