Centre Releases SOPs For School Re-Opening

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) released Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for partial reopening of schools on Tuesday.

As part of Unlock 4, schools are set to partially re-open for classes 9-12 from September 21, 2020.  The schools would be allowed to open for 50 per cent capacity for teaching and non-teaching staff.

Below are the SOPs issued by the ministry:

1.Only schools outside the containment zones allowed to open after September 21. Students/ teachers and staff from containment zones will not be allowed to attend the schools. Students and teachers to be advised not visit containment zones while attending school.

2. Schools that were used as quarantine centres during the lockdown have to be properly sanitized and deep cleaned as per the SOPs released by MoHFW.

3. Generic Preventive Measures like physical distancing, mandatory use of face covers/ masks, frequent hand washing and self-monitoring of health, reporting of any illness to be followed.

4. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly – Spitting to be strictly prohibited.

5. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu app may be advised and encouraged wherever feasible.

6. The Guidelines also suggest conducting classes in open spaces within the school campuses – weather permitting.

7. For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which emphasizes that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30o C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.

8. Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas intended for teaching/demonstrations etc., including laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitized with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces.

9. Mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions to be made at the entrance. Schools also advised to provide multiple gates/separate gates for entry and exit – if feasible. Strict regulation of visitors to the school has to be maintained and followed.

10. Symptomatic persons – teachers/ staff/ students would not be allowed inside the schools and would be referred to the nearest health centre.

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