Flu season is in full swing and germs and viruses are having a field day with staff and students inhabiting schools. With such a large concentration of individuals interacting with the same set of environments and surfaces each day, the spreading—and subsequent thriving—of nasty bugs and viruses is booming. With this year’s rate of hospitalization due to influenza being the highest in nearly a decade1, solutions must be sought to keep schools safe for students and staff. There are basic steps educational institutions should take to decrease the amount of debilitating bugs living in their environments.
- The first countermeasure is hanging signs reminding staff and students about proper ways to sneeze, cough and wash hands to prevent the spread of germs.
- Another effective strategy is providing hand sanitizer in high traffic areas. Use of hand sanitizer reduces the amount of germs and viruses on an individual’s hands, and subsequently, on door handles, keyboards and other pathogen prone surfaces.
- Finally, staff and students who are ill should be told to stay home if possible. An adult or student sick with the flu is contagious one day prior to showing symptoms and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick2. The best way to make sure a nasty bug doesn’t end up infecting the majority of staff or students is to keep the virus out of the building in the first place.
These tips won’t guarantee the thwarting of disease in your school; but waiting until the outbreak is severe isn’t the best course of action. Preemptive, thorough cleaning is critical to keeping harmful pathogens in your school at bay. Using a commercial cleaning company that brings experts and specialized cleaning methods to the table is a smart decision for any school.