Monday, April 13, 2020

Keeping it clean. The classroom, of course.

Should we be thinking about how work will work once we can get back to a work space? Absolutely.

I like the concept outlined in this article, which will work for some places but not for many simply because they don't have the space or the kind of business doesn't really allow for 6 feet of separation, and that's not just restaurants. Schools, for example.

Should we be mindful of the possibility of another viral outbreak? Certainly. If nothing else we have learned that not having a plan for containment and deploying resources (and actually having resources) increases the probability of deaths.

It makes sense for any work place to review its HVAC system but also to review how they keep workplaces clean. And requiring people to wash their hands. (I am always surprised and grossed out by the number of adults who do not wash their hands before they leave the restroom.)

Most schools, like hospitals, are already very good at making sure there is sanitizer in and around classrooms. Teachers generally have wipes on their classroom list. I can see teachers adding to their routines the wiping down of handles and lots of other things that they and students touch throughout the day.

In elementary schools I can see teachers making "clean breaks" part of the daily routine--students clean their desks and chairs when they come in; and clean them when they come back from lunch, from recess, from specials, and then before they leave at the end of the day.

I can see adding a cleaning manager to the helpers list so there is someone to help hand out wipes and then bring the trash can around so students can throw them away, but also to help the teacher wipe down various things in the classroom.

I can see custodial routines being changed to include deep sanitizing, perhaps once a month, with essential sanitizing every day and more substantial sanitizing at the end of each week. I'd make that Level 1 for essential, Level 2 for significant, and Level 3 for deep.

Students would have to learn to do their parts to help keep their classrooms and buildings clean, so no casually dropping litter on the floor with the expectation that an adult will clean up after them. Making sure kids of all ages know how to blow their noses--and wash their hands; and cough--and wash their hands.

As for maintaining six feet of separation, that is just not possible in a classroom. But making the routine of cleaning one's space just a part of what happens during a school day and at every grade level is at least a step towards providing some level of containment and protection.

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