Cleaning and ventilation
What level of regular cleaning is required? And is anything different required after a positive case?
NSW Health recommend the same routine cleaning and disinfecting in schools as in the rest of the community.
Deep cleaning is no longer required after a positive case in a school, just an additional routine clean is sufficient.
NSW Health guidance recommends that frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs and equipment for example) are cleaned on a more frequent basis using a household detergent, followed by disinfectant. Alternatively, you can use detergent/disinfectant wipes as long as you scrub the surface hard.
What should schools be doing about ventilation?
The virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread from person to person through contact with droplets, which are produced when a person sneezes or coughs, or through other small respiratory particles that are produced when people talk, sing or shout.
These small particles can remain in the air for some time. Particles in the air may build up if there is not enough ventilation, for example, if a group of people sing or speak loudly in an indoor space without the windows or doors open.
Open or well-ventilated spaces reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 because infectious particles are more quickly diffused in the open air than in spaces with less ventilation.
Transmission of COVID-19 is more common indoors, where there may be less space to physically distance, and where people may come into contact with droplets and airborne particles more easily.
To help reduce the risk, it is important to take steps to improve ventilation in indoor settings so that any infectious particles that may be present in the air are more quickly removed.
NSW Health therefore continue to encourage maximising ventilation in indoor areas where possible.
So for example in schools that could be:
- opening windows and doors to create an air flow
- considering the use of outdoor and covered areas wherever possible in preference to indoor spaces
- avoid directing fans towards people’s faces, such as by aiming them continuously towards the ceiling or floor. Limit oscillation and turbulence of fans
- use of air purifiers where available and practical.