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Social Distancing in Schools

 
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Social Distancing in Schools
by Loseti Mahe - Friday, 17 April 2020, 11:43 AM
 

The object of social distancing is to increase the space between members of the school community to reduce unintended exposures.

To achieve social distancing and comply with the National Covid-19 Restrictions Notice these are some of the strategies and instructions to schools:

Classroom Spaces

  • Cancel assemblies (or have it in outer space with ample spaces between students)
  • Arrange student desks to maximize the space between students.
  • Turn desks to face in the same direction, unless you have ample spaces between students, to reduce possible transmission caused from virus-containing droplets (e.g., from talking, coughing, sneezing).
  • Consider using visual aids (e.g., painter’s tape, markers, stickers, etc.) to illustrate traffic flow and appropriate spacing to support social distancing.
  • Increase number of wash basins to provide better access and maximize space between members of the school when washing their hands. Install additional water basins in bigger schools.

Hygiene

  • Provide appropriate cleaning supplies (e.g., disinfectant) for cleaning high touch areas e.g door knobs, desks.
  • Establish handwashing routines. Staff and students to at least wash hands upon entering and leaving schools. This can be later expanded to washing their hands when leaving classrooms.
  • Provide soaps for members of school to wash their hands with.
  • Educate students on the importance of avoiding touching their faces.
  • Educate students on covid-19 and importance of following directions of authorities.

Transportation

  • Consider staggering arrival/departure times as well as lunch times.
  • Consider multiple entry points/gates to the school to avoid congestion.
  • Encourage more transportation options. This week government will provide additional buses to lighten load of existing buses.

Health and well being

  • Ensure staff policies support Members (students and staff) stay home when sick
  • Provide health/covid19 awareness posters, handouts etc
  • Consider providing pastoral care at primary level. Currently most of secondary schools do have this service
  • Keep registry of contact numbers of parents and essential services
  • If we have a confirmed covid19 case we will close school if directed by Ministry of Health otherwise:
  • Allow students to home school if they have underlying high-risk medical   conditions

  • Allow students to home school if people at their homes have underlying high risk medical conditions

  • Allow staff who have underlying high-risk medical conditions to work from home