Frequently asked questions

Website Questions

Why does this website exist?

When the school district my children attend asked for a decision to either start the year schooling at home (distance learning) or return to school for in person learning, it seemed like understanding the risk and impact of each options made sense; however, the information the school district provided did not allow for a thoughtful, risk based decision. So, the list of questions found on this site was born as there was no other repository of good questions to ask prior to a return to school.

I downloaded the Excel questions, but cannot edit the file. What do I do now?

Good question. Excel on your computer likely downloaded the file and placed it in "protected mode". You will need to exit protected mode by "Enabling Editing" while viewing the sheet or by clicking "enable saving" when saving the file to your local computer.

I don't have Excel, how do I get the file?

I created a Word file as well; however, it is not as easy to work with as Excel for this type of question/answer format. If you require the Word file, send a note to

Where do I learn why these questions are important?

Within these FAQs, there will be several subsections that detail the reasons for questions in the questionnaire. The reasons will typically be supported by links to publications (some scientific and some general media publications). Not all FAQs have been completed at launch of the questionnaire; however, every day more information will be published within VirusSafeSchools.

Is this just for parents of school age children?

Originally, these questions were for exactly that group (parents of school age children); however, it became clear that teachers, staff, and administrators could use these questions to determine their individual risk of returning to their work environment as well as consider how they could improve their schools. It can also be used by any person who is being asked to return to a building for work - feel free to repurpose the questions so that you can address whatever return to work or school that you may face in your life. Again, this isn't about politics, this is about making a good risk based decision for you and your family.

Who is creating this content and why?

Eric Svetcov designed the questionnaire and is creating content for this site; however, there are several people who are reviewing the information and providing feedback (including healthcare professionals and professional educators). I have worked for several healthcare organizations, other commercial businesses, and even a private high school (for a year). I have lived and worked in the United States, New Zealand, and Singapore. My primary work area has been in Information Risk Management (frequently called CyberSecurity or Information Security). I have been an auditor as well as run Information Technology and Information Security organizations. I have been published in magazines, spoken at conferences, created and provided training, and I am the co-author of the C|CISO Body of Knowledge (the leading Chief Information Security Officer certification program - developed by EC-Council). Currently, I'm the CTO & CSO of Medigram and vCISO (or CISO advisor) for a few other companies. When I realized I didn't have sufficient information to make a decision regarding whether my children should resume in person learning, I decided to ask questions of our school district - this website is to assist others in making this same risk based decision. Understanding and managing risk is what I do and my background as an auditor (thank you KPMG) helped me when formulating the questions.

How do I use the questions contained in the spreadsheet with my School, School District, or elsewhere?

I'm very glad you asked that question. There are several ways to use the list of questions: 1. Send the entire spreadsheet to your Principal or District and ask them to fill it out. 2. Select questions that are important to you and send them to your Principal or District. 3. Call and have a conversation with your Principal or District and use the questions to guide the conversation. 4. Start a conversation with other parents, teachers, staff, or administrators and see if any of the questions generate concerns that as a group you would like to address. 5. Invent a new way to use the questions and send an e-mail to so that I can add it to this FAQ item. The idea is to better understand your individual risk. This isn't a gotcha exercise, it is just a better way to systematically understand what your School does and does not have in place so you can determine whether you will return to school when school re-opens.

Section A - Air Handling

Why are questions regarding Air Handling important?

Research has indicated that COVID-19 is transmitted through the air. If it is possible to reduce the amount of virus suspended in the air, then it reduces the likelihood of the virus taking hold. Relevant research exists regarding Airborne Transmission here and here. There is some evidence that improving outside air ventilation, improving filtering, and use of UV light can potentially reduce viral load in the air. If active virus in the air can be minimized, this should result in a reduced likelihood of exposure. See articles here, here, and here.

Section B to L

Why haven't FAQs been created for sections B to L?

These are being worked on. All questions are based upon science and are designed to assist in coming to a risk based decision. Each day additional content will be added - including in the FAQ section. If you have a specific question, please do not hesitate to send an e-mail to