Be Ready for Back to School: The Importance of Having an Effective Disinfection Strategy
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Timely insights on whole room disinfection.

EducationSeptember 12, 2022

Be Ready for Back to School: The Importance of Having an Effective Disinfection Strategy

With school starting once again, it’s more important than ever to understand how illnesses in an educational setting can spread—and know how to mitigate pathogens before they have an opportunity to sicken students, staff, and administrators. It’s thus crucial to have a proper disinfection strategy in place to help minimize virus outbreaks.  

Schools and universities often experience a larger number of contacts due to being a high traffic environment. While as of August 31, 2022, 17.5 million U.S. children ages 12-17 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (about 70% of children), it’s still necessary to keep up you’re your disinfection practices, as infections can spread easily through direct and indirect transmission.

Using layered prevention strategies such as vaccination and disinfection is important to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19, as well as other viruses like the flu, norovirus and Monkeypox. In this blog post, we will review why the school environment is vulnerable for the spreading of pathogens, share some tips on incorporating the right tools and processes in your disinfection strategy, and show how the right disinfection system can help schools mitigate germs.

How Illnesses Spread Easily in Educational Facilities

Even after more than two years of COVID-19, some schools may still lack standard infection control practices, and even more might follow inadequate cleaning protocols. Prior to the pandemic, infection control and prevention were not a key focus for schools, which made implementing hygiene intervention strategies challenging. This lack of disinfection strategy results in an increased risk of outbreaks within educational settings, as well as at home and in the community. Recent data from the United Kingdom showed an association between regional COVID-19 cases and cases in schools. For every five additional cases per 100,000 population in regional incidents, the risk of a school outbreak increased by 72%.

Due to being in close quarters and sharing supplies in school, students and teachers may easily come into contact with pathogens like norovirus, flu, rhinovirus, and MRSA. For instance, the flu virus can potentially cause infection for up to 48 hours after landing a surface, and bacteria like MRSA can survive on surface areas for hours, days, or even weeks. Without effective disinfection measures, students and teachers are at greater risk of becoming ill due to bacteria, viruses, and pathogens remaining on high touch surfaces if proper disinfection protocols aren’t followed. Outbreaks must also be managed promptly to prevent further spread of infection within the school environment.

The Importance of Having a Proper Disinfection Strategy

Although cleaning can decrease the amount of dirt and debris present, it’s important to understand that soap alone does not kill spores. A clean classroom is not necessarily a classroom that is free from pathogens.

For all educational environments, effective disinfection is truly necessary, as it radically reduces the presence of pathogens by actually destroying them. When creating a whole room disinfection strategy for your education facility, make sure to differentiate between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing and know what to do to effectively disinfect high-touch surfaces. In schools, these high touch surfaces can include desks, cafeteria tables, lockers, floors, doorknobs, and more. Colleges and universities introduce additional spaces that must be disinfected, such as tables in dorm common areas, gym equipment, dining hall tables, and even more floors and doorknobs.

It’s important to rely only on disinfection products that EPA registered to ensure proper disinfection. Be sure to read the label directions carefully, as there may be a separate procedure for using the product as a cleaner or as a disinfectant. Disinfection usually requires the product to remain on the surface for a certain period of time. Ensure that custodial staff, teachers, and others who use cleaners and disinfectants read and understand all instruction labels and understand safe and appropriate use.

Furthermore, since the pathogens of different bacteria, viruses, and fungi have varying life spans on surfaces, it’s best to use a broad-spectrum disinfectant that can kill all three of the major classes of organisms with outstanding efficacy.

Having the Right Disinfection System Benefits Schools

With so many illnesses floating around, it’s critical to match your disinfection solution to the types of germs that need to be killed in order to be effective. In order to effectively kill a wide range of germs in the classroom, federal law requires and the CDC recommends the use of products registered under the EPA. While sprays and wipes can offer some level of disinfection, they lack the ability to reach all spaces that present on a wide variety of surfaces in an educational environment where pathogens linger.

Due to this, it’s important to trust in disinfection solutions that can offer full area coverage, such as disinfectants that are distributed using a dry fog that fills a room. Utilizing an effective and proven disinfection system—like dry fog—can benefit students and staff by killing germs to prevent the spread of illnesses while saving time with less labor-intensive practices. By implementing an effective disinfection system, students, teachers, and administrators can have peace of mind knowing the school environment is disinfected properly and safety is maintained.

Utilizing the Halo Disinfection System® for Your School

With a powerful tool like the Halo Disinfection System®, educational facilities can leverage whole room disinfection to achieve the highest possible efficacy against pathogens.

The system uniformly distributes HaloMist™ (EPA Reg. No. 84526-6) via dry fogging technology to ensure that every school environment is free of disease-causing pathogens. The HaloFogger allows users to tailor disinfectant dosage as appropriate for each room’s unique shape and size, making it an effective school disinfectant in any environment—from small classrooms to larger cafeterias and gyms.

HaloMist® is also EPA registered and proven effective against common pathogens found in schools, like COVID-19, the flu, norovirus, MRSA, and more. 

Speak with an expert to learn more about how the Halo Disinfection System® can be utilized to improve your educational facility’s disinfection strategy.

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