With the Education sector about to fully reopen there are rising concerns that not enough has been done to ensure the health and safety of teachers. In response many are now calling for Total Surface Protection to be mandated on education sites. The technology works by creating a long-lasting antimicrobial/antivirus coating that can be applied onto all surfaces including tables, desks, chairs, door handles, walls and even fabrics. It is already being successfully deployed now in parts of the NHS and it is effective against Coronavirus.

The COVID-19 virus is spread through airborne inhalation and surface contamination. Total Surface Protection removes one of the two ways it can be spread, significantly reducing infections, helping to prevent a second wave and saving lives.

The current rules only require enhanced cleaning on key touch points, many argue this does not come close to providing proper protection and of course relies on other remembering to do it. In a recent TV broadcast Sir Patrick Vallance the Government Chief Scientific Adviser remined people that COVID-19 is spread through surface contact and the high risk areas are crowed environments, indoor environments and poorly ventilated areas. We already know from the health sector that some of the most contaminated areas on large sites are the walls in corridors and staircases. These are not categorised as touch points and so are not cleaned regularly. This is a big mistake and a huge flaw in the current plans to reopen safely.

When an infected person coughs or sneezes onto these surfaces the virus remains active for up to three days. As people pass each other they brush up against these surfaces contaminating themselves and further spread the virus. As the sector is about to fully reopen, we are potentially heading for an avoidable disaster. With such a high concentration of people, social distancing and the wearing of face masks will be hard to maintain and enforce, large education sites will quickly become contaminated and infection rates will rise. This not only poses a risk to teachers students and staff but also the wider community. As more people become infected or even just have their clothes and school bags contaminated, they will take the virus home with them putting their extended families at risk. This is of particular concern for those caring for sick or elderly relatives.

Conventional cleaning of all surfaces was deemed to be both time and cost prohibitive. As infection rates from surface contaminations are considered to be lower than airborne inhalation, a compromise was reached to just focus on high traffic key touch points.

With a recent report from SAGE suggesting as many as 85,000 people could die this winter from COVID-19, this compromise is no longer acceptable. Everything that can be done to reduce rates of transmission and infections must be enacted now to prevent a mass second wave. Cost effective Total Surface Protection solutions now exist and should be mandated for the sector.

If you are a teacher, student or member of staff and want to have the highest level of certified scientifically proven Total Surface Protection on your site, you need to act now and speak up to demand it!

You can start by helping to inform others by sharing this article with your colleagues, do you have a teachers WhatsApp group? Speak with your students, its in every ones interest to be protected. Contact your Union Representative, the Heads of your School or University and tell them that you want to have Total Surface Protection installed on your site. The more people that know about this solution the more lives will potentially be saved. All institutions have a legal duty to ensure a safe work environment. Stand up for your rights and demand Total Surface Protection in your work place.