Whether you own or manage a business, or are preparing for a return to the classroom, being informed about how America can safely return to work and school is essential at this time.
Employees and students are slowly returning to the workplace and school after months of staying at home due to COVID-19 guidelines. As restrictions vary and slowly begin to lift in stages, employers and parents are shifting their thoughts to learning how to best protect workers and students against the spread of disease. Keeping things clean and safe is a top priority now.
Here are some suggestions from respected sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help you prepare as an employer or parent.
Start with a plan that identifies what needs to be cleaned and how often. Some items will need disinfecting (read on!), so include these items specifically in the plan. Then implement the plan and revise it as necessary.
As a responsible employer, you will want to take any reasonable and necessary steps to create a safe and healthy workplace for employees and clients. In addition to implementing policies and procedures or tackling larger projects (like improving ventilation systems), routine cleaning and disinfecting are an important part of maintaining a healthy business environment.
According to the CDC, “Normal routine cleaning with soap and water removes germs and dirt from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection.” Simply wiping down surfaces with soap and warm water can reduce the presence of germs. Generally speaking, surfaces and objects that are not being touched frequently do not require additional disinfection.
However, high touch surfaces will require not only more frequent cleaning, but also disinfecting.
After routine cleaning, frequently touched surfaces and objects should be disinfected. Disinfectants actually kill germs on surfaces, according to the CDC. Some examples of these surfaces are:
Remember, if a frequently touched surface is in a public area, such as shopping carts or point of sale keypads, it may need cleaning and disinfecting after each use. The (EPA) published a list of effective disinfectants. If you are ready to open for business and need a thorough cleaning and disinfecting, call Restoration1 and let us do the work for you!
Preparing for school this fall will go far beyond backpacks and school supplies. For schools that will open, there will likely be many new policies in effect. Start your planning by becoming familiar with these policies. Check out the CDC website for detailed information, but here are some important steps to get you started:
Before the School Year Begins
Emphasize and model healthy behaviors at home, including frequent hand washing/sanitizing and wearing a mask when appropriate. Talk to your child about not sharing water bottles with others and practicing social distancing. Also, talk about the changes in school policies, including the possibility that – due to a potential spike in cases – virtual and/or at-home learning may resume.
Make sure your child is up to date on all recommended vaccines, including the flu vaccine (if it is appropriate for your child). The CDC recommends that all school-aged children should get the flu vaccine, especially this year. Check with your child’s pediatrician to find out what is appropriate for your child.
Now it’s time to prepare for the first day of class!
Back to School
If you live in an area where schools will be open, you will want to add a few extra items to your back-to-school checklist.
- If your child has signs of illness, such as a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches, keep them home.
- Identify the point of contact (name and contact information) for your child and notify the school, in case your child becomes ill.
- Pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer in your child’s backpack (check to see if it is safe or has been recalled, here), show them how much to use, and discuss how often to use it.
- Be familiar with how the school will communicate with families if there is a positive COVID-19 case.
- Become familiar with rules affecting a school bus ride, such as spaced seating and wearing masks, and discuss the importance of following them.
- Find out how the school plans to enforce “best practices,” such as social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing.
Returning to school this fall might feel anything but normal. But you can do your part to make sure children, teachers, and staff are as safe as possible by incorporating these suggestions into your family’s routine.
Whether you own or manage a business, or are preparing for a return to the classroom, being informed about how America can safely return to work and school is essential at this time. Do your part and together we can move forward safely into the future!