Cleaning and ventilation in educational institutions
Cleaning and Ventilation in Schools and Childcare Programs
Cleaning and ventilation are the essential components of maintaining healthy environments and are crucial COVID-19 prevention strategies for schools and childcare programs. Wearing a well-fitting, multi-layer mask helps prevent virus particles from entering the air or being breathed in by the person wearing a mask.
Per the sanitary rules applicable in educational institutions (except for preschool) in Armenia to prevent COVID-19 from spreading:
- At the entrance, in the classrooms, bathrooms, corridors, administrative area, closeable trash cans with pedals or sensor-controlled lids are installed marked “Used Masks” to dispose of used masks and other personal protection items.
- At the entrance, in the classrooms, bathrooms, hand disinfection containers are installed with at least 70% alcohol-based antiseptic/disinfectant for mandatory disinfection of each individual entering the area.
-For students, staff, and visitors, wearing masks is mandatory, changing those every 3-4 hours and as needed.
-In the institution, an area (isolation room) is allotted where students and staff members with typical COVID-19 symptoms like coughing, fever, difficulty breathing are isolated, meanwhile informing about it to the relevant priority healthcare center and the parent.
Disinfection requirements for the institutional areas
-Each day, before the beginning of the lessons, the surfaces in the institution, including door handles, tabletops, and other high touch surfaces (electric switches, equipment handles, remote controls, shared phones, computers, keyboards, mice, etc.), are disinfected with 70-90% alcohol-based or other (with antiviral effect against membranous viruses) disinfectants.
-If the educational process is organized with shifts on the same day, then the disinfection procedure is also carried out between the shifts, for which sufficient time is provided for the disinfection during the particular break.
- The Institution ensures adequate natural ventilation at least 3 times a day for 8-10 minutes.
- The Institution provides handwashing facilities with running water, arm or foot-controlled taps, soap, and if these are not possible to provide, then immediate disinfection should be ensured.
-Used masks and other personal protection items should be collected in hermetically sealed bags and disposed of with household waste.
Good ventilation is another step that can reduce the number of virus particles in the air. Along with other preventive actions, ventilation can reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease. Below are ways you can improve ventilation in your school or childcare program.
Bring in as much outdoor air as possible
• If safe to do so, open windows and doors. Even cracking open a window or door helps increase outdoor airflow, which helps reduce the potential concentration of virus particles in the air.
• Consider having activities, classes, or lunches outdoors when circumstances allow2.
Use exhaust fans in restrooms and kitchens
• Inspect and maintain exhaust ventilation systems in restrooms and kitchens.
• Ensure restroom and kitchen exhaust fans are on and operating at full capacity. At the same time, the school or childcare program is occupied for 2 hours afterward.
Open windows in transportation vehicles
• Ventilation is essential on buses and vans servicing schools and childcare programs and other strategies such as mask use for people over 5 years old and physical distancing.
• Keep vehicle windows open when it does not create a safety or health hazard. Of course, having more windows open is more helpful, but even just cracking a few windows open is better than keeping all windows closed.