The COVID-19 pandemic has put schooling into a halt. In the UAE, educational establishments, nurseries and schools were closed to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Schools across the UAE have rolled out their own remote learning, pushing even more for families to practice social distancing.
As a precaution, a country-wide school disinfection campaign was implemented, not only in the UAE but also across the world. Regular cleaning and disinfection is a proven way to prevent infection.
According to guidelines from the World Health Organization, here are some advised actions for schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 disease.
1. Maintain good indoor ventilation
For better ventilation, windows of classrooms should be opened. It would help to switch on fans or exhaust fans to enhance the air flow inside the classroom. Similarly, the AC system should also be regularly sanitized and disinfected.
The filters should be cleaned and disinfected, which can be done with the help of professional AC disinfection experts. This enhances the air flow inside the classrooms.
2. Sanitize & Disinfect
It is important to sanitize and disinfect every corner of the school. School disinfection doesn’t stop within classrooms. Toilets, bathrooms, canteens, and kitchens need to be hygienic. The school staff and management should be able to -implement a proper hygienic standard within the premises and this should be observed daily.
3. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
High-touch surfaces attract the most viruses. Thus, keeping them regularly cleaned and sanitized is essential. Frequently touched surfaces in schools include furniture, toys, commonly shared items such as chairs, desks, and floor.
The EPA has suggested a list of approved disinfectants, but there are also other ways and technologies to effectively disinfect surfaces. Disinfection companies in Dubai provide efficient ways to disinfect larger spaces.
The WHO suggests that for non-metallic surfaces, a solution made up of 1 part of 5.25% household bleach in 99 parts of water is effective. It should be completely dried up before rinsing with water. Meanwhile for metallic surfaces, disinfecting with 70% alcohol is more suitable.
However, for areas in the school contaminated by respiratory droplets, disposable towels can be used to wipe them before disinfecting the surface with the recommended disinfectant. This solution is made up of 1 part of 5.25% household bleach in 49 parts of water. It should be left to dry for 15-30 minutes, and then rinse with water. The same goes for metallic surfaces which you can disinfect with a 70% concentrated alcohol.
4. Encourage good hygiene
Before the students are back to school, encouraging good hygiene is important. The school should provide liquid soap and disposable paper towels or hand dryers. Place them in areas where
there are handwashing facilities, e.g. toilets, kitchens / pantries, laundries, art rooms as indicated. Similarly, schools should provide alcohol-based handrub in the same places.
Implement a strict washing hands protocol when doing the following activities:
- Before handling food or eating
- After sneezing, coughing, cleaning the nose and going to toilet
- After physical education lessons
5. Maintain respiratory hygiene practices
The school management and staff should implement strict respiratory hygiene practices among students and the school staff. Observe the following:
- Do not spit.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover both the nose and mouth with a handkerchief or tissue paper you can dispose of immediately.
- Wash hands immediately.
- If you’re sick and show signs of infection , put on a surgical mask.
It is important to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. Observe proper school disinfection methods to ensure everyone is safe from the Coronavirus.