The Recommended Preventive Measures to be followed in Educational Facilities
1 – Educate staff and students and disseminate information about the nature of the disease, mode of transmission, and the prevention measures that individuals should be followed.
The school health counselor is to be provided with updated informational and awareness materials and training courses provided by the school health departments in the health directorates in the regions, which in turn will help them perform their awareness-raising role. Health education is best carried out by doing the following:
- Create Communication Plans for use within school community. Send educational messages and share information internally with staff, students, and families relaying mainly on official and credible sources of information (Ministry of Health and the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control) *
- Allocate some of the activity classes (ex. Art and Physical Education) during the school day and broadcast simplified and age appropriate scientific content on respiratory infections and how to prevent it from spreading, and encourage proper practices of personal care and hygiene.
- Disseminate awareness and educational material, such as posters, leaflets, brochures, etc. in the assembly areas at schools to urge students and teachers to wash hands and follow the proper etiquette of coughing and sneezing
- Educate school students and workers about the preventive measures against respiratory diseases, in theory and in practice, and urging them to follow them.
- Educate school health workers and teachers about the reporting mechanisms and how to deal with students who suffer from respiratory symptoms.
- Spread the culture of properly using alcohol-based hand sanitizers during the school daytime among students and staff.
- Raise the awareness about the importance of the seasonal flu vaccine for students and school staff.
- Educate parents and raise their awareness about the preventive measures taken and emphasize the importance of keeping the child home when sick or with suspected respiratory symptoms and visiting the doctor to seek medical advice.
2- Provide adequate supply of hand sanitizers and soap in all schools
- Ensure availability of hand soap in school bathrooms.
- Ensure the availability and proper use of sanitizers as per the directions on the label of the product.
3- Strict commitment to routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with disinfectants approved by the Ministry of Health, such as Quaternary Ammonium compounds.
- Ensure the cleanliness of public places and bathrooms used by students and staff, with a focus on the frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles/knobs, dining tables, seat rests, and elevator buttons, etc. on a routine basis.
4- Good ventilation for schools
- Ensure that classrooms and assembly areas are well ventilated with good air flow; natural ventilation is preferred.
5- Referral of students suspected of being infected to the primary health center.
The health counselor should check the students’ condition daily. If a student shows relevant symptoms, the following must be done:
- Communicate with the student’s parent / guardian to inform them of the student’s health status.
- Refer the student to the primary health center.
- Ensure that the sick student does not attend school until they’re fully recovered, and if the case is confirmed as a Corona virus infection (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or COVID-19), student shouldn’t be permitted to return to school until examined and provided with a medical report stating that the student is clear and safe to return to school.
6- Monitor exposed individuals
In the event that a student is transferred to a primary healthcare center or a case (affiliated with the school) was discovered outside the school, please coordinate between the public health center (PHC) and the school is carried out through the School Health Administration in the region to do the following:
- School Health Councilor to monitor exposed individuals by asking about and following up with the symptoms according to the guidelines and directives of the School Health Administration.
- Ensure that exposed students who are / were in physical contact with the patient do not attend school – if necessary- for a period equivalent to the incubation period (14 days) of the disease under the guidance of the primary health center.