Today’s Solutions: October 16, 2021

The continued spread of the Delta variant is a big concern for parents sending their children back to school, especially parents of those too young to be vaccinated. The highly contagious nature of Delta makes classroom infection prevention precautions even more important. Here are some critical measures schools can employ to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Enforce mask wearing 

Researchers in North Carolina found that stringent mask wearing can cut the spread of Covid-19 transmission down to below three percent. Having children and teachers wear masks that are free of gaps and comfortable for all day use is one of the best ways to keep everyone healthy.

Improve indoor ventilation 

Covid-19 spreads primarily through the air, so improving indoor ventilation also cuts down on the spread of the disease. Opening windows and when possible boosts ventilation and schools can invest in portable nondispersive infrared (NDIR) carbon dioxide meters to assess how effective ventilation methods are at clearing exhaled CO2 from rooms.

Invest in portable air filters

Portable HEPA filters boost ventilation removing viral particles from the air. A large filter should be placed at the center of the room to be the most effective. These filters are extra beneficial in regions also facing air pollution from wildfire smoke.

Move things outdoors 

The improved ventilation of outdoor spaces cuts down on the transmission of viral particles. When possible, move activities outside, especially those in which children are removing their masks, like eating lunch.

Remember physical distancing 

Physical distancing still plays a role in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Experts recommend keeping desks three feet apart when possible.

Get vaccinated if you can 

Children under the age of 12 are too young for the Covid-19 vaccine, but boosting the vaccination rate of adults around them helps create a protective bubble of sorts in their day to day lives. Research from Israel demonstrates that lower Covid-19 infection rates are lower in children when high proportions of their family and friends are vaccinated.

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