Preventing COVID-19 In Schools
6th Dec 2021
Every year, the winter months present a challenge for schools.
Common colds and flu are a perpetual threat, jeopardising the consistency of classroom education with waves of staff and pupil absences. Of course, these dangers are magnified in the age of COVID-19, where even suspected contact with the virus will demand a week at home.
With the pandemic far from over, the government is working harder than ever to provide educators with the tools they need to minimise disruption and serve children with the learning experience they deserve.
Infection Control For Schools
Every school is currently laser-focused on reducing COVID-19 transmission during the already sickly winter months.
Stopping the spread of infectious illness is a daunting task for densely populated school communities, with the consequences of each outbreak prompting disastrous effects.
The cost of supply teachers can be a huge burden, especially for schools where cashflow is already tight. When the allotted budget for cover has run dry, this doesn’t stop the demand – so if teachers are still unwell or forced to isolate, the costs for supply teaching need to come from other pots. This can cause a huge problem for the school’s spending as a whole.
All the while, even the highest quality supply teachers will struggle to replicate the conditions and rapport that a class’s usual teacher would provide. However, this is far from the only example of how schoolchildren suffer a splintered education due to COVID disruption.
COVID-19 has a huge impact on individual study and inclusion. Even with the setbacks of lockdown behind them, many schools are operating COVID bubbles, meaning entire groups of children will need to stay home when a positive case occurs.
When integrating back into school full-time, many children find it difficult to settle. The mix of unfamiliar cover teachers and friends that are missing from the classroom can create an increasingly anxious school experience.
Every day, these struggles are front of mind for children, parents and staff. Schools are well aware that they need to provide a safe environment to stop the spread of COVID-19 infections – the question is how.
Schools operating in areas of ‘enduring transmission’ are set to receive extra support to fight COVID-19 in winter 2021.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid unveiled the government’s ‘Plan B’ strategy in the Commons in September.
Should COVID-19 hospitalisations surge in number, the plan will spring into action and once again mandate that masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, as well as the instruction to work from home.
Plan B is detailed in a 33-page document titled ‘Covid-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan’. The document also discusses the problem of ‘enduring transmission’ – defined as areas where the case rate has remained above the national or regional average for a prolonged period.
To curb these regional pressures, Enduring Transmission Area (ETA) support has been offered as part of the Autumn and Winter Plan. This funding will help schools and businesses to invest in new infection control precautions and ensure they are as COVID-secure as possible.
The extra support given to the local authorities is expected to remain in place until March 2022.
Antimicrobial surface coatings are an extremely effective way for COVID-19 prevention measures in schools to be enhanced.
Surfaces that have been protected with an antimicrobial coating will help to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
As soon as bacteria contacts an antimicrobial surface, it is destroyed. This means that germs won’t be transferred between multiple people touching the same object.
Antimicrobial coatings can be applied easily with a handy spray formula, such as the Hygenex Recoat Antimicrobial Coating System.
Better yet, when you apply Recoat to your hard surfaces, it can eliminate bacteria and viruses for up to six months. This makes the hard work of school cleaning staff even more effective, without the need to constantly maintain the coating or put in hours of extra effort.
Recoat is incredibly simple to use. All you need to do is:
- Spray the Surface Cleaner onto the surface or item you want to protect
- Clean the surface thoroughly, removing all dirt and grease
- When dry, spray the Antimicrobial Protector over 80% of the surface
- Spread evenly over the surface using a damp microfibre cloth
- Leave to dry (touch dry in 15 minutes, ready to use in 3 hours).
Once the coating is dry, the surface is antimicrobial. The presence of the coating can be identified with a UV light, making it easy to periodically check for touch-ups.
Recoat won’t leave any sticky residues or unpleasant smells. In addition, its formula is sustainable and environmentally friendly, unlike many harsh chemicals.
Hygenex Recoat Antimicrobial Protection can be used to protect touch points including door handles and light switches.
On average, a bottle of Hygenex Recoat Antimicrobial Protector will cover 200-300 door handles and around 500 light switches.
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a priority for every school. Hygenex Recoat facilitates greater infection control, which in turn gives pupils, staff and families the confidence that their health, education and wellbeing is protected.
If you’re looking for a reliable infection control solution to keep your school safe from dangerous viruses and bacteria, we would love to help.