For many schools this year that chose to reopen and move beyond distance learning, ‘Back to School’ came with COVID-19 school readiness plans and new protocols that staff and students had to comply with and adapt to along with their reliance on hygiene service providers.
Some schools that re-opened recently have already suffered the consequences of positive COVID-19 cases popping up and have experienced closures. Hence, we are sharing the following information to support educational institutions and their service providers by providing a clearer picture of the best biosecurity practices. This article will also highlight information about the healthiest and safest products for students and staff, doing away with the need for unnecessary systemic toxicity while navigating pandemic procedures.
The UAE Ministry of Education as well as the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai have offered clear protocols for all schools as a primary resource for school readiness. As a biotechnology manufacturer in the hygiene space, our focus is on biosecurity for all readiness plans globally.
As service providers and applicators, being able to provide a holistic solution to support clients in educational spaces definitely gives you an edge in client acquirement and retention at this time. It also supports a highly stressed core service in our communities that currently need the extra help to be armed with the right practices for the safety of all, while avoiding the consequences of closures on schools and their patrons.
Here are our recommendations:
1. Entry & pick up points
Schools should already have screening check points for temperature checks - automated through infrared or direct checks - and appropriate mask wearing checks. Disinfection gates are also a great addition to reducing contamination; although, the WHO has recently stated some degree of inefficacy to disfavor dependency on them. Additionally, the variety of disinfection gates is vast and does not always offer enough coverage for their claims.
However, with the appropriate coverage through nozzles, disinfection gates remain a great biosecurity addition to such points, and as a disinfectant manufacturer, we at ecabiotec Middle East hold a roster of recommended gate manufacturers based on efficacy. And we connect our B2B end users for such utility support, as required.
2. Fogging internal spaces and direct surface fogging of high contact outdoor areas
In normal cases, and after various tests in the UAE, treatment using our fogging solution ANOSAN ECO® carried out twice a week in classrooms and other heavy-use areas is extremely effective when combined with the required cleaning and general hygienic maintenance.
This frequency, however, is not pertinent to critical conditions such as outbreaks. It is a maintenance strategy for an optimum level of hygiene safety, and an appropriate frequency of application to protect against critical pathogenic accumulation that would lead to infection, bacterial-induced odor, and/or critical mold growth.
We based this frequency on facilities that are considered open indoor areas - (high traffic, high entry and exit) with a higher time spend (or exposure) for individuals of different ages, often with a large number of individuals who are younger with developing immune systems - and retain higher chances of infection.
In the case of this pandemic, twice a week remains sufficient on the condition that no positive cases are reported. Once infection is proven, an immediate treatment to the entire facility as per authority guidelines is required.
3. AC duct cleaning & disinfection
As evidence shows, the virus can remain airborne depending on several factors. Immediate steps towards eliminating airborne transmission within buildings include strict compliance with AC duct cleaning & disinfection schedules. Our routine internal space fogging protocols include keeping all HVAC systems on air circulation mode while fogging all air outlets directly to disinfect and eliminate any lingering pathogens.
We emphasize upon the importance of using high-grade natural products. We believe that high exposure to the regular hygiene and safety products can have harmful effects on staff and students alike. They can present in allergies, sensitivities, headaches and lowering of the immune system, which opposes health and safety advocacy during a pandemic.
Fogging all internal surfaces in school buses to reach hard-to-reach areas and with the AC on air circulation mode after regular cleaning is an important hygiene and safety practice during the pandemic. This also provides the added benefit of protecting the bus interiors from mold and bad odors.
5. Hand Sanitization
Hand hygiene is not only personal protection that must be encouraged in schools but must start at home. Along with soaps required for proper hand hygiene, we highly recommend that schools be stocked with effective and hypoallergenic hand sanitizers around classrooms, cafeteria tables, and bathrooms.
Our SOLVID® Aqua and Gel line avoids all negative effects that have been a result of increased hand sanitizer usage. It is not only pH neutral, non-drying and hypoallergenic, but is also safe to ingest especially in the case of younger students who may be prone to thumb sucking and other tendencies.
We have several other solutions for safe and natural sanitization and hygiene. To reach out for a free consultation, training and certification on our products, or learn more about ecabiotec Middle East Manufacturing LLC, visit www.ecabiotec-me.com
About the Author: Lamis Bin Harib is the CEO of ecabiotec Middle East Manufacturing LLC.