How to Return to Work and School Safely

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How to Return to Work & School Safely

As we continue to adapt to and settle into a new school year, a return to more in-person activities as well as our offices, it can be stressful to figure out how to keep your family healthy at the same time. Preparations to go to work and school look a lot differently this year than in years past. Don’t worry. There are some simple things you can do to help you and your family stay safe and healthy as our area begins to reopen.

Ensure everyone has enough face masks.

Face masks should be washed after every prolonged interaction outside of your home. That means after every school and workday. Your child(ren) may also need more than one at school, in case one gets dirty or torn. It’s a good idea to keep a basket for used masks by your front door so it’s easy to keep the dirty masks separate from the clean masks.

Get everyone their own supply of hand sanitizer.

Hand sanitizer is going to be a solid line of defense against germ spreading this fall. Hand sanitizers should be used when entering and exiting communal spaces, such as elevators, lunchrooms, or libraries. While CDC guidelines state that hand sanitizer should be readily available in schools and office buildings, that may not always be the case. By making sure your family has their own, individual supply, you are ensuring they have access to it, no matter what.

Practice proper hygiene methods at home.

The key to staying safe and healthy is practicing proper hygiene no matter where you are. When you and your family practice proper mask-wearing and hand-washing techniques at home, you can be sure they know what to do when they are at work and school. Hand-washing is especially important before and after eating, sneezing, coughing, and adjusting a face cover. It’s also important to emphasize, especially with young children, to avoid touching their eyes and face as part of practicing proper hygiene.

Get in the habit of morning temperature checks.

The earlier you are able to be tested and quarantined, the less likely you are to pass on COVID-19 if you get infected. The CDC recommends checking in with your family for early signs of the illness every morning with temperature checks. If you or any family member has a temperature over 100.4, they should stay home and call a doctor. 

Be prepared for a return to virtual work or school.

By mentally, and physically, preparing for another round of virtual schooling or work-from-home, you and your family can be ready to tackle it head-on should it happen. Find a corner of your home that can act as a home school or office. Make sure you have access to adequate technology by investigating if your school offers loaner devices for children that don’t have them. (Some schools even offer families without internet access hot spot devices for their students.) Have a plan in place in case school is virtual but work is not.
Preparing now can and will save you the stress of having to plan after a surprise building closure announcement.

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