As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, your school system is likely facing several health and hygiene challenges. Your school may be temporarily closed or you may be planning on reopening its doors for the start of the year. When it’s time to return to school, whenever that may be, your students, parents, teachers and staff need to prepare for a new reality.
Your teachers and staff will face unique challenges, including the lack of staff due to illness, the need to address parents’ and students’ concerns, taking the steps necessary to protect everyone’s health, and new hygiene measures to take care of. For more than 50 years, Essity’s global brand Tork has been – and continues to be – committed to improving hygiene in schools by providing complete hygiene solutions and digital cleaning software to improve cleaning quality and efficiency. Tork offers support to teachers, staff and students at all institution levels to ensure proper hand hygiene practices. We want to share our expertise on how to execute proper hand hygiene and surface cleaning at your school through guidelines on when and how to wash hands and clean and sanitize your school facility, as well as how to keep handwashing stations stocked and easy to use and access.
Hygiene, of course, extends well beyond handwashing, and the benefits extend far beyond school. Parents will be looking over your entire facility and operation to gauge how comfortable they are with their children returning to classes. Schools need to have (and publicize):
- Clear policies for school absences during COVID-19: What symptoms indicate whether a student or teacher should stay out of school, and for how long?
- A stated cleaning regimen for classrooms and common areas: What areas and surfaces are cleaned daily, and which are cleaned between classes or during the day?
- A hand-hygiene program for teachers and staff: Do they know proper handwashing procedures? Are they aware of all occasions that require handwashing beyond the restroom, including after sharing equipment and keyboards, before and after eating, and following the handling of waste and recycling baskets?
- Visible hygiene reminders: After teaching hand hygiene to students and staff, are you continually reminding them with a communications program, from the morning announcements to posters in the hallways? Here again, many free resources for handwashing and hygiene are available for schools.
- Adequate supplies in evidence: Can your parents see hand sanitizer stations at the entrances and throughout the school? Are the restrooms well stocked, with high-capacity, touchless hand towel dispensers?
This toolkit can help ease the return to school for parents and teachers alike
It’s hard for any parent to send their children off to school even in the best of times. During COVID-19 it will be doubly difficult, so schools will serve them, and their children, well by preparing for, educating on and continually communicating about hand hygiene within a comprehensive program. For more ideas and free tools download the Safe at Work: COVID-19 Education Toolkit, developed by the global hand hygiene experts at Tork.
Please CLICK HERE to access our free Safe at Work COVID-19 Education Toolkit for best practices and assets to boost and maintain hygiene in educational facilities for all ages.
Education is critical to society and an investment in a brighter future for our children. We hope you can stay healthy and safe during this time.
- CDC: How to Protect Yourself and Others
- Essity: Safe at Work: COVID-19 Educational Toolkit
- Johns Hopkins University: Johns Hopkins Public Health Expert Fields Coronavirus Questions
- The New York Times: Why a Pediatric Group Is Pushing to Reopen Schools This Fall
- US News & World Report: Reopening America’s Schools