The COVID-19 Response Plan details the policies and practices necessary for a school to meet the government’s Return to Work Safely Protocol. The Department of Education plan for school reopening that will aim to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the school environment. Individual schools will have to manage revised timetables, new classroom layouts and a range of additional hygiene measures to be undertaken by both staff and pupils.
The importance of social distancing, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene remain the core principles of the plan. The plan recommends that pupils and staff should perform hand hygiene:
- on arrival at school
- before eating or drinking
- after using the toilet
- after playing outdoors when their hands are physically dirty
- when they cough or sneeze
The department has arranged for a drawdown framework to be established to enable schools purchase hand sanitisers and any other necessary PPE supplies for use in the school. The procurement process for this framework is at an advanced stage and it is intended that these materials will be available for drawdown in early August. Further guidelines will be issued shortly.
The department will provide funding for the costs associated with hand sanitising and PPE requirements in schools. This funding will be available in advance of school reopening at the end of August.
MMS Medical has a range of hand sanitisers and PPE suitable for individuals and schools. We stock 5L Hand Sanitiser Refills in both gel and liquid formats. Our 50ml hand sanitiser gel and 10 ml hand sanitiser liquid are ideal for school bags and pencil cases. All our sanitisers are manufactured in Ireland and kill 99% of bacteria.
While face masks are not required at present in classroom settings, pupils and staff have an option to wear a face mask when physical distancing measures cannot be achieved. Face Shields or visors are an alternative face covering and are an excellent alternative for staff as they not conceal facial expression and facilitate communication. Our disposable aprons, disposable gloves and shoe coverings also provide additional protection measures and are ideal for use in school science laboratories and home economics rooms. Appropriate PPE should be available in all schools for dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases, pupil care needs and for first aid.