The spread of COVID-19 is mainly from respiratory droplets that carry the virus onto someone in close proximity. It cannot be spread over longer distances from an infected person. There is also no evidence it can go through ventilation systems to infect other occupants of the building.
Therefore, barriers such as plastic sneeze shields can be of great value in containing the virus. Here are some important COVID-19 guidelines for schools to know from the CDC.
1. Face Masks and Face Shields
You can use personal safety shields, as opposed to masks, when you expect contact with someone infected. Face shields must cover the nose, mouth, and eyes, which minimizes the spread of droplets to the mucus membrane. Always remember to disinfect and clean after each use.
The CDC does not recommend wearing face shields in place of masks when performing day-to-day activities. They can be cumbersome and may not be as effective when carrying out demanding tasks.
2. Use of Engineering Controls
The CDC also recommends schools to have appropriate engineering controls where necessary. That includes physical barriers such as plastic sneeze shields and protective desk barriers. The interiors of schools may require extensive renovations to allow workers and students to avoid physical contact.
Other controls may include ventilation. There ought to be a consistent airflow supply in spaces with many occupants like the classroom. You can position fans next to windows to maximize the flow of clean air. At the very least, the administration should ensure that the air conditioning system is operating efficiently.
3. Conduct Hazard Assessment
A hazard assessment is essential to determine the different needs of your staff. For example, the school nurse may need a personal safety shield to protect them from infections. An evaluation will help you decide where to place barriers such as plastic sneeze shields.
An assessment can reduce the ambiguity surrounding workspaces. It helps determine which space you ought to sterilize more frequently. The school will also have to prepare training for staff on the type of disinfectant to use on different surfaces.
4. Develop an Administrative Policy
The administration should have a policy on how to deal with COVID-19 cases. There ought to be procedures that spell out how you handle infected people within the school. It may also include how to control movement and disinfect surfaces. There should be a written policy that is understood by the staff.
5. Provision of Adequate Training
You will need to provide adequate training to employees on how and when to use PPE. You may have to redesign operations to minimize infections. It may involve managing processes like sterilization and the movement of people within the premises. It is also crucial that employees understand the purpose of the new policies.
You have to consider that some members of the staff may have difficulty using new technologies. Training is necessary to ensure that the operations at the school go on with minimal complications.
The CDC has given guidelines to schools on the controls they can implement to control the spread of COVID-19. Policies may include the use of barriers, such as a student sneeze guard. But it must also involve adherence to protocols to ensure that the implementation of policies is effective.