With the Government announcing the reopening of public schools in England on the 8th March there are a number of safety precautions they’re going to have to take to help prevent the spread of Covid. However, this should not discount the regular checks that schools should be enforcing to provide safe and clean water for their students and staff.
As an article from ‘Future of Education News Channel’ put its “healthcare providers should also be on heightened alert for Legionnaires’ disease, another potential cause of pneumonia with similar symptoms”. This is something that needs to be looked after on a regular basis but since the beginning of lockdown and schools closing it has been pushed aside by many establishments.
Particularly as schools reopen and previously stagnant plumbing and cooling systems return to use, additional Legionella cases could rear their ugly head to emergency departments in the coming months. Traces of Legionella were recently found at a Worcestershire school. The school was forced to remain shut while treatment and testing took place.
Legionella are potentially deadly bacteria that can infect a school’s water supply and cause an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. It’s a school’s duty of care to prevent Legionella infection by monitoring the risk of the bacteria proliferating.
The Health and Safety Executive advises: “If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease… If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.”
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