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Infection Prevention and Control in Schools

Dec 21,2020 by Edulab

Everyone is fully aware of the impact Coronavirus has had on virtually every industry, household, workplace and school.

However, during hard times the hard work, determination, innovation and ingenuity of a person has the ability to bring about fresh optimism and hope. Only recently we’ve received the amazing and historic news that a vaccine has started to be rolled out amongst those who need it most.

It’s not a Silver Bullet

However, just because most people in the UK will have access to a vaccination within the next year, that doesn’t mean the threat of Coronavirus and other similar viruses, will have diminished. You still need protection and you still need to protect your staff and in the case of schools, your pupils.

Social distancing guidelines and standard cleaning products will only take you so far. Schools and businesses need to employ the same rigorous standards as the healthcare industry. The government has recently announced wants as many schools as possible to bring in testing from 4 January, in order to “clamp down” on the virus after the Christmas break.

You need to ensure your working environments are cleaned and disinfected with the correct and certified products that will ensure your facility is completely safe.

A troubling reality

Inivos employees recently visited a local primary school to see what methods and practices they were using to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infections.

“The school were trying their best to employ the correct government guidelines, but unfortunately some of what they were doing came up a little short. When inspecting the types of cleaning agents they were using to clean apparatus and learning environments, I was shocked to see standard cleaning products being used.”

One of the biggest problems with the guidelines that schools have received is that there is so much to read and understand. Couple that with limited budgets and the fact that all this is entirely new to schools are struggling to know what is actually needed to adequately disinfect areas of use. We can imagine there are a lot of schools in the same position.

Hand sanitiser and welfare testing stations are great additions, but with winter now upon us and unless you clean every room to healthcare sector standards, you’ll still have a problem with staff and pupils spreading infections and viruses.

Preventing and controlling infections in schools the right way

If you’re going to manually deep clean all areas of the school and any apparatus, EduLab can help make sure you’re using medical grade cleaning products to effectively combat viruses. From sporadical sachets that have a revolutionary formula to Inivos’ universal disinfectant spray, we have what you need to keep your school safe.

However, manual deep cleaning is simply the minimum requirement to help control the spread of the Coronavirus, and often isn’t enough on its own . Particles of airborne viruses are easily transmitted, which means they’re able to cover a large surface area, and with this method of cleaning human error is unavoidable.

The risk of becoming infected is also heightened by the very nature of how COVID-19 spreads via these airborne droplets, meaning the virus can linger in the air for a prolonged period of time. And as we have seen since the start of the 2020 school year, if one pupil or staff member becomes infected, the virus has the potential to spread through the entire classroom very rapidly.

Manual cleaning isn’t enough

To aide manual cleaning methods, schools can utilise Ultraviolet-C sterilisation and decontamination technology to ensure classrooms are a safe learning environment and the air they breathe is clean.  This technology is already being used to great effect in hospitals and other healthcare settings and has provide invaluable in keeping infection rates low.

Within our extensive range of sterilisation equipment, we have two products which we think will be hughely beneficial to any school looking to reduce manual cleaning time and decrease their infection rates. The Viralair-UV air steriliser will eliminate airborne bacteria and viruses in minutes. This portable until can be easily moved from classroom to classroom removing harmful particles from the air your staff and pupils breath, meaning you won’t have to open windows during the winter to ventilate the rooms.

EduLab’s partnership with leading medical technology experts Inivos, also means schools all over the UK can now gain access to the health industry’s foremost decontamination service.

By utilising a regulated vaporisation system such as Deprox for bio-decontaminating enclosed spaces or the Ultra-V™ UV-C system, which will decontaminate large areas in less than an hour by light emitted through 10 powerful lamps. This will mean you can decontaminate apparatus like lab trolleys an equipment simultaneously, meaning you don’t have to wait 72 hours before they can be reused.

We’re here for you

Now more than ever infection levels in schools are under intense scrutiny.  Secondary schools in particular have become sources of high infection rates, in some cases fuelling rises in community transmission.  The recent government announcement that schools are to rollout their own testing procedures will only heighten the attention given to school outbreaks.  Furthermore, as we head closer to the summer term and exam season, schools need to be taking whatever precautions they can to ensure their pupils assessments can go ahead as smoothly as possible.

Edulab can help with its new and innovative solutions.  With its vast experience in working in healthcare settings, Edulab is ideally placed to share this knowledge with schools and ensure that they too can benefit from simpler and more effective infection control in a very cost-effective way.