With the millions of cases and thousands of deaths that have occurred from the COVID-19 outbreak and with still no vaccine in place, sanitation, health, and safety concerns are still more prominent than ever before. Though schools, and most other corporations, closed down the majority of 2020, the new school year is starting back up again and finally opening their doors since March. This means that traditional style classrooms will be resurrected, but with new school and classroom disinfecting CDC measures set in place to optimize health and reduce risk.
So, what does classroom sanitizing and school disinfecting look like this year?
Basic Rules for Every Age
Before getting into classroom disinfecting and overall school sanitization upgrades, new mandatory rules were issued for students and must be abided by. Please take note that the new regulations are one of the leading drivers of why many people are hesitant to send their kid back to regular, in-person schooling.
- Stay home when sick
- Stay home if someone in your family is sick with COVID-19
- Face mask must be worn at all times
- No sharing of supplies, toys, or food
- Wash hands frequently
- Stay in the barrier locations and designated areas
- Stay socially distant at all times (including staggering the drop-off and pick up time schedules)
Classroom Sanitization Implementations
Yes, a lot of the effort does come from the compliance from families and students, but schools themselves are also supporting. For example, preschools have taken out toys that do not contain hard surfaces (such as teddy bears) and have removed group activities like water and sand tables. In addition to this, teachers must sanitize toys and surfaces at least twice a day, once in the morning before the kids arrive, and again after they leave.
But school sanitization also branches into every other element as well, not just within the classrooms themselves. Take the amenities, for instance. Drinking fountains, playgrounds, door handles, sink handles, etc. are all places that are frequently touched. Because of this, these locations are now disinfected daily and as much as possible. It is up to the schools themselves to set up a respected schedule to handle all these areas that fit well with them. But overall, and highly agreed upon, they should not be ignored.
With the rise of disinfecting, that means more cleaning products around. Due to this, schools must have a designated space to store these products that are away from children. To keep them and employees safe while sanitizing, proper ventilation (upgraded vandalization systems) should also be targeted to avoid inhaling toxic fumes.
Conclusion – Challenging, but Hopefully Temporary
Though schools of every age group are taking the best preventative steps through classroom sanitizing and disinfecting measures, it is still not enough to ease many family’s minds on what is going on. In fact, a May 14th, 2020 poll highlighted that about 41% of parents are likely to homeschool this fall due to fear of their children contracting COVID-19 in the educational environment. As noted above, some do not like the new disinfecting and regulatory methods set in place and opted out of it altogether.
Now, as prevalent as this pandemic is right now, it is essential to remember that it will not last forever. There are active vaccine studies and trials occurring, and with the right protective measures forefronted, the spread should diminish in the near future. Though that date is not set in stone just yet and the school system might permanently adopt a lot of the updated classroom disinfecting protocols, life will adjust in the positive direction over time, finally allowing teachers to teach and children to learn again without fear.