Concerns about school safety regulations within COVID-19

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Photo Credit: Jackie Poznanski

AT the start of class and end of class, students must use the school provided hand-sanitizer and wipes to clean their space and their hands. Are students capable of cleaning properly?

By: Jackie Poznanski, Opinions Editor

Colonia High School has officially completed our first three weeks of live classes. With that, schools still have the responsibility of frequently practicing safety regulations. However, exercising safety regulations within  COVID-19 seems near impossible.

Safety Regulations

Though most students and teachers are happy to go back to school; many are thinking, “how will my class practice a lock-down while remaining six feet?” Due to COVID-19, we have to stay apart from each other to make sure we keep our school clean and clear of the virus. A lock-down means there is an “insider threat” and that each classroom must be secure, remain silent, and move to a location out of view from the hallway door. In previous years, students would crowd together in a corner until the response procedure is complete. This is not six feet apart, so how will it happen? Although there is less students in each classroom, there still aren’t enough corners to hide a class of 10 students safely away from the sight of the door.

A possible solution for classrooms that can’t properly spread out while remaining clear of the door/windows, would be utilizing the door and window shades. Students may also opt to hide under larger desks and furniture.

How does one socially distance during a fire drill? How do you prevent groups from mingling while exiting the building and waiting outdoors? And who will monitor the students learning at home while teachers escort their in-person students outdoors?

Ohio’s Safety Regulations within COVID-19 advise that teachers keep the students in their class together, masks must be worn properly and destination points reevaluated. All students and staff are required to wear masks at Colonia High which the CDC claims should prevent the droplets from spreading. However, will students and staff keep their face coverings on outdoors? This information should be told to staff members so that they can properly enforce these guidelines.

Bathroom

With COVID-19, CHS only allows one student/ faculty member in the bathroom at a time. Though this seems sufficient, one student is going in after another without sanitation. Are janitors cleaning the bathrooms after every block? Are students or faculty taking off their masks in the bathroom? Is it safe to use the same bathroom facilities right after another person?

I feel a solution to this problem would be to have students and teachers wipe down and sanitize before and after leaving the restroom. Safety Regulations within COVID-19 can be adhered to with some minor improvements.

As a positive, students do not need to get a pass to go to the bathroom and only need to scan their id in at the bathroom. This ensures that students and teachers on bathroom duty are not possibly contaminating one another.

Hand sanitizer

In classrooms, students are to take a wipe and use the pump hand sanitizer before and after each class. However, are manual hand sanitizers proven to be safe? Or are we just spreading more germs by pumping the hand sanitizer?

A possible solution to this problem would be investing in self dispensers or automatic dispensers. This may be expensive for the district. Since the virus doesn’t seem to be going away so quickly and with the thought of other viruses our there, it may be in the best interest for schools to purchase the automatic dispensers as a long term solution.

Another solution would be distributing small hand sanitizers to students and have re-fill stations. This compromise can help eliminate the spread of COVID-19 and germs in general.

Conclusion

As a result, there are many kinks in the system that need proper attention. Schools have the responsibility of frequently practicing safety regulations. However, with COVID-19 regulations, this seems near impossible. With utilizing window and door shade, wiping down restroom facilities after each student or teacher and finding an alternative way to distribute hand sanitizer, may be helpful to the overall health of our district and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you or your parents still have more concerns or questions click on the Coronavirus Info page on the Woodbridge Township School District website.

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