Hygiene critical as schools reopen

30th of October 2020
Hygiene critical as schools reopen

As schools across Italy reopen, there is a heightened awareness of hygiene - explains Anna Garbagna.

The long-awaited day of school reopening finally arrived but this event, even though families, teachers and students were wishing for it, it is still a cause for concern.

As far as hygiene and safety are concerned, Afidamp, the association representing producers and distributors of products and machines for the professional cleaning sector, has given its advice consisting of some simple basic rules which will help the community to safeguard everyone’s health and above all to contain the virus.

Primarily it is necessary that schools have implemented standardised good practices for cleaning and sanitising their rooms. As already highlighted by Afidamp in the case of other facilities, for venues where there was total absence of workers during phase one of the emergency, it is sufficient to deep clean without using  disinfectants. This is because the virus does not remain on surfaces for a long time. However, deep cleaning must be flanked by disinfestation of the rooms because other infesting agents could be present.

Schools however must follow special procedures because they are a different kind of community which can become an involuntary vehicle for spreading the virus. Social media and notice boards are useful platforms to post details of the measures that have been implemented in every educational institution. The absolutely recommended practices include: at the entrance of the school premises, the availability of dispensers of alcohol based cleaning solution containing a minimum of 70 per cent alcohol for hand sanitising and the option of cleaning shoes on sanitised mats or runners.

It is also advisable to limit as much as possible the duration of stay of other people within the school buildings and dedicated areas/pathways should be provided for them.

For daily cleaning, it should be noted the required procedures must be carried out once a day, with increased frequency and better attention to the cleansing and disinfection of all high-risk surfaces which are more in contact with the hands of students and members of staff. Once again, it is vital to use professional cleaning products specifically designed to tackle the more complex kinds of dirt and contamination than found in domestic situations.

Professional products also have technical and safety data sheets indicating clearly the dilution rate and area of use. Another precious piece of advice is to always use disinfecting agents indicating PMC (Medical Surgical Device), which guarantee the antibacterial and antiviral effectiveness according to regulation EN 14476.

Last but not least, it is good practice to guarantee adequate ventilation and change of air at all times, by opening windows in the morning before the start of activities and then periodically opening them for about 15 minutes at a time, depending on weather conditions.

In the case of use of aeraulic systems (from air vent systems to splits) it is necessary to ensure the correct maintenance of their hygiene via regular technical inspections to verify contamination levels. It is vital to use suppliers with the required standards for this type of procedure and never leave anything to chance.


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