Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Tips

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Introduction

This document is intended for employers, workers and customers/participants community centres, as an overview of potential hazards in the workplace due to COVID-19.

In all cases, guidance from local public health authorities must be followed and general COVID-19 prevention practices should be implemented, as outlined in: Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19.

Facility Management

  • Increase ventilation rates and fresh air return where possible.
  • Monitor all people for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Post signs to remind all persons to follow physical distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
  • Follow physical distancing guidelines at all times, including in the building, parking lot, etc. Follow the recommendations from your public health agency or other authority regarding the wearing of non-medical masks.
  • Mark or arrange seating to indicate how to maintain physical distancing when seated, as well as when entering the building, lining up for washrooms, exiting, etc.
  • Consider using separate entry and exit doors to help control pedestrian flow.
  • Install physical barriers such as clear plastic sneeze guards, where appropriate.
  • Use a plastic lined garbage bin to reduce exposure when disposing of garbage.
  • Keep attendance lists of clients to assist in contact tracing or if follow-up is required.
  • Keep contact lists for all staff and volunteers.
  • Review all the activities that occur at your facility, such as daycares, services to vulnerable individuals, etc. It may not be possible to offer all services.

Activities

  • Do not provide activities that include communal food or beverages. If providing meals, offer a “grab and go” or delivery service.
  • Avoid activities with hand holding or shaking.
  • Reassess group activities. If you do hold them, do so with the smallest number of participants possible and maintain a 2 metre distance. Consider offering additional but smaller sized group activities. Clean and disinfect the spaces between groups.
  • Singing, especially in groups, is considered a high-risk activity. Consider having a soloist sing (using a barrier such as plexiglass), or providing instrumental music. Singers that are members of the same household are at less risk and could sing together while distanced from others.
  • Suspend activities such as daycare and face-to-face senior programs.
  • Clean any shared item between users, including pens, craft supplies, bingo cards, magazines, books, utensils, linens, tools, etc.
  • Ask users to keep their belongings with them (such as coats and bags). Close shared coat check areas.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Clean and disinfect all commonly touched objects or surfaces such as counters, chairs, handles, doorknobs, elevator buttons, railings, light switches, faucets/taps, linens, clothes, books, and other objects.
  • Clean and disinfect the area between groups of users.
  • Use a disinfectant or bleach solution to destroy or inactivate the virus.
    • If household or commercial disinfectant cleaning products are not available, hard surfaces can be disinfected using a mixture of 5 mL of bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) and 250 mL of water.
    • If liquids can be withstood, disinfect high-touch electronic devices (e.g., touch screens, pin pads, keyboards) with alcohol or disinfectant wipes.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves suitable for the cleaning agent.
  • Use a dedicated cloth for cleaning.
  • Clean so that when the surface is wiped, the surface still appears wet.
  • Make sure workers or volunteers understand the risks, have received training, and understand the safety precautions for all cleaning methods and required PPE.
  • Make sure washrooms are cleaned frequently, have running water, and are stocked with soap, paper towels and a plastic lined waste container. Visibly dirty hands must be washed with soap and water.
  • Dispose of used tissues, wipes, gloves, and other cleaning materials in a plastic lined waste container.
  • Use disposable gloves when handling garbage.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • When PPE is required, train staff on how to work with and care for PPE, and to understand its limitations.
  • Put on and remove PPE in the correct order according to safe work procedures to reduce exposure.
  • Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially during and after removal of PPE.
  • Improvised or homemade masks are not PPE. Caution should be used. Discuss options with your supervisor, and/or your health and safety committee or representative, and/or union if present.

It is important that mental health resources and support are provided to all workers, including access to an employee assistance program, if available.

For further information on COVID-19, refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Note that this guidance is just some of the adjustments organizations can make during a pandemic. Adapt this list by adding your own good practices and policies to meet your organization’s specific needs.

Disclaimer: As public and occupational health and safety information is changing rapidly, local public health authorities should be consulted for specific, regional guidance. This information is not intended to replace medical advice or legislated health and safety obligations. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.

Document last updated November 26, 2020