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School hygiene and decontamination during COVID-19

Author : Nina Wyers is marketing and brand director for The Floorbrite Group

11 June 2020

As we start to take the cautious steps out of lockdown, how do we prepare for receiving our young people back in school?

Hygiene, decontamination, and safeguarding must be the top priority to protect our children and those teachers and staff who care for them during their time in the education setting.

Limit the clutter

As we know, children pre Covid-19, came to school with a whole host of bags, P.E. kits, books, pens and pencils, transferred to and from their homes, transported around school throughout the day, shared with friends during lessons and often left in school over the course of the school week.

To limit the spread of viruses from home to school, firstly there is a need to reduce the number of belongings bought into the classroom each day.

Not only to reduce the risk of bringing germs into the school setting but also so that caretakers and cleaning teams can be more effective in their roles at the end of each day.

Have you washed your hands?

There is no doubt about it. Washing your hands really does save lives.

Hand washing or sanitising on entering the school, throughout the day and before leaving, is one of the most effective measures to prevent you and your pupils from becoming ill.

Mobile sanitisation stations for hands and surfaces with dispensers for hand sanitiser and surface wipes are an ideal solution to place at entrances, exits, classrooms, corridors, and canteen areas.

A highly visual reminder to maintain personal hygiene and prevent the spread of germs from skin to surfaces and vice versa.

High touch point and deep cleaning Now more than ever, cleaning is essential to keep your staff, pupils, and visitors safe and healthy.

Increased cleaning schedules and regular deep cleaning will become routine as we discover the new normal following Coronavirus.

We recommend a focus on high touch point areas such as door handles, door push plates, light switches, handrails, tabletops, seat backs and arms, keyboard, mouse and I.T. equipment, washroom taps and toilet flush handles, seats and bowls.

Ideally these areas would be cleaned regularly throughout the day, using a viricidal cleaner to ensure all areas are thoroughly sanitised.

In addition to the standard cleaning specification and high touch point cleaning, we also recommend regular deep cleaning to all areas, ensuring walls, doors, classrooms, washrooms, skirtings, ledges, sills and floors are disinfected and carpets are cleaned using the hot water extraction method.

Decontamination Anti-Microbial Cleaning (Fogging and Spraying)

Decontamination fogging or spraying is the highest level of service available against Covid-19, using anti-microbial chemicals.

If you are not familiar with this service, you will soon find it common place. The cleaning industry are experiencing a huge surge in demand from workplaces and public spaces requiring reactive and preventative measures to ensure large areas are decontaminated in a short space of time and with little manpower.

A fogging machine can either be placed or carried through a vacant space. Delivering a fog or fine mist of chemical, covering all surfaces from ceiling to floor, including undersides of surfaces, crevices and hard to reach areas.

Likewise, spraying delivers the same result. Operatives in full PPE, face fitting masks and goggles, chemical tank backpacks and electrostatic guns or wands, deliver a positively charged, ultra-fine mist of chemical which is attracted to and bonds with surfaces.

Specialist chemicals such as the potent Formula 429 PLUS (currently used in hospitals) and the popular environmentally friendly Zoono, then form a barrier of positively charged microscopic pins which attract and pierce negatively charged pathogens like Coronavirus, causing their cells to rupture and break up with lethal effect.

These chemicals can remain active on surfaces for up to 30 days, killing Coronavirus and will not be removed by your regular daily cleaning schedules. Monthly services like this could literally be a game changer for many public service and industries.

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