Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
IRVING, TX, Sept. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWire — As a leading clinical diagnostic laboratory, Gibson Diagnostic Labs’ top priority remains the health and wellbeing of members of its community. As schools begin to reopen, it is vital to take proper precautions on maintaining the health and safety of the staff and students.
Although no strategy plan can provide assurance of the removal of all risk, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance and recommendations that, when used alongside federal, state and local health and safety regulations, will help minimize the risk of a significant increase in the COVID-19 spread. These guidelines include conducting healthy school operations, maintaining a healthy work environment for students, and taking into account special considerations for certain occupations within school environments. The guidelines outlined below apply to all students and staff that are currently present in education facilities in some capacity.
The CDC recommends taking the following steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and students while also providing an environment that is conducive to learning:
- Mandatory off-site quarantine of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, show signs of illness, or have known close contact with an individual with COVID-19.
- Reinforced social distancing rules and usage of signs or other visual cues, placed six feet apart, to show where to stand.
- Increased facility sanitation, especially high-touch surfaces, and enforced handwashing to guarantee cleanliness and minimize virus spread.
- Development of new policies for sick staff members to stay home without fear of retaliation, and opportunities to conduct virtual learning.
- Designated isolation zones for those who start experiencing symptoms while on school grounds. Only designated and trained staff should interact with staff and students showing COVID-19 symptoms. At least one designated trained staff member should be available at all times.
- Established safe work practices for staff, including appropriate mask policies. Provide additional PPE to those staff members that may need it to perform their specific job duties (i.e. janitorial staff, nurses).
- Implementation of physical barriers, where possible, between work areas and incorporation of required accessibility requirements.
- Weather permitting, opening of windows and doors to increase fresh air circulation. Outdoor classes may also be considered where circumstances allow.
- Assurance that ventilation systems operate properly in all areas of the building.
- Ongoing proactive communication with staff and local health officials to maintain best practices and ongoing awareness.
With this strategy plan in place, and constantly being re-evaluated and restructured as needed, education facilities can minimize the risks associated with COVID-19, without negative impacts or disruptions to learning.
The Gibson Diagnostic Labs team is ready to assist all patients with personalized, professional service to deliver the highest level of quality diagnostic testing. The staff continues to work diligently to increase testing capacity on a timely basis in response to the public health crisis.
To learn more, please visit Gibson Diagnostic Lab’s COVID-19 testing page.
About Gibson Diagnostic Labs:
Gibson Diagnostic Labs (GDL) is a leading healthcare company that drives better patient care and healthier lives by incorporating more of a holistic approach to healthcare. At its core is a relentless focus on information that empowers healthcare professionals to make better, more informed decisions. GDL delivers advanced, laboratory diagnostic services to physicians, counselors and clinicians who share the same commitment to enhance health outcomes and improve lives. It offers a broad portfolio of diagnostic tests that are aligned with long-term healthcare trends. Its goal is to help in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases by providing healthcare professionals with clinically actionable data that promotes patient-centric, personalized holistic healthcare.