As Delta Variant cases are on the rise, parents are seeking information, advice, and reassurance on how to best proceed and prepare for this upcoming Fall 2021 School Semester. K-12 Schools’ top priorities are the health, safety, and education of every child. Provided below are some helpful tips to help navigate this upcoming semester.
CDC Mitigation Strategies
The 2020 school year was successful in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 by implementing CDC’s recommended guidelines. Please keep in mind that recent state legislature may not allow mask mandates.
CDC guidelines suggest:
- Vaccination is currently the lead public health prevention strategy
- Correct use and implementation of facial coverings/masks for unvaccinated individuals (ages 2 and older)
- Social/physical distancing of at least 3 feet within classrooms
- Proper ventilation, hand washing and respiratory etiquette along with surface cleaning/disinfecting
- Anyone showing signs of illness should stay home and be referred to their health care provider for testing
CDC guidelines also emphasize the importance of localities to monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening/testing, and occurrence of outbreaks.
High Risk Student Considerations
If a student is considered high risk, it is important to speak with their associated health care physician to know and understand the risks of attending school in-person this fall. Many schools are no longer offering an online learning option and are only able to suggest that students, faculty, and staff wear masks due to legislation not allowing mask mandates. If a student’s risk is severe, it may be necessary to consider a homeschooling option if it is a viable option.
School Building Ventilation
Maintaining adequate building ventilation will be very important. This is something that can be achieved differently for each school. Safety concerns and building security will need to be taken into account when coming up with a proper building ventilation plan. Opening windows and doors to improve fresh air intake could potentially leave gaps in your school building’s security. Consult with your local safety and security resources to develop a proper building ventilation plan that won’t increase building security risk. If it is determined that no windows or doors can be left open, HVAC equipment will be the main option to improve ventilation.
Proper HVAC maintenance, system settings, and ensuring that all HVAC equipment meets or exceeds code requirements is a huge component towards proper building ventilation.
Some things to consider when improving building ventilation:
- Increase outside air intake and circulation
- Insure all building fans are functioning properly
- Double check that filters are sized appropriately and changed regularly
- Consider implementing ultraviolet germicidal irradiation
If weather permits, taking the learning experience outdoors may be a great option. Be sure to encourage and follow any mitigation strategies that are currently in place even in an outside environment.
Accurate Visitor Log
If a situation does arise where individuals need to be located to insure everyone’s safety, an accurate and readily accessible visitor log would be an ideal tool for these types of scenarios. Visitor Aware provides a streamlined cloud based visitor management system that can be accessed via any desktop or mobile device. Schools that implement Visitor Aware’s visitor management solution are also granted access to visitor screening, volunteer management, emergency management, safety tip line functionality, as well as many more beneficial features that come in handy for tackling daily school responsibilities and tasks.
CDC Health Screening Tool
A CDC health screening process is beneficial towards preventing a K-12 school health crisis. Visitor Aware provides this optional health screening feature within their visitor management software and can be enabled/disabled pending current circumstances and/or guidelines. Visitor Aware’s health screening questions are vetted and used by the CDC as a way to detect who may potentially spread disease if allowed entry into your building. Some screening procedures may build from this knowledge to provide additional guidelines and questions.
The most efficient way of maintaining an accurate visitor log and implementing a health screening process is through the visitor management process itself. By implementing a cloud based visitor management system, your k-12 school effectively and efficiently screens each and every visitor while taking every step possible to insure the health and safety of everyone within your school building. Visitor Aware‘s visitor management process limits the amount of time a potentially ill visitor spends inside of a K-12 school building by making the screening process as streamlined as possible. Each K-12 school visitor will also undergo a national and international watch list check along with being screened against the National Sex Offender Registry – all of which takes mere seconds to complete. Visitor Aware is also HIPAA compliant and supports the use of contactless temperature detection.
Visitor Aware supports k-12 schools in their daily quest to remain open while keeping their students, faculty and staff safe in the process. So, what what will schools look like this upcoming 2021 fall semester? Schools will be taking every precaution possible in order to keep in-person learning open and continuing for children. Are you ready to improve the health and safety of your K-12 school? Reach out to us today – We’re here to support you!
Have questions or comments?
Feel free to give us a call 602-362-8008 to setup an appointment for a screen share demonstration of Visitor Aware today – We look forward to hearing from you!
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Stay up to date with CDC Guidelines and recommendations via the CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.