Despite the continued safety concern in the United States, the vast majority of schools are still scheduled to reopen by September.
Of course, it's undeniable that education is an incredibly important aspect of our society, but when public health is at risk, there needs to be additional measures to truly ensure the safety of students, teachers, and all other staff members of the faculty.
One strategy is to make adjustments to the daily activities and traditional in-class education that is familiar to most teachers and student. However, it's important to note that due to the organization and infrastructure of the US school system - these types of modifications are simply not enough to keep everyone completely safe and healthy.
So how do you properly protect our teachers and students from dangerous pathogens?
A well developed and tightly executed disinfection plan is the single best line of defense against the coronavirus. A strong disinfection plan can ensure that even if a pathogen comes into contact with a surface, the rate of transmission is much lower if the proper disinfectants and adequate sanitizing procedures are in place.
Before you can properly develop a disinfection plan, it's important to understand the differences between terms like cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. Here are a few key definitions that are critical for any proper disinfection plan:
Cleaning 'removes' germs. While it does not kill them, cleaning with soap and water helps to physically remove germs, dirt, and other impurities from surfaces, which reduces the presence of pathogens and reduces the risk of infection.
Disinfecting kills germs. This is a much more effective process for eliminating risk of v transmission of dangerous pathogens, but it does not necessarily remove them from a surface. Disinfecting before or after cleaning a surface can further reduce the potential of infection spreading through surface contact. This is the most critical step.
Sanitizing is the process of reducing the presence of germs on surfaces to a level that meet the requirements of public health standards. This is done through either cleaning or disinfecting, or ideally through some combination of both procedures.
Develop A Strong Disinfection Plan For Your School
A strong disinfection plan focuses on three critical areas to help reduce the spread of viral infection through a school:
- Personal Hygiene Practices
- Frequent Cleaning Schedules
- Effective Disinfection Procedures
Personal Hygiene Practices
Personal hygiene practices are necessary in order to reduce the potential spread of the virus between people or onto surfaces that come into frequent contact. Reducing the initial spread of germs is the first best step in any successful disinfection plan.
Here are a few strategies to include:
- Encourage and train staff and students on proper hand-washing protocols.
- Educate staff and students on proper sneeze and cough etiquette.
- Train against unsafe sharing of personal items such as cups, drinks, make-up, and food.
- Enforce adequate social distancing between occupants in any closed space such as a classroom.
- Wear masks.
Frequent Cleaning Schedules
Regular cleaning schedules with a high degree of frequency are key to reducing the risk of transmission through surface contact. Schools need to regular plan cleaning routines between classes and any other potential moments of exposure between groups of students or teachers.
Here are a few key times to highlight in your schedule:
- At the beginning of any school day.
- In between classes or class breaks.
- At lunch or any other scheduled activity outside of the classroom.
- At the end of any school day.
- Before any scheduled after-school programs.
Effective Disinfection Procedures
The most critical aspect of any disinfection procedure is to ensure that you choose the right disinfectant for the job. In a school environment, the best disinfectant to use is TwinOxide, ready-to-use disinfectant spray. It is a highly effective disinfectant that can successfully eliminate dangerous pathogens on contact, but it is still safe to use around students.
Here are a few reasons why Big Bend sanitizing products are the best choice for disinfecting:
- Environmentally friendly
- Safe to touch
- No wipe down required
- Kills a broad range of dangerous pathogens on contact