Hangzhou schools prepare to welcome back students

Wu Huixin
Jianggan District has been testing at Hangzhou Tianhang Experiment School to iron out pandemic control procedures before students and teachers return.
Wu Huixin

With most coronavirus patients now discharged from hospitals in Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou schools are preparing for resuming normal classes under strict health controls as the announcement of a new semester start-date appears imminent.

Jianggan District began a test at Hangzhou Tianhang Experimental School on March 25, in hopes of ironing out coronavirus control procedures before students and teachers return.

At the school’s entrance, somatosensory machines will check for signs of fever.If the machines detect a person with fever, medical staff will double check and report questionable cases to authorities. All temperature data collected at the start of each day will be taken to management committee of the school.

Hangzhou schools prepare to welcome back students
Ti Gong

A student has his temperature checked at Hangzhou Tianhang Experimental School in Jianggan District on March 25. The drill was held to iron out coronavirus control procedures before students and teachers return.

“We should isolate risks outside the campus, and never let any suspicious case enter the school,” said Qiu Shuguang, headmaster of Hangzhou Tianhang Experimental School.

The school has also designated walking routes for different grades, which aims at reducing face-to-face contact. Meanwhile, baskets were set at the door of each classroom to collect workbooks. Disinfectant is also available in the same place.

At lunch, cafeteria workers delivered separated food to each classroom. Except when eating, masks are mandatory at all times.

“The prevention procedures are complicated. But they are necessary since every person should take responsibility for themselves and others,” said Wang Shutian, an eighth-grade student.

During a drill, staff reacted to a student’s sudden temperature increase. She was taken to a school doctor, and her classmates were transferred to a backup classroom to avoid cross-infection.

School workers wearing protective gear promptly disinfected the classroom, and then sealed it for further disinfection with an ultraviolet light machine.

“The drill reassured students and parents, and let them know how our coronavirus prevention procedures work,” said Xue Yating, a teacher of Grade 8. “After resuming classes, we will definitely carry out the work more smoothly.”

Hangzhou schools prepare to welcome back students
Ti Gong

A student puts his workbooks into baskets that are set in front of each classroom to reduce face-to-face contact during the drill. 

Before officially reopening school doors, Hangzhou government has put forward a series of stringent measures to ensure sanitation and hygiene on campuses.

Hangzhou government will prioritize graduating middle and high school students, and order schools to stagger arrival times for students in order to avoid mass gathering.

All schools were required to submit their coronavirus prevention plans by March 25. Their stocks of prevention supplies must cover at least 15 days for daily uses.

Every student must show their health QR code at school entrances.

For children without health codes, parents should help them apply for proper documentation through the Hangzhou Citizen Center’s official application or government service windows.

Every school must collect students’ and their family members’ health and traveling records in advance.

Hangzhou schools prepare to welcome back students
Ti Gong

A school worker wearing a protective suit disinfects the classroom, and then seals it for further disinfection with an ultraviolet light machine during a drill in the school. 

To streamline procedures and enhance efficiency, Jianggan District government invited a third-party technology service company to design an online health information platform for schools. Faculty members can search, edit and collect students’ information via the platform.

Campuses ought to be thoroughly disinfected after class every day.Meanwhile, each school must set up an isolated observation room, staffed with medical workers from subdistrict clinics, in case of discovering suspicious cases.

Air-conditioning must be switched off, and windows are to be opened frequently.

In school cafeterias, students are advised to avoid sitting face to face, and tables have been set further apart than before. To lower cross-infection risks, food will be separated into portions for each meal.

To care for medical workers’ children and students from Hubei Province, every school will provide psychosocial services and tailored courses.

“When doctors and nurses are fighting against the virus, their children should be protected by schools,” said Qiu.

The Ministry of Education has set three conditions for school resumption: The coronavirus is under control in the school’s vicinity; schools are capable of coronavirus prevention; and the ability to safeguard the health and safety of teachers and students.

Special Reports