How to Reopen Schools and Keep Them Open. A Virus Project White Paper

The Virus Project will begin production of a White Paper and documentary on Reopening schools and keeping them open. The research will focus on those K-12 schools who have stayed open during the pandemic.  The intent is a multimedia asset that addresses this issue and help schools everywhere reopen.

The Virus Project was formed to aggregate the best ideas and thinking to provide a platform for innovators to collaborate and find solutions to the COVID-19 Crisis. Schools is an area of significant challenge but an area where there has been progress.

White Paper and Research Study: K-12 schools. Dealing with COVID-19.

This White Paper will seek to find the ideas best ideas to address the challenge of keeping schools open. Its approach will to get insights from a range of perspectives in order to document what works. Surveys and interviews will be conducted with:

  1. Principals
  2. Teachers
  3. School Facility Managers.
  4. COVID testing companies including PCR, Antigen and antibody testing
  5. Air purification vendors HVAC Systems and free standing
  6. Air quality testing companies
  7. Research institutions.
  8. Foundations and think tanks
  9. Journalists

The Swiss Cheese Model

The early research indicates that there is no one solution, but a combination of solutions together can make schools safe. Often referred to as the Swiss Cheese approach. Every slice of cheese has holes but together they create a barrier. See link to related story. link to story

Research indicates that technology now exists to reopen and keep schools open.

Hand washing and social distancing are well known. We cannot add much there. Our focus is on technology and innovations in such areas as testing and containment. Containment and the use of air purification systems offers the opportunity to remove COVID from the air. In a sense a means to go on “offense” against the pandemic.

Testing. Testing of students, faculty and staff to find and remove sources of infection and to contact trace. Approaches:

  • PCR Testing. The most accurate type of test, but historically expensive and time consuming. New technologies such as pooled testing have been developed to make this economical and provide a contact tracing function.
  • Antigen and Antibody testing. Work continues to develop on Rapid and inexpensive tests.

Containment. Putting in place methods to minimize contagion by controlling the flow of airborne virus. Approaches:

  • HVAC air purification systems to provide clean air throughout the facility.
  • Freestanding air purification systems in each classroom.
  • Air monitoring and testing systems. Systems to test the presence of airborne viruses.
  • Sanitation and disinfectants. Other means to rid physical space of viruses.

We will reach out to technology companies in each of these areas to seek their engagement. For those interested in participating or with ideas. Please contact us.

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