Aerify Solutions understands the importance of a clean school.

Schools are an essential part of daily life for many reasons. Not only do they educate and feed children, but they also allow parents to work without having to handle childcare. COVID-19 has effectively shut down normal operations for almost every aspect of daily life, including schools.

Children and teachers have been forced to navigate the perilous waters of a remote learning environment and shift gears completely midyear. As we presume to be leaning toward the downward curve of COVID-19, it’s important to focus on how to ensure that staff and students are safe when they return to school. The only definite way to achieve this goal is to prioritize keeping schools clean.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to keep schools clean and what reopening schools might look like in the near future.

Why it’s Important to Keep Schools Clean

During times of upheaval in which a dangerous pandemic or epidemic is rapidly spreading through our communities, social distancing has been an effective measure taken to reduce the spread. In essence, events, activities, and businesses in which a large number of people gather are banned. One of the most impactful changes to daily life comes with the closing of schools.

As the methods for ensuring that disease can’t wreak havoc on a school’s population aren’t foolproof, up until most recently, schools have simply shut down during dangerous times. This method has been proven as an effective means of slowing the spread of infectious diseases. We know this because of studies performed regarding the 1918 flu pandemic that killed between 20 and 40 million people worldwide.

The study compared how different means of intervention might serve as a lesson in modern times. In cities with a shorter period of school closures compared to those that closed schools for longer, the death toll was higher for those that closed for a shorter period of time.

Schools can harbor dangerous germs and spread relatively unimpeded between children and staff. It is simply difficult to control the spread with the high number of students and staff associated with schools. Not to mention, once a disease spreads within a school, students can take those diseases home to other family members including those within at-risk populations such as the elderly, those who are immunocompromised, and young children.

In short, it’s essential to keep schools clean.

Recent Changes in School Procedures

While the world looks to modify its current protocol regarding the opening of businesses and a return some semblance of normal everyday life, parents and educators want concrete answers. It’s not a matter of when schools will reopen, it’s a matter of how. Before any dreams of reopening are realized, there needs to be strict procedures across the board that aim to protect all involved.

Once schools and daycares have opened, parents can return to work without having to worry about childcare. That said, we are currently seeing small scale openings across the globe. Denmark has led the charge when it comes to reopening schools. Here are some of the changes they have implemented to protect their citizens in which other countries might mimic:

  • Though parents may drop their children off at school, they are not permitted inside the buildings.
  • The staff has been banned from gathering in the break room.
  • Classes have been divided, so teachers would be teaching smaller groups more frequently, as opposed to larger groups less often.
  • Each student has their own desk that is six feet away from their nearest neighbor.
  • Students must wash their hands upon entering the building and from there must wash their hands once an hour.
  • Custodial staff is armed with disinfectants and thoroughly clean all surfaces.
  • Teaching outdoors has become a priority.
  • School floors have been adorned with stickers that indicate how far students should remain away from each other.
  • The library has been closed as books are passed from student-to-student and could easily harbor germs.
  • Students are asked to enter the building from different entrances based on the location of their classrooms.

Some other changes that schools might look into are staggering arrivals and classes. Additionally, it has been proposed that staggering the arrival of students to limit the number of those who rely on busing can help to reduce the density of students on a single bus. Without any concrete information, anything to limit the amount of interaction between groups of students and teachers is up for consideration.

How School Cleaning Might Change in the Future

When it comes to revamping cleaning procedures, disinfection is the name of the game. Normal cleaning procedures simply won’t cut it. To protect both staff and students from illness, disinfection has to become the priority.

As seen in Denmark, the staff has been provided with disinfectant products and frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs are disinfected at least two times a day. However, it may be that professional disinfection services will become the norm. Schools that can rely on professional disinfection services can assure both staff, students, and parents that everything is being done to protect them.

Disinfection is the most effective means of illness prevention, behind sterilization. It employs substances that are used to kill off germs, not simply wash them away or remove them.

Moving Forward

As the world moves to a gradual reopening of businesses and schools, it will lean heavily on the services of those within the disinfection industry. Not only will is disinfection one of the most accessible ways of keeping everyone safe, but it’s simple to hire professionals to take care of the job. If you are considering disinfection services for your business, don’t hesitate to contact Aerify Solutions!