Swiss Cheese Approach to COVID Safety

Swiss Cheese Approach to COVID Safety

As Thailand continues its efforts to move towards the approach of living with COVID-19, we at MYIS remain committed to ensuring we are meeting the different parts of the “The Swiss Cheese Model of Pandemic Defense”.

Created by Australian virologist Ian Mackay, the Swiss Cheese Model of Pandemic Defense focuses on the understanding that multiple layers of protection are needed in order to slow the spread of the virus because each slice has holes that the virus can pass through. With more layers comes increased protection. “No one layer is perfect; each has holes, and when the holes align, the risk of infection increases. But several layers combined — social distancing, plus masks, plus hand-washing, plus testing and tracing, plus ventilation, plus government messaging — significantly reduce the overall risk.” (New York Times, 5/12/2020).


At MYIS we are diligent in addressing each layer by:

  1. Physical distance – our designated bubbles mean that each student is limited in the number of students they are exposed to during the school day. 
  2. Masks – all school community members are masked at all times other than when eating and physically active outside.
  3. Hand hygiene – students are regularly washing and/or sanitizing their hands throughout the day
  4. Avoid crowds – the schedule has prioritized maintaining bubbles throughout the day in all areas. Classes are not mingling for lunch or playtimes and have access to classrooms via identified stairwells to reduce traffic.
  5. Fast and sensitive tracing – two times a week all members of the community submit a health declaration that includes specific locations visited. ATK tests are also taken with results being shared within this health declaration document with families keeping photographic evidence of these tests.
  6. Ventilation, outdoors, air filtration – All classroom air purifiers are fully serviced with fresh filters. When classes leave the classroom doors and windows are open creating airflow. All classes have regular opportunities throughout the day to be outside.
  7. Government messaging – the leadership team are in daily contact with neighboring schools and the ISAT community ensuring the school is operating according to the latest government directives.
  8. Quarantine and isolation – strict procedures are in place should a member of the community display symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. An isolation room has been created at the front of the school.
  9.  Vaccines – all members of the community over the age of 18 have been vaccinated and have submitted their vaccine certificates. Any visitors to the campus need to share vaccine information, a current ATK test and a health declaration before entering.

All of these measures hold equal importance. It is important that we as a community recognize each layer of protection that we are meeting and understand that as a collective this offers more protection for all those on campus. 

We encourage you to read more about the Swiss Cheese Model of Pandemic Defense and contact us should you have any questions or concerns. We are grateful to all members of our MYIS community for their support and understanding during this pandemic period.


Roberts, S. (2020, December 5). The Swiss Cheese Model of Pandemic Defense. The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2021, from