Covid-19 policy

Silver Creek Centre For Early Learning & Development

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Section:       Silver Creek Pre-School Policies

Reference No.      PS

Date Approved: August 27, 2020

Last Revised:   August 27, 2020

Subject:      COVID-19 – Pandemic Policy

Policy:         COVID-19

Silver Creek Pre-School recognizes the importance of taking every reasonable precaution to protect the health and safety of staff, children and families by reducing the spread of COVID-19. This policy is intended to provide an outline to staff, parents and the community indicating the procedures put in place to support the well-being of all.  Pandemic is defined by WHO (World Health Organization), Federal and Provincial Government and TPH (Toronto Public Health).

This policy is based on the recommendations of TPH (COVID-19 Guidance), the Ministry of Education (Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak) and the City of Toronto (Reopening Client Prioritization Guide).

The following procedures must be followed in addition to all other Silver Creek Pre-School Policies and Procedures, and all requirements set out under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA) and the Assessment for Quality Improvement document (AQI).  In the event that a procedure under this policy conflicts with any other or the above requirements (with exception to TPH recommendations), the procedures under this policy take precedence.

It is IMPORTANT TO NOTE that

  • All illness and/or absenteeism is to be reported to Silver Creek
  • No parent, child, staff or outside worker is to enter the building if they are not well. Any person attempting to enter the building in a state of illness will be denied entry
  • Any child with a household member who has been diagnosed with or has symptoms of COVID-19 must be tested for COVID-19 and test negative prior to returning to the Centre
  • If a household member has traveled outside of the country, the child must quarantine for 14 days
  • TPH will be notified of any person/s with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  • TPH will confirm when the person reported may return to the Centre
  • To report a case of COVID-19, call TPH surveillance unit at 416-392-7411

Re-entry and prevention Procedure

PRIOR TO RE-ENTRY

A comprehensive plan following The Ministry of Education, Toronto Children’s Services and TPH will be put in place to support the organization of changes made.

  • A comprehensive plan will be outlined for staff and families.
  • Families and staff will be kept abreast to any changes or updates prior to the commencement of the school year via email
  • Routine update meetings will take place ensuring that staff aware of government changes and updates to the Silver Creek re-entry plan
  • The Executive Director will submit an attestation for approval to the Ministry prior to re-entry.
  • The Executive Director will contact all families to confirm enrollment and assign a start date.
  • If service demand from families exceeds the allotted cohort sizes, children will be granted priority enrollment based on the following categories. Children of essential workers (category 1). Single parent families or families where both parents are working, children with extra support needs, or families with systemic barriers (category 2). Families where the parent is a student or is looking for work. Children who would strongly benefit from attending a program (category 3).  One parent is employed while the 2nd parent is a student (category 4). Returning families who are looking for work (category 5)

Staff training

  • All staff must be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19
  • All staff must read and be aware of the practices within the IPAC (Infection Prevention and Control)
  • All staff will be trained in proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Staff will be routinely updated on changes in the Silver Creek re-entry plan and government requirements

INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL

To best protect the health of all children and staff the following procedures must be followed by all staff and families:

  • Silver Creek will remain aware of updates regarding COVID-19 and will follow all recommendations made by the Federal and Provincial Government and TPH
  • Silver Creek will monitor through screening and self-reporting, health conditions of all staff, children and persons entering the building
  • Screening and temperature checks
  • Attendance reporting

Cohorting staff and children

  • Classrooms will operate at full capacity plus staff
  • Staff and children will remain in assigned rooms or outside
  • Staff members may not enter different rooms
  • Specialized staff members will be supporting children in each classroom on a consistent rotational basis
  • Outdoor space will be assigned to each class
  • If a staff member is required to move to another room for replacement purposes, full PPE is required

Physical distancing

  • Staff members are to maintain a physical distance of 2 meters
  • Continue to maintain a welcoming and caring environment for children
  • Physical distancing is not to compromise supervision or safety of the child
  • Handshakes, hugs, kisses, “high fives” must not be practiced at this time
  • Limit personal items from home. These items must be clearly labelled
  • Visual cues such as tape, signs or other visual markers on floors, tables, seats and other play areas for staff and children will be implemented in the classroom to promote physical distancing
  • Planned activities should support physical distancing
  • Children cannot share objects or toys
  • Avoid singing, shouting or speaking loudly indoors (increases distance of particles)
  • Plan activities that encourage individual play and increase space between children
  • Consider moving activities outside to allow for more space, when possible

Preparing the physical space

  • A designated drop off is located for all staff and families at the main entrance to the school
  • A screening station is located just within the foyer of the entrance and will be clearly marked with signage
  • Public Health COVID-19 signage will be posted at the screening entrance
  • The screening process will be posted and explained to each person entering
  • The person/s entering must remain a 2-meter distance from the screener or behind a plexiglass screen
  • Tape is provided to maintain physical distancing

The children

  • Space is increased between seating and play areas
  • Children have assigned and labelled chairs – all other seating is removed
  • Help children be aware of physical space by adding tape or physical boundaries around play areas
  • The use of group sensory material is prohibited
  • It is not mandatory for children attending Silver Creek to wear masks but if a parent prefers, a child can wear a non-medical mask if they are able to use it properly
  • Upper level windows will be opened to enhance ventilation in the classrooms and the office area

Enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfecting

  • All cleaning and disinfecting products will be confirmed for use in Canada according to the Drug Identification Number (DIN)
  • Contact times for disinfectants are to be strongly observed
  • Expiry dates of the disinfectant must be consistently observed
  • Infection and Prevention procedures will be followed in order to minimize the spread of germs
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances, in all classrooms and washrooms. TPH posters will be posted to remind and encourage proper use of this product
  • Washrooms will be cleaned and disinfected after each use, between programs and at the end of the day
  • All high touched surfaces and objects (e.g. doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink faucets and tabletops) should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day and when visibly dirty
  • Items that are handled by more than one individual (e.g. electronic devices, printer, stapler, etc.) must be cleaned and disinfected between users

Requirements for use of toys, equipment and other materials

  • Toy options will be kept to toys that are easily washed and disinfected
  • Toys must be washed and disinfected after each use (preferably in the dishwasher)
  • Toys are not to be shared
  • Toys must be disinfected with an approved disinfectant
  • Toy washing will take place throughout the course of the day
  • Separate, clean and disinfect mouthed toys immediately after the child has finished using it
  • Group sensory based activities will be eliminated from the program until further notice
  • Sensory materials (e.g., playdough, water, sand, etc.) may be used by an individual child only; label sensory material container with child’s name; wash and disinfect or dispose of at the end of program
  • Provide individualized and labelled bins for art materials and supplies for each child to prevent sharing

Enhanced hand hygiene

  • Hand washing will be required on arrival, after outdoor play, before and after snack, after washroom use, before leaving and routinely as necessary
  • It is recommended that soap and water is the primary hand hygiene method with hand sanitizer (70% alcohol) being the second option
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Monitor all hand washing supplies

Maintaining respiratory etiquette

  • Use of a medical grade face mask – Silver Creek will provide all necessary masks to employees
  • Implement “cover your cough” etiquette. Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue
  • Kleenex to be thrown into garbage with hand washing to follow
  • TPH posters regarding respiratory etiquette to be posted

Food safety practices

  • Preparation – Snack preparation will take place in the kitchen
  • Hand washing will take place for all children and staff prior to preparation and before and after the snack routine
  • Snack will consist of ready-made products that are placed in individual bags for the children to access
  • Utensils must be used to serve food by the staff
  • Utensils will not be shared
  • Food items- Families will not be permitted to bring in outside food
  • Food options for those with food allergies and or sensitivities will be provided by the school
  • Only pre-prepared food items will be served along with fruits and vegetables
  • Snack routine- Snack time will be staggered to allow for physical distancing
  • Children will not be permitted to share or serve food

Screening and temperature checks prior to entry

  • A screening centre will be located at the main entrance of the school
  • No persons will be permitted to enter at any other location
  • All adult entrants into Silver Creek will be required to wear a face covering
  • All children, staff, visitors and placement students will be screened prior to entry
  • Screening tools will be provided by TPH
  • Screening results are to be recorded daily and remain on site
  • Persons answering “No” to all screening questions will be permitted to hand their child to Silver Creek staff
  • Persons answering “Yes” to any of the questions will not be permitted into the centre
  • If any person/s living in the home answers “Yes” to any of the screening questions, the child cannot be welcomed into the school
  • If the screener is questioning the wellness of a child, permission to enter can only be granted by the Executive Director
  • All persons to use hand sanitizer after screening
  • Parents are not permitted past the screening area
  • Staff will continue to monitor any fluctuations in health throughout the program times

Enhanced attendance, reporting and recording

  • A daily attendance record of all individuals entering the centre will be kept. This includes but is not limited to, cleaning staff, centre staff, children, public health inspectors, fire inspectors, building maintenance etc.
  • Records of absenteeism are to be kept with reason for absence. Staff and families will be asked to describe their symptoms when calling in sick in order to track a possible trend in illness. If a trend appears to be present, TPH will be notified.
  • A follow up is required if a child or staff are absent and have not provided the reason
  • Classroom attendance will be maintained as usual
  • Persons exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to seek testing
  • Non-essential visitors are not permitted to enter the centre
  • All records are to remain on site at all times
  • Parents of ill children are encouraged to seek COVID-19 testing at assessment centres and to call Telehealth or their primary care provider to determine if further care is required
  • A confirmed case of COVID-19 will be reported as a serious occurrence

Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Silver Creek will maintain a 2-week supply of PPE at all times
  • Full PPE is mask, face shield/goggles, gloves & gown) and PPE is face mask & face shield
  • Staff must wear full PPE during screening or escorting children to their classrooms
  • Staff must wear full PPE when supporting an ill individual
  • Staff must wear a medical grade mask when physical distancing is not possible
  • Staff must wear full PPE for cleaning of bodily fluids
  • Staff must wear full PPE when diapering a child
  • Staff must wear PPE when providing personal direct care (e.g. Feeding, hand washing, etc.)
  • Staff must wear PPE when consoling a child
  • Staff must wear PPE when helping a child dress or undress

Isolating children and staff that become ill while attending the centre

  • Isolation/exclusion of all staff, placement students or children exhibiting symptoms
  • Individuals will be isolated at the rear entrance to the school. Hand sanitizer will be available
  • Door will remain open
  • A non-medical mask may be worn by a child who is older than 2 years, if tolerated, and if they are able to use it properly (e.g., donning and doffing carefully, avoiding touching while on). Child will be supervised by adult in full PPE and physical distancing practices adhered to as much as possible
  • The situation will be documented
  • Self isolate and refer to the testing centre
  • Parents will be notified for immediate pick up of their child
  • Staff and placement students will be sent home immediately
  • Self reporting via screening
  • Symptoms will be reported to TPH according to their recommendations (as per Ontario Regs 559/91)
  • The isolation area will be thoroughly disinfected after use
  • Children within the ill individual’s cohort must remain in this cohort for 14 days and be monitored for symptoms
  • All staff and children exposed to COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days
  • Parents must notify Silver Creek if their child is away from school for any reason. For illness they are to specify symptoms, e.g. fever, cough, diarrhea, sore throat, green mucous discharge. This includes contagious diseases (e.g. chicken pox) and respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 (whose symptoms include but not limited to severe chest pain, chills, headache, dry cough, fatigue and loss of appetite)
  • Children accessing the Silver Creek bussing service will not be permitted to ride with any symptoms of COVID-19
  • Children will stay home until they are symptom free and feeling well and able to fully participate in all normal day-to-day school activities. This is most likely to be assured after they have been symptom-free home for up to 14 days, as mandated by TPH, after symptom onset and until all symptoms have resolved. This is an essential consideration as many of Silver Creek’s children are at risk for severe illness and/or complications from any virus
  • TPH recommends that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 attend an assessment centre for testing as soon as possible and to self-isolate at home until the result is available
  • For information about the symptoms of COVID-19 go to https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-what-you-should-do/covid-19-have-symptoms-or-been-exposed/
  • All recommendations from TPH will be adhered to

Communication with families, guardians and other stakeholders

  • Policies and procedures regarding health and safety protocols for COVID-19 will be shared with families and staff via email
  • Use of telephone or video conferencing will be used when possible for meetings with parents
  • Should a child fall ill and be sent home during program hours, not necessarily COVID-19 related, all families in the same classroom will be informed
  • Silver Creek will provide current TPH information to all parents and staff as required
  • TPH signage will be posted for parent information
  • Communication with stakeholders will support adherence to regulations and policies.

WORK, HEALTH AND SAFETY

  • Silver Creek Health and Safety committee will stay abreast of all current information. WHO, Federal and Provincial Ministries and TPH
  • Staff should be self-aware of any changes in infection rates and personal health and safety measures
  • Staff and families are strongly encouraged to visit TPH and Ontario.ca for ongoing information
  • Maintain regular Health and Safety meetings to inform staff of updates and changes
  • Will conduct workshops on policy and procedures
  • Staff will be trained to ensure they are aware of and can implement the revised IPAC policies and procedures
  • Staff will be trained on proper use of PPE
  • All information to staff and families will be provided in writing
  • Staff and students will be monitored by administration to ensure correct hand washing, hand sanitizing, respiratory and cover your cough procedures
  • The mental health and well-being of staff and students will always be considered and acknowledged both as a group and an individual basis

Outbreak Procedure

In the event of an outbreak of pandemic nature (COVID-19) at Silver Creek, the Executive Director or director designate must contact TPH @ 416-392-7411. The school representative will describe the symptoms of the disease or outbreak and the number of children/staff infected.

The Executive Director will take the advice of TPH and be prepared to temporarily close the school under the direction of TPH. As Silver Creek’s Essential Service is the Pre-School, other ancillary services such as workshops, play groups, baby groups, may be cancelled in efforts to maintain our core services.

  • Parents and staff must remain diligent in providing Silver Creek administration with correct contact information
  • Parents and staff will be notified by the Executive Director via telephone or email and will be provided with instructions as to how to proceed
  • In the event of staff absenteeism, a replacement force is in place and will be utilized (replacement agency)
  • Staff will also be deployed to cover job responsibilities where they are needed most
  • In the event that administration is unable to fulfill their roles, the Board of Directors will be informed and will put into place a plan of action in order to ensure the smooth running of the school.