How to Detect and Control Covid-19 from Spreading in Schools with Technology?

At the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus was identified as the cause of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China. It quickly spread, resulting in an epidemic throughout China, followed by a global pandemic. 

A person who is affected with COVID 19 shows a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild to severe symptoms. The symptoms typically appear after 2-14 days post-exposure to the virus.  

How does COVID 19 spread?  

From what’s known, it is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person. In some cases, people without any symptoms too can spread the virus.   

It spreads through the respiratory droplets of an infected person when they cough, sneeze, or talk. When these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people, they’re inhaled into the lungs infecting the person.   

Another possibility in how the virus spreads is when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touches their nose, mouth, or eyes. This, however, is not thought of as the main way in which the virus spreads.  

Role of public health measures 

Together with this, public health measures play an integral role in slowing down and preventing the spread. They include: 

  • Staying home when sick 
  • Following social distancing of maintaining a 2-meter distance between people when out 
  • Covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing/using masks  
  • Washing hands with soap and water/using sanitizers to clean hands  
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects 

People who are fully vaccinated have a much smaller risk of getting sick if they are exposed to the Delta variant. While they are also less likely to spread the virus, the Delta variant is more capable than the original virus of getting into cells that line the nose, mouth, and throat. Once these variants get inside the cells, they rapidly make copies of themselves, increasing what is called the viral load. That’s why people who are fully vaccinated can still carry greater amounts of the Delta variant, making it more likely that they could spread the virus to others. 

How to fight against COVID-19 using digital technology? 

Over the past few months, we have seen how digital technology helps in the fight against COVID 19.  

Solutions have been used for population screening, tracking the infection, prioritizing the use and allocation of resources, and designing targeted responses. Several organizations have also been using multiple tracking and monitoring technology systems to ensure people with symptoms are suggested to stay in quarantine until they test negative for COVID 19.  

In certain cases, digital technology has been used for some containment and mitigation processes—including surveillance, testing, contact tracing, and strict quarantine. 

How to reduce the spread of COVID 19 in schools? 

It is important to take essential safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID 19 in schools. And at the same time, schools must ensure that students and staff who’ve been exposed to the virus are not stigmatized.  Schools must now balance the educational, social and emotional needs of their students along with the health and safety of students and staff in the midst of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic 

Sharing the right information about COVID 19 in an age-appropriate manner with children can help ease their fears, enabling them to manage the impact it has on their lives.  

  • Ensure safe school operations like developing school emergency and contingency plans, reinforcing frequent handwashing and sanitation, cleaning and disinfecting school buildings  
  • Establish processes to address situations where students or staff become unwell and ensure they’re shared with students and parents so they’re not caught off-guard when a situation arises.  
  • Follow guidelines from the national health and educational authorities. 
  • Use tracking and symptom monitoring technology to keep school environments as safe as can be. 

How to check COVID 19 using disease surveillance systems  

Disease surveillance systems help collect, analyze, interpret and disseminate data to those responsible for preventing and controlling diseases. This estimates the health status and behaviours of students in schools. Because surveillance helps to directly understand what’s going on within a population, it helps in tracking and measuring the need for intervention.  

EduHealth is a school health management system that helps school nurses track symptoms of illnesses within the schooling community and document them systematically. The system is also a health tracker that facilitates the systematic tracking and surveillance of diseases within schools, helping school nurses collect, analyze, and share the right information with health authorities. 

 Author Bio – Arushi is a technical writer at Eduhealth. It’s a company in the US.She enjoys telling about tech innovations and digital ways to bring health and safety measures.

 

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