As we prepare to for students to return to school and to re-enter this “new normal” of post-pandemic life, it is important to consider the impact that cleanliness can play in creating successful faculty, students and community.
Younger children are more likely to touch their face, and other surfaces, than adults, which makes it easy for schools to become super spreaders.
As we adjust to this “new normal” post-pandemic, we wanted to provide a few new guidelines to take into consideration in order to keep faculty and students healthy and safe.
To make sure that you’re doing everything you can to minimize risk, here are five simple ways to keep your school healthier during a pandemic.
- Encourage Good Hygiene Behaviors
To make sure that each of your students and faculty members are staying healthy and reducing transmission, it’s important to encourage good hygiene behaviors. This includes making sure that everyone knows the hand washing protocol and how to properly wear their masks when needed.
To solidify these behaviors, post signs in the hallways and nearby any sinks. Make them visual and easy to understand for younger children and verbally reinforce reminders. For increased access to cleanliness, install hand sanitizing stations around the school and make it routine for everyone to use them after touching any doorknobs or other high-traffic areas.
- Deep Clean Before Returning and Regularly Scheduled Disinfecting
Before re-opening, consider implementing or booking a full deep cleaning of your school. This goes above and beyond traditional cleaning services. Instead of being a means to an end, the deep cleaning allows for your faculty to be properly prepared for efficient disinfection. It’s the best way to make sure that you’re starting off with a clean slate.
If you’d like extra protection, once students and faculty have returned to the classroom, you can also consider implementing weekend disinfecting for the highly preventative disinfection measures. Some companies offer comprehensive misting every weekend that includes both pre-wiping and disinfectant misting across all surfaces throughout your school. This includes the treatment of soft surfaces. Through these ongoing efforts, you’ll slow the spread and reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Clean and Sanitize Throughout the Day and After School
Even if you have misting performed every day, you’ll still want to appoint someone on your team to work their way through the school and disinfect all of the high-touch points while students are in session. High-trafficked areas include common areas, bathrooms, faculty break rooms, and classrooms. Be sure to utilize CDC recommended disinfectant chemicals.
- Don’t Forget Transportation Cleaning
If public transportation options are running for your school, it’s important to include routine cleaning and disinfecting across every vehicle. Ask your drivers if they employ high touch or disinfection cleaning.
- Encourage Children to Begin Healthy Habits
In addition to utilizing more intensive cleaning and sanitizing procedures, teaching children healthy habits and behaviors is a great way to supplement classroom learning. Consider making some time throughout the day for children to engage in activities that can help boost their immune systems.
Some great ways to do this are to prioritize exercise during the day, allow free time instead of stringent scheduling, engage in daily meditation activities that are adapted for children, play soothing music during appropriate times such as in arts and crafts or even reading periods, and practice deep breathing exercises as a class.
By implementing simple, yet effective ways to keep your school healthier during a pandemic, you’ll avoid unnecessary risks and outbreaks.
This article is courtesy of Bee Line, a privately held, woman-owned commercial cleaning business headquartered in Chicago, www.beelinesupport.com.