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. Research will focus on the K-12 schools that stayed open during the pandemic.  The goal 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. K-12 schools is an area of significant challenge but with noticeable progress.

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

This White Paper will seek to identify the most innovative and effective ideas for addressing the challenge of keeping schools open. It will include a range of perspectives 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, both of HVAC Systems and free standing
  6. Air quality testing companies
  7. Research institutions
  8. Foundations and think tanks
  9. Journalists

The Swiss Cheese Model

Early research indicates that the most effective approach to making schools safe is a combination of solutions. This is often referred to as the Swiss Cheese approach: Every slice of cheese has holes but together they create a barrier. link to story

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

The benefits of hand washing and social distancing are a given. Our focus is on technology and innovations in testing and containment. Containment and the use of air purification systems offer the opportunity to remove COVID from the air, i.e. going on “offense” against the pandemic.

Testing. Testing students, faculty, and staff to find and remove sources of infection and for contact tracing. 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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