NL FIRST AID COVID-19 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS & EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN
NL First Aid is committed to the health and safety of all its program participants, visitors and staff at all times. During the COVID-19 Pandemic we are complying with both Government and Canadian Red Cross requirements and have added precautions in place wherever we are operating to guarantee we maintain our commitment, including reduced class sizes (when applicable), additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), enhanced sanitizing procedures and physical distancing wherever possible.
In order to assist us to meet both the requirements and our commitment, all program participants, visitors and staff at any facility being used for training programs by NL First Aid must comply with our COVID-19 Safety Precautions & Emergency Response Plan. Failure to comply may result in refusal to enter a facility and participate in a program or removal from training if already commenced.
Note: Some aspects of the following safety precautions may not be required on specific training dates due to periodic changes in Government requirements but all course participants should be prepared to comply fully if they are in place at the time of their training. Additional measures may also be in place and participants will be informed of these as and when required.
ENTRANCE SCREENING. Entrance screening lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19, therefore upon arrival for a program and before admittance into the class, all participants will be asked to determine if they have been ill or have had any signs of illness within the last 72 hours (fever, cough, breathing difficulties/shortness of breath or other symptoms) or been in contact with someone who is ill. They must then complete a COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention Questionnaire as part of the course registration process. The questionnaire currently asks:
1. Do you have any Covid-19-like symptoms? Fever, dry cough, sore throat, shortness/difficulty of breath, chest pain
2. Are you aware of any contact with a person infected or suspected to be infected with Covid-19
3. Have you been to any potential Covid-19 exposure locations during applicable dates and hours?
4. Have you been contacted by the Government for contact tracing?
5. Within the past 14 days, have you travelled internationally or from another Canadian province or territory
If a person answers YES to any of questions 1-5, they may be refused entry to the training facility, depending on their answer to question 6.
6. Have you followed the provincially/federally regulated Covid-19 protocols for entering Newfoundland/Canada?
All persons must also agree to Temperature Screening if required.
In the event that a participant or instructor becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms during a training session, the Emergency Response Plan below must be followed immediately.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING. Participants must maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) during all aspects of training, including seated and standing activities, while on breaks and when eating, unless specifically informed otherwise by the program instructor(s) – for example during skills practice sessions. Classroom desks and seats are spaced according to the physical distancing requirement of 2 metres (6 feet) and participants must not move them any closer.
FACE MASKS. Participants must wear a 3-ply face-mask during all aspects of training, including seated and standing activities, unless specifically informed otherwise by the program instructor(s) – for example when CPR or other skills cannot be completed using a face-mask. HOMEMADE FACE-MASKS ARE NOT PERMITTED.
Masks may be lowered to eat or drink during breaks but physical distancing must still be maintained. To avoid contamination of the face-mask, the following precautions should be taken:
• Avoid touching the face mask while in use.
• Change for a fresh mask if it becomes damp, crumpled or soiled.
Participants are requested to provide their own 3-ply face-masks and it is recommended they carry a spare, however NL First Aid keeps a limited supply for participants who may need one due to damage, etc.
HAND HYGIENE. Handwashing facilities and hand-sanitizing stations are available at all times. Hand hygiene is required by staff and participants prior to entering classroom space, before/after meals, snacks and breaks and before/after all practical skills sessions.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTING. Participants are expected to assist with the cleaning and disinfecting of areas and equipment they use and touch as individuals during training, with cleaning products provided to them. Products used are commonly available wipes and sprays but anyone who may have a sensitivity to cleaning products, for example by touch or smell, should inform NL First Aid prior to training.
CLASSROOM SURFACES. Classroom surfaces are cleaned and disinfected prior to the start of each training session, periodically throughout the training day and after training finishes. Participants are also required to clean and disinfect their desk/seat area after eating/drinking, if they create any mess and at the end of each training day prior to additional cleaning by the instructor(s).
DISPOSABLE GLOVES. Disposable gloves are available for use as required throughout the program. Glove use is required during all skill practice sessions, cleaning and disinfecting and at any other time when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Hand hygiene must be performed before putting gloves on and after taking them off and they cannot be reused.
OTHER PPE ITEMS. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items other than 3-Ply Face-Masks and Disposable Gloves already mentioned, which may be required for a program, will be supplied by NL First Aid and must be used as directed by the instructor(s).
STATIONERY. Participants must use their own stationery items including worksheets, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. and these items must not be shared with other students. Pens and notepaper are provided.
TRAINING MATERIALS. Training materials will be in electronic format where possible. When printed materials are required for classroom use, they are not reusable and are only distributed by the instructor(s) to individual participants. Participants must not handle materials used by others.
TRAINING ITEMS & EQUIPMENT. Disposable training items such as Bandages, Gauzes, Mannequin Lungs are provided (or installed in equipment) new and unused for individual participant use. Reusable training equipment, such as CPR Mannequins, AED Trainers and Tourniquets is cleaned and disinfected prior to use then again immediately after use by individual participants (under instructor supervision) and then once more prior to storage by the instructor(s) or before use by another participant. Participants are required to immediately discard any disposable items they have used in the receptacle(s) provided and clean and disinfect the area they were used.
SKILLS PRACTICE. Unless unavoidable, skill practice sessions skills will be individual (or 2 metres/6 feet apart) and demonstrated using mannequins or other inanimate training aids in order to avoid personal contact and maintain physical distancing. A face-mask and gloves must still always be worn, with the exception of lowering face-masks for CPR skills when a pocket resuscitation mask with single-use one-way valve is used instead.
FOOD AND DRINK. Food and Drink is not provided by NL First Aid but may be brought by participants to training sessions for personal consumption in the classroom. Food and drink must only be consumed at individual desks and must not be shared with other students. Physical distancing must still be maintained whilst consuming food and drink. After using a desk area to consume food or drink, participants must clean and disinfect the area. No food or drink preparation facilities are available to program participants.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN
The following Emergency Response Plan lists actions to be taken in the event a participant or instructor becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms during a training session:
• Training must cease immediately and physical distancing must be maintained.
• Disposable gloves are to be donned (if not already on hands) in addition to face-masks.
• In-use equipment and desk areas must be cleaned and disinfected by individuals.
• Participants and instructors must discard any disposable equipment they have used in the receptacle(s) provided and clean and disinfect the area they were used. Gloves used for clean-up may now also be discarded.
• The instructor(s) will confirm participants’ contact details and inform them they will be contacted as soon as possible regarding continuation of training, etc.
• All participants must then go directly home (taking all their personal belongings), have no contact with their family or the public and self-isolate.
• Participants must visit https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/ and complete a self-assessment before calling 811, reporting the event and following any advice given.
The instructor(s) will notify all appropriate persons that training was suspended due to concerns of a symptomatic participant or instructor and ensure the classroom, training areas, any equipment being used, training aids, etc are safely secured and access restricted until it can be disinfected. Once this is complete, the instructor(s) must also go directly home, have no contact with their family or the public, self-isolate, visit https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/ and complete a self-assessment before calling 811, reporting the event and following any advice given.
In the event a participant or instructor who is not displaying symptoms is informed during a training session that they have or may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and must isolate, the Emergency Response for all participants and instructors is the same as above.