Back to School: Preventing Infection during Major School Functions

Education | 23/1/2023

With the return to school just around the corner, staff must be working to maximise their infection control plans to ensure viruses are at an all-time low for 2023. While the threat of infection is always heightened in schools due to a large number of students on the premises, teachers and school staff must be particularly wary of school functions and the threat they pose. 

The following blog showcases how schools can prevent infection during major school functions. This includes but isn’t limited to parent-teacher night, school concerts, school fun days and any large-scale event where pathogens can spread rapidly. The blog will also touch on the appropriate cleaning tools to use before, during and after school functions to minimise the spread of harmful bacteria. This includes: 

Use Rubbermaid HYGEN Mop heads before, during and after a major school function 

Floors should already be vacuumed and mopped daily in schools. However, when a function is upcoming, this must be heightened, especially if the event will happen in a shared gym and hall, where students may play sports during PE. Mopping the floor can prevent pathogens from spreading onto the soles of shoes, which when touched, can transmit through the skin, airways and mouth. 

Mopping floors, though important in all school settings, is extremely vital in primary schools as children may play together on the ground before or after the function. 

Using Rubbermaid mop heads or disposable mop heads can guarantee a long-lasting cleaning solution for every school function. The microfibre material will also capture pathogens, which can prevent bacteria from being left on a surface to fester and grow. The Rubbermaid HYGEN mop system also comes with a bucket that can seamlessly wheel throughout the premises. Using this technology prevents walking back and forth to a water source, which can recontaminate the floors, especially if they are still wet. 

Mop heads can also be used to clean the internal walls where necessary to guarantee that the hall or function area appears free from dirt and bacteria. It is vital, though, that mop heads and water are changed between cleaning the floors and walls to prevent contamination. 

Use Rubbermaid HYGEN Microfibre to keep any required surfaces free from bacteria during major school functions 

Specific school functions may require the use of tables and chairs. Before the event begins, wiping these down with Rubbermaid HYGEN Microfibre can reduce the chances that they are infectious. Cleaning and sanitising chairs are important if they have been in storage for a long period, as the often dark and warm temperatures make for the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. 

Staff should take the time to understand the touchpoints guests will come across during their trip to the school, including door handles, light switches or catering equipment. This plan can help teachers and cleaning staff ensure that the relevant touchpoints are sanitised at appropriate intervals to reduce the risk of infection. 

To escalate infection prevention, schools can also cut down touchpoints. For example, classroom doors can be left open to reduce the chances that parents, students or teachers need to touch potentially infectious handles. 

Implement touch-free hand sanitiser stations to reduce infection transmission during major school functions 

Touch-free hand sanitiser solutions give guests, staff and students the chance to sanitise their hands should they believe they have touched an infectious surface. They are great when placed near catering equipment, at doorways, or the school's entrance. Though not all patrons will use the stations, it can cut down the number of outside bacteria brought into school premises.

Schools must be wary that the most high-capacity school functions, such as graduations, may bring in plenty of guests. In these cases, it’s detrimental that they have sanitiser refills available to assure all people can play their part in reducing infection. 

The same principle must go for soap stations in school bathrooms. 

Other bacteria prevention methods for school functions include: 

While cleaning tools and tips are the most effective way to maintain infection control at school functions, they are not the only means. Schools can encourage people to assist in the infection control process, even subconsciously. 

Primarily, this can be done by introducing social distancing measures throughout the event. This may include placing seats further apart than usual or using floor markings where lines may form, to stop people from standing too close to one another. 

It is also vital that a school understands its capacity limits. Providing families with a limited number of tickets they can use will ensure that there isn't an excess of patrons present. Doing so can prevent overcrowding, which is a leading cause of infection transmission. 

Staff can also consider the season they are hosting school functions. Ultimately, bacteria are often less prevalent when good ventilation is available. So, hosting an event in the spring or autumn, when it is much more acceptable to leave the doors and windows open, can also reduce the chances of a mass outbreak of colds, the flu or COVID. 


Rubbermaid Commercial Products is here to reduce infections 

At Rubbermaid Commercial Products, our team has helped countless businesses achieve a higher level of cleaning, regardless of the capacity and size of their venue. If you are planning a school function or are getting ready for the new school year, contact us today to find out how we can help you.