Five Tips To Limit The Spread Of Illness In Facilities
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the common cold results in nearly 22 million lost school days, annually. With students and faculty now back at school, Cintas Corporation released five essential tips for mitigating the spread of pathogens throughout educational facilities. These tips will assist schools in maintaining a healthy environment, particularly in the build-up to this year’s cold and flu season.
“Schools can be a breeding ground for illness-causing germs that result in reduced student and staff productivity and even prolonged absences. Maintaining high hygiene standards is essential for reducing the spread of pathogens in schools,” said John Engel, Director of Marketing – Facility Services, Cintas Corporation. “These best practices are easy to implement on a daily basis and help promote a healthy environment.”
The tips for limiting the spread of illnesses include:
1. Wash hands regularly and properly: Frequent hand washing is a vital task that can help limit the spread of infection. Washing hands after touching the nose, eyes, mouth and face also reduces the likelihood of infections. Scrubbing hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds is important for the effective removal of pathogens. Use hand sanitizer to further disinfect or when hand washing is not possible.
2. Utilize a group effort: School faculty and students can help minimize the spread of germs by remaining diligent about throwing away items like used tissues and paper towels and leftover food. To help janitors clean high-touch surfaces like classroom desks, countertops and lunch room tables more easily, everyone should aim to keep these areas clear of miscellaneous items and debris.
3. Focus on cleaning inconspicuous areas: Some areas and items may be overlooked by busy janitors but still need routine cleaning. These include handles for cabinets, lockers and doors, water fountains, heating and cooling vents and equipment like sports gear. Between custodial cleanings, staff should also disinfect high-touch items like desks and chairs, books and even e-learning tools and accessories like tablets, computers, keyboards and mice.
4. Limit contact with others and communal items: The CDC notes that the flu virus can remain on surfaces for up to 48 hours. During months when illnesses like cold and flu are more prevalent, maintain adequate personal space and avoid shaking hands or touching others. Students and staff should also avoid directly touching communal items like staplers, desk phones and lunch trays unless they choose to disinfect hands before and after.
5. If you show symptoms, stay at home: Sometimes taking a sick day is the best solution to illness, despite having deadlines to meet. Getting extra sleep, taking medication to ease symptoms and limiting exertion can help speed up recovery and limit the spread of illness to others. If taking the day off is not an option, request to see if working or learning from home is a possibility.