The protection of children and educational facilities from COVID-19 is essential. Precautions are required to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 in school environments; still, care must be taken to avoid disgracing students and staff who the virus may have endangered.
The general preventive measures of COVID-19 involve simple public health measures to decrease the risk of acquiring COVID-19. These measures have to be followed by all faculty, students, employees, and visitors in skill or entrepreneurship training organizations, higher educational institutions conducting doctoral courses, and post-graduate studies in technical and professional programs requiring laboratory or experimental work. Preventive measures such as good hygiene practices, handwashing, cough etiquette, disinfection of surfaces, and social distancing, are significant weapons against COVID-19. Importantly, the ones who are eligible to be vaccinated, should get the shot before entering the educational institutions to avoid unwanted spread of infection.
COVID-19 is a modified strain of coronavirus that has not been identified earlier in humans. The COVID-19 is a respiratory illness disorder that was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.
The symptoms may include:
Loss of taste and smell sensation.
Discoloration of fingers and toes.
Irritation and redness in the eyes.
Serious symptoms of COVID-19 include:
Pain in the chest.
Loss of speech or mobility.
Getting the vaccination according to the local guidelines is an important step to prevent COVID-19. Herd immunity can be developed in the population either from vaccination or previous infection, which helps in breaking the chain of transmission.
Regular hand washing is one of the principal ways to help stop the transmission of coronavirus.
If a person cannot use soap and water, they can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 % alcohol.
People should not rub their eyes, nose, and mouth with their hands, especially if dirty, leading to transferring the virus to the eyes, nose, or mouth and entering the body.
Older individuals or people with severe illnesses like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes should stay away from infected people following social distancing.
People with a fever, cough, or breathing difficulty in an area with a COVID-19 disorder should seek medical advice.
Every individual needs to have a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places as far as possible.
People must wear face covers or masks at all times while in public places by properly covering the nose and the mouth. They should not touch the front portion of the mask or face cover.
People should follow strict respiratory behavior like closing one's mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing with a tissue, handkerchief, or flexed elbow and properly disposing the used items.
Spitting in public should be strictly prohibited.
Staff and students attending the educational institutions should be made sure they are fully vaccinated. Vaccination certificates should be made mandatory for all those entering the institution.
Management should make it essential for students and staff to get tested for COVID-19 72 hours before entering the institution.
Institutions that are conducting skill or entrepreneurship training institutions, higher educational institutions teaching doctoral courses, and post-graduate studies should only be allowed to open outside the restriction zones. Further, students and staff living in restriction zones should not be permitted to visit the Institution. Staff and students should also be instructed not to go to areas falling under containment zones.
Any students, parents, young people, carers, or visitors should not enter the childcare or education institution if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
Before resumption of activities, all work areas intended for the conduct of skill or entrepreneurship training, doctoral courses, and post-graduate studies, including hostels, other common utility areas, and laboratories, should be sanitized with 1 % Sodium Hypochlorite solution, with special attention to constantly touched surfaces.
Wherever skill-based training on equipment is predicted to be utilized, place the equipment 6 feet apart, wherever possible, to promote physical distancing. Similarly, use any outdoor space by relocating equipment outside like in the verandah, courtyard, shed, etc.
Instead of biometric attendance, alternate arrangements for contactless attendance may be made.
To secure queue management, make specific markings on the floor with a gap of 6 feet.
The institute should display state helpline numbers and numbers of local health authorities etc., to faculty, trainees, or staff to contact in case of any emergency.
All air conditioning agents' temperature settings should be between 24-30 Celsius.
Lockers of students will be in use as long as physical distancing and general disinfection are maintained.
Prominent display of the signages, banners, and standees must intimate the dos and don'ts for the staff and students.
1. Appropriate backup stock of personal protection objects like face covers or masks, visors, hand sanitizers, etc., shall be made ready by management to the students and staff.
2. Provide a sufficient supply of thermal guns, alcohol wipes or 1% sodium hypochlorite solutions, disposable paper towels, soap, and IEC materials.
3. A pulse oximeter to check the oxygen saturation levels of any symptomatic person must be arranged.
4. Ensure availability of adequately covered dustbins and trash cans.
5. Provision for proper disposal of used personal protection items and general waste.
6. Housekeeping staff to be informed and trained about norms for waste management and disposal.
At the Entry Point:
Only asymptomatic persons (faculty, employees, students, and visitors) are allowed on the premises. If a faculty, employee, student, or visitor is symptomatic, they should be referred to the nearest health center.
Posters or standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 should be displayed prominently.
Proper crowd management in the corridors, parking lots, and lifts duly allowed by the administration or any out-sourced agencies shall regulate physical distancing measures.
Entry of visitors should be strictly controlled or restricted.
Seating arrangement in the classroom to be ensured with 6 feet distance between chairs, desks, etc.
Wavering of classroom exercises, with separate timing slots, allows for adequate physical distancing and classroom disinfection.
Academic scheduling should have an inter-mix of general classroom teaching and online teaching or evaluations. The teaching faculty will ensure that they and the students wear masks during the teaching hours.
Sharing of items like laptops, stationery, notebooks, etc., amongst students should be prevented as much as possible.
Ensure that the equipment has been sanitized, particularly the constantly touched surfaces, before each use.
Ensure that members sanitize their hands before and after using training tools. For such a purpose, hand sanitizer should be provided at workstations or simulation labs.
Students who are not residents of the city or town, do not have any assistance at home, or do not have a facility for online education may be prioritized for the allotment of hostel rooms.
Asymptomatic people having any contact or those who traveled from an infected area must be adequately screened.
Students coming from various locations should bring negative RT-PCR reports, as per State protocols, and self-monitor their health for 14 days.
Screening of every person staying in the hostel needs to be done before they start staying at the hostel. Only asymptomatic people should be allowed to join.
Proper crowd management in the hostel and outside premises like parking lots duly following physical distancing measures shall be ensured.
In shared rooms or hostels, the beds should be placed at a distance of 6 feet from each other.
Temporary partitions may be considered, if possible.
Any symptomatic student should be quickly given a single room and implemented with necessary medical care.
Floors to be cleaned every day with a disinfectant.
Cleaning and regular disinfection using 1 % Sodium Hypochlorite to be done infrequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, handrails, chairs, elevator buttons, benches, washroom fixtures, etc., to be made mandatory in classrooms, lockers, laboratories, parking areas, and other common areas, before the beginning of classes and at the end of the day.
Teaching materials like computers, laptops, printers shall be regularly disinfected with a 70 % alcohol wipe.
Should ensure deep cleaning of all drinking and handwashing stations, washrooms, and lavatories.
Should ensure disposal of used face covers or masks in separate covered bins.
Residential buildings, if any, also need to be sanitized regularly.
Therefore, following the norms below will help students and staff stay safe even in educational and teaching institutions:
1. Encouraging the students and parents to get the vaccine shots to prevent unnecessary infection with COVID-19.
2. Promoting behaviors that decrease the spread of COVID-19.
3. Sustaining healthy environments.
4. Maintaining healthy operations.
5. Preparing for when someone gets sick.
Besides the advantages that the online classes have offered in the pandemic, it also holds a few drawbacks. Only with proper preventive measures running educational institutions is feasible. Following prophylactic steps helps in putting a stop to the transmission of COVID-19, thereby paving the way for a return to normality.
Last reviewed at:
10 May 2022 - 7 min read
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