Government agencies working in unison to ensure proper cleaning and disinfection procedures for the upcoming school semester

In light of the start of the new semester at the 4,000 elementary, junior high and senior high schools and public kindergartens nationwide on February 25, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) urges all teachers and students to ensure good ventilation in classrooms, properly clean and disinfect school facilities, maintain personal hygiene by washing hands frequently and observing cough etiquette, and stay at home if unwell.

Under close coordination between the Environmental Protection Administration and the Ministry of Education (MOE), local environmental protection departments have been tasked with disinfecting public spaces surrounding schools and public kindergartens and spaces within them which were open to the general public during the winter vacation, such as large hallways, wash basins, restrooms, and playgrounds. These disinfection tasks are scheduled to be completed by February 23.

In addition to cooperating with local authorities for the aforementioned disinfection activities, the CECC reminds schools and public kindergartens to institute appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures for their classrooms and school buses. With regard to disinfection of indoor spaces, schools are advised to pay particular attention to points of frequent contact such as doorknobs, tables, and light switches. Cleaning and disinfection of school buses should be done in accordance with standards set by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and guidelines announced by the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control for public transportation in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Points of frequent contact such as seats, armrests, and grab handles should be properly cleaned and disinfected before and after shifts, so as to protect the health of students. 

Apart from measures for the schools and public kindergartens described above, the MOE will oversee universities and colleges in commissioning licensed companies to conduct cleaning and disinfection work on their campuses, to be completed before the start of the upcoming semester.

In anticipation of increased public transportation ridership at the start of the new semester, the MOTC has instructed operators to step up disinfection measures. Carriages of the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) and Taiwan Railways (TR) should be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day; points of frequent contact inside THSR carriages (e.g., armrests, tables) once each round trip; and points of frequent contact in metro carriages once every eight hours. TR carriages should also be thoroughly disinfected when they return to their designated depots. Instructions have also been issued for city and long-distance buses to be disinfected before and after shifts each day, and once every eight hours during operation. The same requirements apply to tour buses and taxis during operation.

The CECC also calls on all citizens to regularly wash their hands with soap, ensure proper ventilation in their homes, and regularly clean their homes’ interior and exterior, so as to protect their health and that of their families.