The return to in-person learning is rapidly approaching for teachers and students across the state and country, many for the first time in more than a year. This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and enjoy community and camaraderie. But it’s important to do it safely. There are a few essential tips for both the schools and the students that should be adhered to in order to reduce the risk of spreading germs at school.
For the schools, creating a safe environment includes stepping up cleaning and disinfecting measures, as well as instituting new or different protocols to reduce the spread of germs.
- Face Masks. As local school districts and private schools evaluate the requirements for face masks, it’s important to enforce the rules. It’s also important to emphasize respect from both staff and fellow students for those who opt to wear masks when not required.
- Social Distancing & Class Routines. Continuing to have some separation between desks and other new methods for creating distance is important. This could be eating in the classroom or block schedules to reduce congested hallways.
- Enhanced Disinfection Protocols. Enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and hygiene practices should still be maintained to reduce the spread of germs, including COVID, flu and even the common cold. Encourage frequent hand washing or hand sanitizing if hand washing is not possible.
How to Stay Well at School for Students
The burden of staying well is not left solely to the schools. Students have to make sure to do their part as well, and that starts with the parents. Some great ways to help your kids stay healthy and keep others healthy include:
- Wearing Masks Correctly. Masks are only helpful when worn correctly. This means at all times unless eating or drinking, and over the nose and mouth. Children watch their parents. So, make sure you’re practicing good mask skills, including not complaining or disparaging it when wearing it.
- Don’t Share. What a world we live in! We’ve spent decades teaching our kids to share snacks, school supplies, toys and everything else. And now we are telling them: don’t share! Continue to teach the spirit of kindness and generosity…but don’t share objects right now to reduce spreading germs.
- Cover. Cover your cough and sneeze in the crook of your elbow. If you are wearing a mask, keep it pulled up when you cough or sneeze. Always wash your hands after a cough or sneeze.
- Stay Home if Sick. Flu, colds and coronavirus are all highly contagious. If you are sick, stay home.
- Practice Good Hand Hygiene. Handwashing is the best way to get rid of and prevent the spread of germs, according to the CDC. This means warm water and soap, scrubbing front, back and in between all the fingers, nooks and crannies for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep surfaces clean. Disinfect high-touch surfaces on a frequent basis. A spray sanitizer can eliminate germs and reduce spread of illness. Use on door handles, table tops, or any hard surface.
If handwashing is not feasible, hand sanitizer can be used in most cases. It’s important to make sure your hand sanitizer is at least 60% alcohol to ensure it will kill germs. Use enough to cover all surfaces of your hands and rub for approximately 20 seconds until it is dry. Wiping hand sanitizer off reduces its effectiveness.
When you are buying back-to-school supplies, check out Empire Managed Solutions for your hand sanitizing needs. Contact Empire Managed Solutions at (904) 343-5750 for questions or to place an order.
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