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How to Clean Goggles




Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol

COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN

December 16, 2021

 


Purpose

As an employer we have a duty to provide a safe and healthy workplace for our employees. The purpose of this document is to provide direction to our employees physically working at Tikinagan Child and Family Services offices and/or completing in person contact with individuals receiving agency services. The preventative measures contained in this protocol are designed to reduce the risk of COVID- 19 transmission in the workplace and are based on best practices and guidelines from the Province of Ontario, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization. Tikinagan Child and Family Services continuously assesses and reviews the latest information about COVID-19 and its impacts on the health and safety of employees and First Nation communities to ensure direction given to our employees is based on current scientific knowledge and recommendations.

These safety procedures are communicated to all employees through information sharing and a mandatory training program. The information provided in this document is reinforced by placing visual educational materials in prominent places around the workplace and on the agency website.

Employees are encouraged to frequently check the staff portal on the agency website for current information, forms and changes to direction contained in the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol (COVID-19 Safety Plan).

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Universal Protective Measures to Keep Everyone Safe

The following measures were introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and remain best practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19:

  • Keep two meters/six feet distance from others (physical distancing)
  • Clean your hands often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based (60-90%) hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Wear a disposable 3- or 4-layer face mask and, when closer than 6 feet to someone not wearing a mask or entering someone’s home, a face shield or goggles as well (distributed by the agency).

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Self-monitoring/Screening of Employees and Visitors Entering Agency Buildings or Offices/Agency Operated Homes or Group Home/Vehicles or Conducting In-Person Tikinagan Related Business Outside of the Workplace 

  • It is mandatory for all employees and visitors to complete a health screening questionnaire each day before commencing work in an agency building or office and/or entering an agency building, Agency Operated Home or Group Home, vehicle, or office space; as well as, prior to conducting Tikinagan related business outside of the workplace, including in-person contact with staff or clients (available on the staff portal, as an app on your phone and in paper form). The answers to the screening questions are documented
  • Signs will be posted at all entrances instructing employees or visitors to not enter the building/office if they have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Employees should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms:
    • fever and/or chills (37.8 degrees C or higher) that are not related to other known causes or conditions
    • cough or barking cough (croup) that is continuous, more than usual, making a whistling noise when breathing, not related to other known causes or conditions
    • shortness of breath, out of breath, unable to breathe deeply that is not related to other known causes or conditions
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or stuffy/congested nose not related to seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • decrease or loss of taste or smell not related to seasonal allergies, neurological disorders or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • pink eye (conjunctivitis not related to reoccurring styes or other known causes or conditions you already have)
    • digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain not related to irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual cramps or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • difficulty swallowing, painful swallowing not related to other known causes or conditions you already have
    • muscle aches that are unusual, long-lasting (not related to a sudden injury, fibromyalgia, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
    • headache that is unusual, long lasting not related to tension-type headaches, chronic migraines or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • extreme tiredness that is unusual, fatigue, lack of energy (not related to depression, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • falling down often (for older people)
  • Employees should remain at home (not entering a Tikinagan office, not using agency vehicles or attending in-person meetings with other staff or clients) if experiencing any COVID symptoms, even if it is only one symptom, or if any member of the household has COVID symptoms; and, immediately notify their supervisor and Human Resources Manager of the reason for not coming to work
  • An employee who has recurring non-infectious medical symptoms (e.g., allergies, migraines) can consult with his/her supervisor and the Human Resources Manager about completing the agency’s Recurring Non-infectious Medical Situation Form (on the staff portal). The documentation of these symptoms allows an employee to enter the workplace, agency vehicles or conduct agency related business outside of the workplace even when he/she answers ‘yes’ to one of the symptoms on the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire
  • Employees who become sick with COVID-19 symptoms while in the workplace should:
    • notify their supervisor of their symptoms
    • immediately isolate until they can safely leave the office for home and monitor their symptoms
    • contact the local Public Health Unit (Northwestern Health Unit, Thunder Bay District Health Unit) and/or Nursing Station to report the case and seek direction on next steps, including testing if that has not happened
    • tell their supervisor where in the building or office space he/she has been and the names of the individuals he/she was in contact with
    • the employee will inform his/her supervisor of the direction given by the local Public Health Unit and/or Nursing Station
  • Once informed of the employee’s illness, the supervisor will:
    • forward the information immediately to the Human Resources Manager or other designated agency personnel
    • contact the property department to receive direction on disinfecting the employee’s workstation, along with any other surfaces the employee was in contact with
    • inform the appropriate service manager and Director of Services immediately to report the case and seek direction on next steps
  • An employee who is tested for COVID-19 will inform the Human Resources Manager or other designated agency personnel of the test, remain at home, monitor his/her symptoms until being informed of the results of the test, and inform the Human Resources Manager or other designated agency personnel in writing of the results of the test
  • An employee with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or an employee who had close contact with an individual with symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis, can return to work a minimum of 14 days after the start of their symptoms, provided there is clearance from the public health case manager. Prior to the employee returning to work, the supervisor/service manager will consult with the Human Resources Manager or other designated personnel.

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Mandatory Vaccination Policy 

It is mandatory for all employees, contractors, volunteers, and students (affected individuals) to be fully vaccinated, and to provide Tikinagan Child and Family Services with verification of being fully vaccinated. Being fully vaccinated means providing documentation evidencing full  vaccination against COVID-19 with vaccines approved by Health Canada and/or the World Health Organization (WHO).  Also, the employee, contractor, volunteer, or student will have received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to submitting the documentation. The vaccination verification is submitted to a confidential email address (vaccination@tikinagan.org).

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Accommodation and Testing

Affected individuals not able to be vaccinated for verified medical or religious reasons will be considered for accommodation in accordance with, and to the extent provided for under, the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code. Accommodation, if offered, may be conditional upon the affected individual submitting to COVID-19 testing, and demonstrating a negative result on a regular basis, the frequency of which will be determined by Tikinagan.

Employees choosing not to be vaccinated may be considered for accommodation. Whether accommodation is offered will be determined solely by Tikinagan Child and Family Services. Accommodation, if offered, may be conditional upon the Affected Individual submitting to COVID-19 testing, and demonstrating a negative result on a regular basis, the frequency of which will be determined by Tikinagan.

All requests for accommodation should be submitted in writing to the Human Resources Manager or the Human Resources Supervisor. When requesting accommodation for verified medical or religious reasons the request should include supporting written verification.

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Confidentiality

All information relating to an individual’s vaccination status, request for and verification of a request for accommodation, request, and reasons for an extension to become fully vaccinated,  and COVID-19 test results will be held by Tikinagan Child and Family Services in strict confidence.

For any questions or additional information, contact the Human Resources Manager or the Human Resources Supervisor.

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Mandatory Use of a Mask Within Tikinagan Child and Family Services

Ontario public health orders require the use of masks or face covering for anyone in an enclosed public space. These public health instructions are based on increasing scientific evidence that supports wearing a mask or face covering when in enclosed public spaces is an important measure in reducing community transmission of COVID-19.

The agency enhanced the mandatory mask measure to the use of disposable 3- or 4-layer mask and, when closer than 6 feet to someone not wearing a mask or entering someone’s home, together with a face shield or goggles.  Disposable masks, goggles and face shields are provided by the agency.

Signs about the requirement to wear 3- or 4-layer disposable masks to enter and remain in the office building or office space are posted prominently at all entrances. Alcohol based hand sanitizer is available at all entrances and exits for persons entering or exiting agency buildings or office spaces.

The following procedures must be followed: o Employees, visitors and others are required to put on the disposable 3- or 4layer mask issued to them by the agency and use hand sanitizer whenever entering any agency building or office space. Disposable 3- or 4-layer masks and hand sanitizer are available at the entrances to agency office buildings and office spaces.

  • To wear a mask correctly:
    • wash hands before putting on the mask; use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible
    • put the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
    • fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face
    • make sure you can breathe easily
    • the mask must cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping
    • do not touch the front of the mask while you wear it and wash your hands if you accidentally touch it
    • when a mask becomes damp or humid, replace it with a new mask
  • Employees must wear a 3- or 4-layer disposable mask while in the office except when they are at their personal workstation or any emergency or medical purpose. This includes office travel to other units and washroom breaks. If you share an office or work in an open space with others, you must wear a 3- or 4-layer disposable mask at all times
  • If PPE is required, employees can contact the PPE Co-ordinator in the Property Department to enquire where it is available.
  • To take off a mask correctly:
    • untie the strings behind the head or stretch the ear loops o handle only by the ear loops or ties o fold outside corners together
    • be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing and wash hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after removing
    • when removing it at your workstation, place it in a sealable plastic or paper bag provided by the agency
    • after the work day is finished, dispose of the mask in a waste receptacle
  • a video on wearing a N95 mask properly is posted on the staff portal
  • Employees must use the 3- or 4-layer disposable mask and, when closer than 6 feet to someone not wearing a mask or entering someone’s home, together with a face shield or goggles, issued by the agency to employees whose duties require them to work in an agency building or office space, ride in agency vehicles, or conduct agency business off-site in the presence of other employees, clients or the general public
  • Never share your mask or let anyone handle/touch your mask. Employees must remain in the areas of the building or office required to complete their work-related duties and not go to other areas of the building or office space
  • Employees must use hand sanitizer to clean their hands each time they leave or return to their personal workstation and upon exiting the building or office space

The public health instructions issued by the local Health Unit lists the following exemptions to wearing a mask or face covering in an enclosed public space:

  1. Children under two years of age, or children under the age of five years either chronologically or developmentally who refuse to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver
  2. Individuals with medical conditions rendering them unable to safely wear a mask, including breathing difficulties, cognitive difficulties, hearing, or communication difficulties
  3. Individuals who cannot wear or are unable to apply or remove a mask without assistance, including those who are accommodated under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or who have protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code

An employee, visitor or others who wish to be exempt from the requirement to wear a mask to enter and remain in an agency building or office space or agency vehicle based on the exemptions listed above, must put the request in writing to the Human Resources Manager or other designated agency personnel and state the reason an exemption is being requested.

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Entering Dwellings

It is paramount that all calls coming into agency offices are responded to in a timely manner.  There are times when employees need to enter homes or dwellings to respond to crisis situations and other child protection matters. A dwelling includes client homes, foster parent homes,  potential foster parents homes during the application period, and live in foster parent Agency Operated Homes.  A dwelling does not include Staff Model Agency Operated Homes or Group Homes.

To complete a visit to a home:

  1. Decide if entering the home is necessary o Is the visit needed because of an extreme child welfare concern? o Would it be reasonable to meet outside the home, over the phone or by video conference?
  2. Receive permission from your supervisor to complete the home visit and confirm your understanding of the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) that must be worn while completing the home visit
  3. Ensure you have the proper PPE for the home visit (refer to Appendix A)
  4. Complete the COVID Questionnaire Prior to A Home Visit (internet link which can be downloaded to any device) prior to every home visit even if you don’t plan on entering the home.
  5. When there is no internet access, you must fill out a paper copy and submit to your supervisor or on call supervisor prior to completing the home visit (a supervisor can fill out the questionnaire with you over the phone)
  6. Wear the required PPE during the visit regardless of what others in the home are using for PPE.

The agency provides Home Visits Kits that include all the necessary PPE for a home visit where COVID is not present.  These kits are located in all offices or can be obtained from the Property Department.

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Physical Distancing

Physical distancing means limiting close contact with others. Physical distancing strategies include:

  • Reminders to everyone to maintain a two metre/six foot distance from each other at all times
  • Employees must use the 3- or 4-layer disposable masks issued by the agency when working in an agency building or office space, riding in agency vehicles, or conducting agency business off-site in the presence of other employees, clients or the general public. Goggles or a face shield must be worn together with a mask when in close contact with someone who isn’t wearing a mask (even if the individual has a medical  reason) as the risk of transmission through the eyes increases
  • Reduce density of people in the building at any one time and avoid crowding by staggering work days or work hours to reduce congregation of employees at common spaces such as entrances/exits and stairs
  • Consider the need for face-to-face contact and whether meeting in person is necessary; use other methods of conducting business, appointments and meetings (teleconferences, video conferencing) 

Child welfare service staff will continue to follow directions given in the Child Welfare

Service Contingency Plan: Recommendations for Providing Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • When larger scale return to the workplace is implemented, consideration will be given to some employees continuing to work remotely (from home) once a completed Request for Accommodation Form is received and approved
  • Other strategies include alternate work weeks, staggering start/end times for the work day, breaks, lunches or days/hours that employees are in the workplace, using available outdoor spaces whenever possible (e.g., meetings, breaks, client interactions)
  • Eliminate the sharing of tools and equipment (e.g., keyboards, lap top computers, pens, swipe cards, keys) between employees, or if sharing is required, provide solution for employees to disinfect tools and equipment between uses
  • If required to transport clients, please refer to the guidelines contained in Appendix C
  • There must be prior consultation and approval with supervisor/manager before work related travel plans are made.

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Hand Hygiene 

  • Post signage directing employees, visitors, and clients on how to thoroughly clean their hands (e.g., washrooms, entrances/exits) and ensure that supplies necessary to clean hands are easily accessible (hand soap, paper towels, garbage cans, alcohol- based hand sanitizer (60-90%)
  • Hand sanitizers will be placed strategically throughout the workplace (e.g., entrances/exits, reception areas, kitchens, washrooms)
  • Employees should have hand sanitizer at their workstation. Hand washing with soap and water should be done if hands are visibly soiled
  • Ensure liquid hand soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers are checked regularly and kept full
  • Do not shake hands and only use forms of greeting that do not require physical contact Wash or sanitize your hands before starting work, before eating, between every interaction with co-workers, visitors, or community members, after going to the bathroom, and immediately after removing gloves and other protective equipment but before touching eyes, nose, or mouth. 

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Cleaning and Disinfecting 

  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19
  • Although touching a contaminated surface or object is not the main way COVID-19 is spread, frequently touched surfaces are most likely to be contaminated. In addition to routine cleaning, frequently touched surfaces (touchpoints) will be cleaned and disinfected twice per day (preferably 3 – 4 hours apart) and when visibly dirty. See Appendix B for COVID-19 Disinfection of Touchpoints Procedure

Disinfection reminders pop up on employee computers twice per day and employees are required to record their disinfection times on a spreadsheet provided to them. A designated employee collects the spreadsheets at the end of each month

  • Training employees, particularly janitorial staff, on the difference between cleaning vs disinfecting and the importance of a vigilant cleaning and disinfecting routine
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of bathrooms, meeting tables, chairs and other office furniture used by more than one person will occur after each use. Disinfecting supplies (primarily Lysol Wipes) will be provided in each public space for employees to use
  • Ensure there is always a sufficient inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and disinfecting supplies in all buildings, community office spaces and agency vehicles

Cold misting fogger machines (Karcher) and fogging kit are situated in all agency offices for environmental cleaning of office spaces and vehicles.  The disinfectant used by the fogging machine kills a wide range of viruses, including Coronavirus and bacteria; requires no mixing or rinsing off once applied; is non-irritating to the skin and non-corrosive to treated articles.  Office spaces should be disinfected with the cold misting fogger machines every weekend.

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Cleaning and Disinfecting Office Equipment

 In the workplace, devices such as copiers, scanners, fax machines and printers are high-touch surfaces that must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.  The following are the steps to be followed:

  • Always wear disposable gloves while cleaning and avoid touching your face, eyes and environmental surfaces while wearing gloves
  • Use disinfectant wipes to disinfect the office equipment
  • While disinfecting pay special attention to the surfaces commonly touched by users, such as buttons, touchscreens, tray handles, covers, jam locations, etc.
  • Do not allow moisture to drip into open areas such as keyboards or USB ports as this can damage the device
  • Discard disposable gloves after each cleaning and wash your hands after removing your gloves.

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When an Employee Has a Suspected or Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in the Workplace 

  • Determine the locations in the building or office space the sick employee was in prior to learning he/she was suspected to have or confirmed positive for COVID-19 and who they came into contact with
  • At a minimum, close off any areas used by the sick employee and post signage stating area is closed to employees and open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area

If possible, wear appropriate PPE depending on the setting and the cleaning and disinfectant products being used. Protective eye wear should be put on after putting on a mask. Ensure adequate ventilation when using products (e.g., open window, doors or use fans)

  • Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them
  • Cold misting fogger machines are available in every office and a trained individual will disinfect the building and/or office space
  • Communicate with employees and community partners (including First Nations) in a timely manner to ensure accurate information is being shared.

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Meetings/Training

  • Consider whether group activities or group meetings are necessary. Use the telephone or video conferencing as alternate means of communicating
  • Whenever possible, deliver training virtually (teleconference, zoom, skype, videos)
  • Common kitchen/food service area will be discontinued. Participants will need to bring their own snacks and beverages in their own containers
  • Size of meeting room and ability to meet general protective measures, in particular physical distancing requirements, determines allowable number of participants. Also, the number of participants in a group is required to comply with provincial emergency public health orders.

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In-Person Group Meetings

When in-person group meetings are required, the protective measures contained in this protocol must be adhered to, including but not limited to:

  • Each participant must complete the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire before entering the agency building or office where the in-person group meeting is being held
  • Adequate PPE supplies available at the entrance, exit and washroom of the building or office where the in-person group meeting is being held
  • Seating and other furniture meets physical distancing requirements
  • A designated individual to disinfect the meeting location prior to the participants arriving and after all participants leave the meeting location
  • Participants wear 3- or 4-layer disposable masks during the in-person group meeting
  • Participants bring their own notebooks, snacks and beverages in their own containers

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Travel 

  • Employees must consult with and have approval from supervisor/service manager prior to making any work-related travel plans
  • Employees must wear 3- or 4-layer disposable face mask together with googles or a face shield to all in-person visits with clients. The agency has a supply of N95 masks available should an employee prefer it to the 3- or 4-layer disposable mask

Employees who receive approval to travel to a First Nation must contact the First Nation and be knowledgeable on its travel guidelines (including vaccination and negative COVID testing) prior to departure

  • Employees must have a rapid antigen test the day before travelling to a First Nation community and must: o Rapid antigen testing is used for screening purposes only and should NOT be used for diagnosis of acute COVID-19 infection. Testing does not prevent someone from getting COVID-19
    • Any positive results from rapid antigen screening must be confirmed with laboratory-based testing
    • Rapid antigen testing does not replace public health measures such as symptom screening, physical distancing, masking and hand hygiene
    • If vaccinated, carry proof of vaccination with them when travelling since First Nation communities are requesting proof of vaccination in order to travel to their community
  • Employees are required to follow any federal, provincial, local Public Health Unit or local First Nation pandemic requirements when travelling and upon return from their travel such as self-isolation and/or self-monitoring for symptoms. As an additional precaution, Tikinagan may restrict staff from coming to the office and having contact with clients and other staff whether or not there is a self-isolation requirement issued federally, provincially or locally
  • Tikinagan may restrict staff who have travelled to work remotely from contact with other staff and clients and prohibit them from entering a Tikinagan building, office or vehicle for 14 days after their return from travel. This restriction also applies when a member of the employee’s household has travelled outside of their community
  • As pandemic situations change in different parts of the country, province, region or        individual communities, the location of travel where Tikinagan will require these restrictions will be amended. Please consult the memos and guidelines distributed agency wide whenever changes are made. An up-to-date version of the guidelines are posted on the Staff Portal
  • Agency vehicles, including car seats, will be cleaned following the steps outlined in Appendix C. All agency vehicles should be fogged once per week. Transportation of any client should be minimized whenever possible. Employees should explore alternate options for client transportation, where appropriate
  • Home visits kits and vehicle kits are located in every office and every vehicle and accessible to any employee requiring them. The kits include PPE and cleaning materials as required for either completing an in-person home visit or using an agency vehicle.

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Accommodating Employee Requests Not to Return to the Workplace 

When larger scale return to the workplace is implemented, there are a variety of unique challenges employees are facing and reasons a worker may be unwilling or unable to return to the workplace. Tikinagan Child and Family Services will consider whether to accommodate employee requests not to return to the workplace, particularly in the following situations:

  • High risk employees who may be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 or of having more severe complications from COVID-19. According to the Government of Canada, individuals at higher risk include:
    • Older adults aged 60 years and older o People with weakened immune systems
    • People with medical conditions including heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Employees with childcare issues or caring for a sick relative.

When an employee makes the request not to return to the office by completing the Request for COVID-19 Work Accommodation form, Tikinagan Child and Family Services will consider mitigation measures such as working from home. Any accommodation will be granted for a maximum of two months so that changing circumstances can be taken into account.  Requests to renew accommodations for additional periods must be requested no later than two weeks before a current accommodation period ends.

Tikinagan reserves the right to provide fourteen (14) days’ notice to end a granted accommodation early due to changes in circumstances.

Employees are encouraged to access agency and community resources if struggling to deal with stress and anxiety about returning to the workplace. If further assistance is needed, an employee can contact Human Resources.

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Review of the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol

To ensure the direction outlined in the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol is working to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace, the plan will be reviewed a minimum of once every six months. The Director of Finance and Administration is responsible for the monitoring of the implementation of the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol for effectiveness and any COVID related issues arising as employees physically transition back to the workplace. The Director of Finance and Administration will make recommendations to senior management for updates to the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol as issues are identified and resolved.

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Additional Resources

For current information on regional COVID-19 updates, including travel advisories, check the following:

Northwestern Health Unit – https://www2.nwhu.on.ca/covid-19/

Thunder Bay District Health Unit – https://tbdhu.com/

Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority – https://www.slfnha.com/covid/

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APPENDIX A – What Personal Protective Equipment Needed to Enter Dwellings

Where to Find the Personal Protective Equipment and Cleaning Supplies You NEED

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APPENDIX B – COVID-19 Disinfection of Touchpoints Procedure

Definitions

Common Touchpoint Surface: a surface where bare hands come in contact from multiple people, multiple times.

Cleaning: removes germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting: kills germs on surfaces or objects using chemicals. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. For effective disinfection, cleaning should be done first.

Disinfectant: a solution used to destroy or irreversibly inactivate all specified organisms on a surface within a set timeframe.

Selected Disinfectant: a ready to use disinfectant approved by Health Canada that has virucide properties and has been selected by Tikinagan Child and Family Services. Note – if there is not sufficient disinfectant, 500 ppm bleach can be used as a replacement disinfectant.

Wiping and Leaving a Film: the action of wiping using a saturated cloth (with the disinfectant) such that when the surface is wiped, the surface still appears wet, without requirement for further wiping.

Requirements

To execute the procedure, the following items are required:

  1. Disposable gloves worn by the person applying the disinfectant
  2. Dedicated clean and dry cloth (should be changed daily) that can be used for cleaning if the surface is visibly soiled
  3. Container of selected disinfectant or disinfectant wipes or 500 ppm bleach solution
  4. Checklist of surfaces to be treated routinely throughout the day (site specific touchpoints).

Responsibilities 

  1. Appropriate employee is responsible to provide the procedure, and any associated training material, and ensure the supervisors who are in charge of employees responsible for cleaning and disinfecting are fully briefed.
  2. Supervisors are responsible for reviewing the procedure, providing the checklist, training and ensuring the cleaning staff successfully implement the procedure.
  3. Appropriate employees, alongside the supervisors, are responsible for identifying the common touchpoints to be treated and to itemize them on an appropriate checklist template.

Common Touchpoint Surfaces 

  1. Supervisors are to identify touchpoints in common workplace areas throughout all buildings and office spaces used by Tikinagan Child and Family Services. Plans should consider all possible touchpoints from the moment a person enters the building or office space (e.g. rented office space in our First Nations). There can be different touchpoint plans for different buildings and office spaces depending on size of building or office space, number of employees using the space, AOHs, group home, number of visitors or clients in the space.
  2. Touchpoints can include, but not limited to, items such as:
    1. Door handles
    2. Light switches
    3. Sink faucet handles, kitchen sinks
    4. Paper towel dispensers
    5. Countertops
    6. Microwave and refrigerator handles
    7. Printers/photocopiers
    8. Coffee makers, kettles
    9. Water dispensers.
  3. All identified touchpoint surfaces must be treated twice per day, preferably 3-4 hours apart.
  4. Use the checklist to record compliance and to create a daily record of disinfection.

Conducting Disinfection of Common Areas 

Cleaners – break down grease and remove organic material from the surface

Disinfectants – have chemicals that kill most germs; applied after the surfaces have been clean; have a drug identification number (DIN)

Disinfectant Wipes – have combined cleaners and disinfection in one solution; may become dry due to fast drying properties, should be discarded if they become dry; not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces

Cleaning Agents and disinfectants must be labelled with WHMIS information and stored in a safe manner.

Using agency approved disinfectant, including (if using) bleach solution (500 ppm):

  • Wear approved personal protective equipment (PPE) depending on the setting and disinfectant being used
  • Make sure the surface to be disinfected is visibly clean. Do not disinfect a visibly soiled surface, it must be cleaned first
  • Apply the selected disinfectant for the first time on a clean and dry cloth. Ensure the cloth is saturated with the disinfectant before treating the identified touchpoints. Reapply the disinfectant to the cloth as needed
  • Apply the selected disinfectant on the surface to leave a visible film
  • Allow the surface to air dry. This will ensure the contact time needed (one minute) for the disinfectant to be effective. Bleach solution requires 2 minutes contact time  Reapply the selected disinfectant to keep the cloth damp between surfaces  Cloths must be changed daily or when cloths become visibly soiled.

Office spaces should be disinfected with the cold misting fogger machines every weekend.

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APPENDIX C – Cleaning and Disinfecting Agency Vehicles

  1. Employees are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle after a client or other passenger has left the vehicle; and, for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle when the trip is complete.
  2. Each agency vehicle has a care package including a PPE kit for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle, prepared by the property department, and placed in the vehicle. The care package contains:
    • A container of Lysol Wipes
    • A box of gloves
    • J cloths
    • Adult and children’s face masks (4 layer disposable style), face shields and goggles
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Paper bags to dispose of the waste and used PPE.
  3. The following equipment should be used when cleaning:
    • Personal Protective Equipment (3 or 4 layer disposable masks, gloves)
    • Disposable cloth
    • Waste disposal bags
    • Cleaning agent and disinfectant supplied by the agency (currently Lysol Wipes)
  4. Make sure vehicle interior is clean and hygienic by wiping down all high-touch surfaces, using the supplied cleaning agent and disinfectant.
  5. While wiping down surfaces, avoid hand contact with the face.
  6. High touch surfaces that should be regularly cleaned include but are not limited to:
    • Keys and key fobs
    • Starter button on vehicles
    • Inside and outside door handles
    • Inside door grab handles, pads and armrests
    • Steering wheel
    • Shift lever and console
    • Dashboard
    • Power window and power door lock switches
    • Radio and climate control buttons
    • Turn signal and wiper buttons
    • Seat and seat adjuster
    • Touch screen
    • Seats/areas that passengers have touched
    • Vinyl sneeze guard installed behind the driver’s seat
    • Any other parts that are commonly used and that may have been touched (glove compartment, hood, trunk, handles).
  1. Dispose of soiled cleaning clothes, disinfection cloths, disposable gloves, car seat covers and any other items in a waste disposal bag. Wash hands or apply hand sanitizer when finished.
  2. Employees should take precautions such as wearing gloves when pumping gas, touching the service station handles, or handling any automotive products that may be required when performing vehicle maintenance, such as filling windshield washer fluid, if this is possible. If not possible, employees should wash their hands or apply hand sanitizer immediately thereafter. 

Guidelines for Transporting Clients

During transportation:

  • Employees must wear their PPE directed by the agency ( 3 or 4 layer disposable mask, gloves). The driver of the vehicle can only wear a 3 or 4 layer disposable mask as a face shield or goggles may impede vision when driving.  This makes it imperative that the passenger seat remain empty
  • No employees or passengers are allowed to sit in the front passenger seat. The individual or child being transported must sit in the backseat
  • Caution tape or locks are on the passenger seat as a reminder that no one is able to sit there
  • Employees, whether driving or a passenger, are required to use and provide clients with PPE for use during transportation, if clients don’t have their own masks or face coverings. Employees must remember that face coverings or masks should not be placed on or used by: children under the age of two years, anyone who has trouble breathing, and anyone who is unable to remove the mask without assistance
  • When transporting infants and younger children, the employee should wear gloves when placing the child into the vehicle and remove the gloves just before driving so as to avoid cross-contamination
  • When transporting older children, they should enter the vehicle on their own and secure themselves to avoid direct contact with the driver
  • The car windows should be open for the entire trip (weather permitting)
  • PPE worn during transport should be thrown out by placing it directly into a plastic or paper garbage bag, tied up and then put in the garbage with other agency or household waste
  • Remove PPE in this order: o Remove gloves o Sanitize your hands o Remove face shield and mask or goggles and mask o Sanitize your hands.

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Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol

COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN

December 16, 2021

 


Purpose

As an employer we have a duty to provide a safe and healthy workplace for our employees. The purpose of this document is to provide direction to our employees physically working at Tikinagan Child and Family Services offices and/or completing in person contact with individuals receiving agency services. The preventative measures contained in this protocol are designed to reduce the risk of COVID- 19 transmission in the workplace and are based on best practices and guidelines from the Province of Ontario, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization. Tikinagan Child and Family Services continuously assesses and reviews the latest information about COVID-19 and its impacts on the health and safety of employees and First Nation communities to ensure direction given to our employees is based on current scientific knowledge and recommendations.

These safety procedures are communicated to all employees through information sharing and a mandatory training program. The information provided in this document is reinforced by placing visual educational materials in prominent places around the workplace and on the agency website.

Employees are encouraged to frequently check the staff portal on the agency website for current information, forms and changes to direction contained in the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol (COVID-19 Safety Plan).

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Universal Protective Measures to Keep Everyone Safe

The following measures were introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and remain best practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19:

  • Keep two meters/six feet distance from others (physical distancing)
  • Clean your hands often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based (60-90%) hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Wear a disposable 3- or 4-layer face mask and, when closer than 6 feet to someone not wearing a mask or entering someone’s home, a face shield or goggles as well (distributed by the agency).

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Self-monitoring/Screening of Employees and Visitors Entering Agency Buildings or Offices/Agency Operated Homes or Group Home/Vehicles or Conducting In-Person Tikinagan Related Business Outside of the Workplace 

  • It is mandatory for all employees and visitors to complete a health screening questionnaire each day before commencing work in an agency building or office and/or entering an agency building, Agency Operated Home or Group Home, vehicle, or office space; as well as, prior to conducting Tikinagan related business outside of the workplace, including in-person contact with staff or clients (available on the staff portal, as an app on your phone and in paper form). The answers to the screening questions are documented
  • Signs will be posted at all entrances instructing employees or visitors to not enter the building/office if they have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Employees should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms:
    • fever and/or chills (37.8 degrees C or higher) that are not related to other known causes or conditions
    • cough or barking cough (croup) that is continuous, more than usual, making a whistling noise when breathing, not related to other known causes or conditions
    • shortness of breath, out of breath, unable to breathe deeply that is not related to other known causes or conditions
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or stuffy/congested nose not related to seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • decrease or loss of taste or smell not related to seasonal allergies, neurological disorders or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • pink eye (conjunctivitis not related to reoccurring styes or other known causes or conditions you already have)
    • digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain not related to irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual cramps or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • difficulty swallowing, painful swallowing not related to other known causes or conditions you already have
    • muscle aches that are unusual, long-lasting (not related to a sudden injury, fibromyalgia, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
    • headache that is unusual, long lasting not related to tension-type headaches, chronic migraines or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • extreme tiredness that is unusual, fatigue, lack of energy (not related to depression, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • falling down often (for older people)
  • Employees should remain at home (not entering a Tikinagan office, not using agency vehicles or attending in-person meetings with other staff or clients) if experiencing any COVID symptoms, even if it is only one symptom, or if any member of the household has COVID symptoms; and, immediately notify their supervisor and Human Resources Manager of the reason for not coming to work
  • An employee who has recurring non-infectious medical symptoms (e.g., allergies, migraines) can consult with his/her supervisor and the Human Resources Manager about completing the agency’s Recurring Non-infectious Medical Situation Form (on the staff portal). The documentation of these symptoms allows an employee to enter the workplace, agency vehicles or conduct agency related business outside of the workplace even when he/she answers ‘yes’ to one of the symptoms on the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire
  • Employees who become sick with COVID-19 symptoms while in the workplace should:
    • notify their supervisor of their symptoms
    • immediately isolate until they can safely leave the office for home and monitor their symptoms
    • contact the local Public Health Unit (Northwestern Health Unit, Thunder Bay District Health Unit) and/or Nursing Station to report the case and seek direction on next steps, including testing if that has not happened
    • tell their supervisor where in the building or office space he/she has been and the names of the individuals he/she was in contact with
    • the employee will inform his/her supervisor of the direction given by the local Public Health Unit and/or Nursing Station
  • Once informed of the employee’s illness, the supervisor will:
    • forward the information immediately to the Human Resources Manager or other designated agency personnel
    • contact the property department to receive direction on disinfecting the employee’s workstation, along with any other surfaces the employee was in contact with
    • inform the appropriate service manager and Director of Services immediately to report the case and seek direction on next steps
  • An employee who is tested for COVID-19 will inform the Human Resources Manager or other designated agency personnel of the test, remain at home, monitor his/her symptoms until being informed of the results of the test, and inform the Human Resources Manager or other designated agency personnel in writing of the results of the test
  • An employee with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or an employee who had close contact with an individual with symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis, can return to work a minimum of 14 days after the start of their symptoms, provided there is clearance from the public health case manager. Prior to the employee returning to work, the supervisor/service manager will consult with the Human Resources Manager or other designated personnel.

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Mandatory Vaccination Policy 

It is mandatory for all employees, contractors, volunteers, and students (affected individuals) to be fully vaccinated, and to provide Tikinagan Child and Family Services with verification of being fully vaccinated. Being fully vaccinated means providing documentation evidencing full  vaccination against COVID-19 with vaccines approved by Health Canada and/or the World Health Organization (WHO).  Also, the employee, contractor, volunteer, or student will have received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to submitting the documentation. The vaccination verification is submitted to a confidential email address (vaccination@tikinagan.org).

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Accommodation and Testing

Affected individuals not able to be vaccinated for verified medical or religious reasons will be considered for accommodation in accordance with, and to the extent provided for under, the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code. Accommodation, if offered, may be conditional upon the affected individual submitting to COVID-19 testing, and demonstrating a negative result on a regular basis, the frequency of which will be determined by Tikinagan.

Employees choosing not to be vaccinated may be considered for accommodation. Whether accommodation is offered will be determined solely by Tikinagan Child and Family Services. Accommodation, if offered, may be conditional upon the Affected Individual submitting to COVID-19 testing, and demonstrating a negative result on a regular basis, the frequency of which will be determined by Tikinagan.

All requests for accommodation should be submitted in writing to the Human Resources Manager or the Human Resources Supervisor. When requesting accommodation for verified medical or religious reasons the request should include supporting written verification.

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Confidentiality

All information relating to an individual’s vaccination status, request for and verification of a request for accommodation, request, and reasons for an extension to become fully vaccinated,  and COVID-19 test results will be held by Tikinagan Child and Family Services in strict confidence.

For any questions or additional information, contact the Human Resources Manager or the Human Resources Supervisor.

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Mandatory Use of a Mask Within Tikinagan Child and Family Services

Ontario public health orders require the use of masks or face covering for anyone in an enclosed public space. These public health instructions are based on increasing scientific evidence that supports wearing a mask or face covering when in enclosed public spaces is an important measure in reducing community transmission of COVID-19.

The agency enhanced the mandatory mask measure to the use of disposable 3- or 4-layer mask and, when closer than 6 feet to someone not wearing a mask or entering someone’s home, together with a face shield or goggles.  Disposable masks, goggles and face shields are provided by the agency.

Signs about the requirement to wear 3- or 4-layer disposable masks to enter and remain in the office building or office space are posted prominently at all entrances. Alcohol based hand sanitizer is available at all entrances and exits for persons entering or exiting agency buildings or office spaces.

The following procedures must be followed: o Employees, visitors and others are required to put on the disposable 3- or 4layer mask issued to them by the agency and use hand sanitizer whenever entering any agency building or office space. Disposable 3- or 4-layer masks and hand sanitizer are available at the entrances to agency office buildings and office spaces.

  • To wear a mask correctly:
    • wash hands before putting on the mask; use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible
    • put the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
    • fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face
    • make sure you can breathe easily
    • the mask must cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping
    • do not touch the front of the mask while you wear it and wash your hands if you accidentally touch it
    • when a mask becomes damp or humid, replace it with a new mask
  • Employees must wear a 3- or 4-layer disposable mask while in the office except when they are at their personal workstation or any emergency or medical purpose. This includes office travel to other units and washroom breaks. If you share an office or work in an open space with others, you must wear a 3- or 4-layer disposable mask at all times
  • If PPE is required, employees can contact the PPE Co-ordinator in the Property Department to enquire where it is available.
  • To take off a mask correctly:
    • untie the strings behind the head or stretch the ear loops o handle only by the ear loops or ties o fold outside corners together
    • be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing and wash hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after removing
    • when removing it at your workstation, place it in a sealable plastic or paper bag provided by the agency
    • after the work day is finished, dispose of the mask in a waste receptacle
  • a video on wearing a N95 mask properly is posted on the staff portal
  • Employees must use the 3- or 4-layer disposable mask and, when closer than 6 feet to someone not wearing a mask or entering someone’s home, together with a face shield or goggles, issued by the agency to employees whose duties require them to work in an agency building or office space, ride in agency vehicles, or conduct agency business off-site in the presence of other employees, clients or the general public
  • Never share your mask or let anyone handle/touch your mask. Employees must remain in the areas of the building or office required to complete their work-related duties and not go to other areas of the building or office space
  • Employees must use hand sanitizer to clean their hands each time they leave or return to their personal workstation and upon exiting the building or office space

The public health instructions issued by the local Health Unit lists the following exemptions to wearing a mask or face covering in an enclosed public space:

  1. Children under two years of age, or children under the age of five years either chronologically or developmentally who refuse to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver
  2. Individuals with medical conditions rendering them unable to safely wear a mask, including breathing difficulties, cognitive difficulties, hearing, or communication difficulties
  3. Individuals who cannot wear or are unable to apply or remove a mask without assistance, including those who are accommodated under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or who have protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code

An employee, visitor or others who wish to be exempt from the requirement to wear a mask to enter and remain in an agency building or office space or agency vehicle based on the exemptions listed above, must put the request in writing to the Human Resources Manager or other designated agency personnel and state the reason an exemption is being requested.

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Entering Dwellings

It is paramount that all calls coming into agency offices are responded to in a timely manner.  There are times when employees need to enter homes or dwellings to respond to crisis situations and other child protection matters. A dwelling includes client homes, foster parent homes,  potential foster parents homes during the application period, and live in foster parent Agency Operated Homes.  A dwelling does not include Staff Model Agency Operated Homes or Group Homes.

To complete a visit to a home:

  1. Decide if entering the home is necessary o Is the visit needed because of an extreme child welfare concern? o Would it be reasonable to meet outside the home, over the phone or by video conference?
  2. Receive permission from your supervisor to complete the home visit and confirm your understanding of the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) that must be worn while completing the home visit
  3. Ensure you have the proper PPE for the home visit (refer to Appendix A)
  4. Complete the COVID Questionnaire Prior to A Home Visit (internet link which can be downloaded to any device) prior to every home visit even if you don’t plan on entering the home.
  5. When there is no internet access, you must fill out a paper copy and submit to your supervisor or on call supervisor prior to completing the home visit (a supervisor can fill out the questionnaire with you over the phone)
  6. Wear the required PPE during the visit regardless of what others in the home are using for PPE.

The agency provides Home Visits Kits that include all the necessary PPE for a home visit where COVID is not present.  These kits are located in all offices or can be obtained from the Property Department.

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Physical Distancing

Physical distancing means limiting close contact with others. Physical distancing strategies include:

  • Reminders to everyone to maintain a two metre/six foot distance from each other at all times
  • Employees must use the 3- or 4-layer disposable masks issued by the agency when working in an agency building or office space, riding in agency vehicles, or conducting agency business off-site in the presence of other employees, clients or the general public. Goggles or a face shield must be worn together with a mask when in close contact with someone who isn’t wearing a mask (even if the individual has a medical  reason) as the risk of transmission through the eyes increases
  • Reduce density of people in the building at any one time and avoid crowding by staggering work days or work hours to reduce congregation of employees at common spaces such as entrances/exits and stairs
  • Consider the need for face-to-face contact and whether meeting in person is necessary; use other methods of conducting business, appointments and meetings (teleconferences, video conferencing) 

Child welfare service staff will continue to follow directions given in the Child Welfare

Service Contingency Plan: Recommendations for Providing Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • When larger scale return to the workplace is implemented, consideration will be given to some employees continuing to work remotely (from home) once a completed Request for Accommodation Form is received and approved
  • Other strategies include alternate work weeks, staggering start/end times for the work day, breaks, lunches or days/hours that employees are in the workplace, using available outdoor spaces whenever possible (e.g., meetings, breaks, client interactions)
  • Eliminate the sharing of tools and equipment (e.g., keyboards, lap top computers, pens, swipe cards, keys) between employees, or if sharing is required, provide solution for employees to disinfect tools and equipment between uses
  • If required to transport clients, please refer to the guidelines contained in Appendix C
  • There must be prior consultation and approval with supervisor/manager before work related travel plans are made.

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Hand Hygiene 

  • Post signage directing employees, visitors, and clients on how to thoroughly clean their hands (e.g., washrooms, entrances/exits) and ensure that supplies necessary to clean hands are easily accessible (hand soap, paper towels, garbage cans, alcohol- based hand sanitizer (60-90%)
  • Hand sanitizers will be placed strategically throughout the workplace (e.g., entrances/exits, reception areas, kitchens, washrooms)
  • Employees should have hand sanitizer at their workstation. Hand washing with soap and water should be done if hands are visibly soiled
  • Ensure liquid hand soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers are checked regularly and kept full
  • Do not shake hands and only use forms of greeting that do not require physical contact Wash or sanitize your hands before starting work, before eating, between every interaction with co-workers, visitors, or community members, after going to the bathroom, and immediately after removing gloves and other protective equipment but before touching eyes, nose, or mouth. 

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Cleaning and Disinfecting 

  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19
  • Although touching a contaminated surface or object is not the main way COVID-19 is spread, frequently touched surfaces are most likely to be contaminated. In addition to routine cleaning, frequently touched surfaces (touchpoints) will be cleaned and disinfected twice per day (preferably 3 – 4 hours apart) and when visibly dirty. See Appendix B for COVID-19 Disinfection of Touchpoints Procedure

Disinfection reminders pop up on employee computers twice per day and employees are required to record their disinfection times on a spreadsheet provided to them. A designated employee collects the spreadsheets at the end of each month

  • Training employees, particularly janitorial staff, on the difference between cleaning vs disinfecting and the importance of a vigilant cleaning and disinfecting routine
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of bathrooms, meeting tables, chairs and other office furniture used by more than one person will occur after each use. Disinfecting supplies (primarily Lysol Wipes) will be provided in each public space for employees to use
  • Ensure there is always a sufficient inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and disinfecting supplies in all buildings, community office spaces and agency vehicles

Cold misting fogger machines (Karcher) and fogging kit are situated in all agency offices for environmental cleaning of office spaces and vehicles.  The disinfectant used by the fogging machine kills a wide range of viruses, including Coronavirus and bacteria; requires no mixing or rinsing off once applied; is non-irritating to the skin and non-corrosive to treated articles.  Office spaces should be disinfected with the cold misting fogger machines every weekend.

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Cleaning and Disinfecting Office Equipment

 In the workplace, devices such as copiers, scanners, fax machines and printers are high-touch surfaces that must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.  The following are the steps to be followed:

  • Always wear disposable gloves while cleaning and avoid touching your face, eyes and environmental surfaces while wearing gloves
  • Use disinfectant wipes to disinfect the office equipment
  • While disinfecting pay special attention to the surfaces commonly touched by users, such as buttons, touchscreens, tray handles, covers, jam locations, etc.
  • Do not allow moisture to drip into open areas such as keyboards or USB ports as this can damage the device
  • Discard disposable gloves after each cleaning and wash your hands after removing your gloves.

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When an Employee Has a Suspected or Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in the Workplace 

  • Determine the locations in the building or office space the sick employee was in prior to learning he/she was suspected to have or confirmed positive for COVID-19 and who they came into contact with
  • At a minimum, close off any areas used by the sick employee and post signage stating area is closed to employees and open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area

If possible, wear appropriate PPE depending on the setting and the cleaning and disinfectant products being used. Protective eye wear should be put on after putting on a mask. Ensure adequate ventilation when using products (e.g., open window, doors or use fans)

  • Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them
  • Cold misting fogger machines are available in every office and a trained individual will disinfect the building and/or office space
  • Communicate with employees and community partners (including First Nations) in a timely manner to ensure accurate information is being shared.

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Meetings/Training

  • Consider whether group activities or group meetings are necessary. Use the telephone or video conferencing as alternate means of communicating
  • Whenever possible, deliver training virtually (teleconference, zoom, skype, videos)
  • Common kitchen/food service area will be discontinued. Participants will need to bring their own snacks and beverages in their own containers
  • Size of meeting room and ability to meet general protective measures, in particular physical distancing requirements, determines allowable number of participants. Also, the number of participants in a group is required to comply with provincial emergency public health orders.

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In-Person Group Meetings

When in-person group meetings are required, the protective measures contained in this protocol must be adhered to, including but not limited to:

  • Each participant must complete the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire before entering the agency building or office where the in-person group meeting is being held
  • Adequate PPE supplies available at the entrance, exit and washroom of the building or office where the in-person group meeting is being held
  • Seating and other furniture meets physical distancing requirements
  • A designated individual to disinfect the meeting location prior to the participants arriving and after all participants leave the meeting location
  • Participants wear 3- or 4-layer disposable masks during the in-person group meeting
  • Participants bring their own notebooks, snacks and beverages in their own containers

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Travel 

  • Employees must consult with and have approval from supervisor/service manager prior to making any work-related travel plans
  • Employees must wear 3- or 4-layer disposable face mask together with googles or a face shield to all in-person visits with clients. The agency has a supply of N95 masks available should an employee prefer it to the 3- or 4-layer disposable mask

Employees who receive approval to travel to a First Nation must contact the First Nation and be knowledgeable on its travel guidelines (including vaccination and negative COVID testing) prior to departure

  • Employees must have a rapid antigen test the day before travelling to a First Nation community and must: o Rapid antigen testing is used for screening purposes only and should NOT be used for diagnosis of acute COVID-19 infection. Testing does not prevent someone from getting COVID-19
    • Any positive results from rapid antigen screening must be confirmed with laboratory-based testing
    • Rapid antigen testing does not replace public health measures such as symptom screening, physical distancing, masking and hand hygiene
    • If vaccinated, carry proof of vaccination with them when travelling since First Nation communities are requesting proof of vaccination in order to travel to their community
  • Employees are required to follow any federal, provincial, local Public Health Unit or local First Nation pandemic requirements when travelling and upon return from their travel such as self-isolation and/or self-monitoring for symptoms. As an additional precaution, Tikinagan may restrict staff from coming to the office and having contact with clients and other staff whether or not there is a self-isolation requirement issued federally, provincially or locally
  • Tikinagan may restrict staff who have travelled to work remotely from contact with other staff and clients and prohibit them from entering a Tikinagan building, office or vehicle for 14 days after their return from travel. This restriction also applies when a member of the employee’s household has travelled outside of their community
  • As pandemic situations change in different parts of the country, province, region or        individual communities, the location of travel where Tikinagan will require these restrictions will be amended. Please consult the memos and guidelines distributed agency wide whenever changes are made. An up-to-date version of the guidelines are posted on the Staff Portal
  • Agency vehicles, including car seats, will be cleaned following the steps outlined in Appendix C. All agency vehicles should be fogged once per week. Transportation of any client should be minimized whenever possible. Employees should explore alternate options for client transportation, where appropriate
  • Home visits kits and vehicle kits are located in every office and every vehicle and accessible to any employee requiring them. The kits include PPE and cleaning materials as required for either completing an in-person home visit or using an agency vehicle.

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Accommodating Employee Requests Not to Return to the Workplace 

When larger scale return to the workplace is implemented, there are a variety of unique challenges employees are facing and reasons a worker may be unwilling or unable to return to the workplace. Tikinagan Child and Family Services will consider whether to accommodate employee requests not to return to the workplace, particularly in the following situations:

  • High risk employees who may be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 or of having more severe complications from COVID-19. According to the Government of Canada, individuals at higher risk include:
    • Older adults aged 60 years and older o People with weakened immune systems
    • People with medical conditions including heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Employees with childcare issues or caring for a sick relative.

When an employee makes the request not to return to the office by completing the Request for COVID-19 Work Accommodation form, Tikinagan Child and Family Services will consider mitigation measures such as working from home. Any accommodation will be granted for a maximum of two months so that changing circumstances can be taken into account.  Requests to renew accommodations for additional periods must be requested no later than two weeks before a current accommodation period ends.

Tikinagan reserves the right to provide fourteen (14) days’ notice to end a granted accommodation early due to changes in circumstances.

Employees are encouraged to access agency and community resources if struggling to deal with stress and anxiety about returning to the workplace. If further assistance is needed, an employee can contact Human Resources.

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Review of the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol

To ensure the direction outlined in the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol is working to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace, the plan will be reviewed a minimum of once every six months. The Director of Finance and Administration is responsible for the monitoring of the implementation of the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol for effectiveness and any COVID related issues arising as employees physically transition back to the workplace. The Director of Finance and Administration will make recommendations to senior management for updates to the Pandemic Measures in the Workplace Protocol as issues are identified and resolved.

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Additional Resources

For current information on regional COVID-19 updates, including travel advisories, check the following:

Northwestern Health Unit – https://www2.nwhu.on.ca/covid-19/

Thunder Bay District Health Unit – https://tbdhu.com/

Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority – https://www.slfnha.com/covid/

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APPENDIX A – What Personal Protective Equipment Needed to Enter Dwellings

Where to Find the Personal Protective Equipment and Cleaning Supplies You NEED

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APPENDIX B – COVID-19 Disinfection of Touchpoints Procedure

Definitions

Common Touchpoint Surface: a surface where bare hands come in contact from multiple people, multiple times.

Cleaning: removes germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting: kills germs on surfaces or objects using chemicals. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. For effective disinfection, cleaning should be done first.

Disinfectant: a solution used to destroy or irreversibly inactivate all specified organisms on a surface within a set timeframe.

Selected Disinfectant: a ready to use disinfectant approved by Health Canada that has virucide properties and has been selected by Tikinagan Child and Family Services. Note – if there is not sufficient disinfectant, 500 ppm bleach can be used as a replacement disinfectant.

Wiping and Leaving a Film: the action of wiping using a saturated cloth (with the disinfectant) such that when the surface is wiped, the surface still appears wet, without requirement for further wiping.

Requirements

To execute the procedure, the following items are required:

  1. Disposable gloves worn by the person applying the disinfectant
  2. Dedicated clean and dry cloth (should be changed daily) that can be used for cleaning if the surface is visibly soiled
  3. Container of selected disinfectant or disinfectant wipes or 500 ppm bleach solution
  4. Checklist of surfaces to be treated routinely throughout the day (site specific touchpoints).

Responsibilities 

  1. Appropriate employee is responsible to provide the procedure, and any associated training material, and ensure the supervisors who are in charge of employees responsible for cleaning and disinfecting are fully briefed.
  2. Supervisors are responsible for reviewing the procedure, providing the checklist, training and ensuring the cleaning staff successfully implement the procedure.
  3. Appropriate employees, alongside the supervisors, are responsible for identifying the common touchpoints to be treated and to itemize them on an appropriate checklist template.

Common Touchpoint Surfaces 

  1. Supervisors are to identify touchpoints in common workplace areas throughout all buildings and office spaces used by Tikinagan Child and Family Services. Plans should consider all possible touchpoints from the moment a person enters the building or office space (e.g. rented office space in our First Nations). There can be different touchpoint plans for different buildings and office spaces depending on size of building or office space, number of employees using the space, AOHs, group home, number of visitors or clients in the space.
  2. Touchpoints can include, but not limited to, items such as:
    1. Door handles
    2. Light switches
    3. Sink faucet handles, kitchen sinks
    4. Paper towel dispensers
    5. Countertops
    6. Microwave and refrigerator handles
    7. Printers/photocopiers
    8. Coffee makers, kettles
    9. Water dispensers.
  3. All identified touchpoint surfaces must be treated twice per day, preferably 3-4 hours apart.
  4. Use the checklist to record compliance and to create a daily record of disinfection.

Conducting Disinfection of Common Areas 

Cleaners – break down grease and remove organic material from the surface

Disinfectants – have chemicals that kill most germs; applied after the surfaces have been clean; have a drug identification number (DIN)

Disinfectant Wipes – have combined cleaners and disinfection in one solution; may become dry due to fast drying properties, should be discarded if they become dry; not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces

Cleaning Agents and disinfectants must be labelled with WHMIS information and stored in a safe manner.

Using agency approved disinfectant, including (if using) bleach solution (500 ppm):

  • Wear approved personal protective equipment (PPE) depending on the setting and disinfectant being used
  • Make sure the surface to be disinfected is visibly clean. Do not disinfect a visibly soiled surface, it must be cleaned first
  • Apply the selected disinfectant for the first time on a clean and dry cloth. Ensure the cloth is saturated with the disinfectant before treating the identified touchpoints. Reapply the disinfectant to the cloth as needed
  • Apply the selected disinfectant on the surface to leave a visible film
  • Allow the surface to air dry. This will ensure the contact time needed (one minute) for the disinfectant to be effective. Bleach solution requires 2 minutes contact time  Reapply the selected disinfectant to keep the cloth damp between surfaces  Cloths must be changed daily or when cloths become visibly soiled.

Office spaces should be disinfected with the cold misting fogger machines every weekend.

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APPENDIX C – Cleaning and Disinfecting Agency Vehicles

  1. Employees are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle after a client or other passenger has left the vehicle; and, for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle when the trip is complete.
  2. Each agency vehicle has a care package including a PPE kit for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle, prepared by the property department, and placed in the vehicle. The care package contains:
    • A container of Lysol Wipes
    • A box of gloves
    • J cloths
    • Adult and children’s face masks (4 layer disposable style), face shields and goggles
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Paper bags to dispose of the waste and used PPE.
  3. The following equipment should be used when cleaning:
    • Personal Protective Equipment (3 or 4 layer disposable masks, gloves)
    • Disposable cloth
    • Waste disposal bags
    • Cleaning agent and disinfectant supplied by the agency (currently Lysol Wipes)
  4. Make sure vehicle interior is clean and hygienic by wiping down all high-touch surfaces, using the supplied cleaning agent and disinfectant.
  5. While wiping down surfaces, avoid hand contact with the face.
  6. High touch surfaces that should be regularly cleaned include but are not limited to:
    • Keys and key fobs
    • Starter button on vehicles
    • Inside and outside door handles
    • Inside door grab handles, pads and armrests
    • Steering wheel
    • Shift lever and console
    • Dashboard
    • Power window and power door lock switches
    • Radio and climate control buttons
    • Turn signal and wiper buttons
    • Seat and seat adjuster
    • Touch screen
    • Seats/areas that passengers have touched
    • Vinyl sneeze guard installed behind the driver’s seat
    • Any other parts that are commonly used and that may have been touched (glove compartment, hood, trunk, handles).
  1. Dispose of soiled cleaning clothes, disinfection cloths, disposable gloves, car seat covers and any other items in a waste disposal bag. Wash hands or apply hand sanitizer when finished.
  2. Employees should take precautions such as wearing gloves when pumping gas, touching the service station handles, or handling any automotive products that may be required when performing vehicle maintenance, such as filling windshield washer fluid, if this is possible. If not possible, employees should wash their hands or apply hand sanitizer immediately thereafter. 

Guidelines for Transporting Clients

During transportation:

  • Employees must wear their PPE directed by the agency ( 3 or 4 layer disposable mask, gloves). The driver of the vehicle can only wear a 3 or 4 layer disposable mask as a face shield or goggles may impede vision when driving.  This makes it imperative that the passenger seat remain empty
  • No employees or passengers are allowed to sit in the front passenger seat. The individual or child being transported must sit in the backseat
  • Caution tape or locks are on the passenger seat as a reminder that no one is able to sit there
  • Employees, whether driving or a passenger, are required to use and provide clients with PPE for use during transportation, if clients don’t have their own masks or face coverings. Employees must remember that face coverings or masks should not be placed on or used by: children under the age of two years, anyone who has trouble breathing, and anyone who is unable to remove the mask without assistance
  • When transporting infants and younger children, the employee should wear gloves when placing the child into the vehicle and remove the gloves just before driving so as to avoid cross-contamination
  • When transporting older children, they should enter the vehicle on their own and secure themselves to avoid direct contact with the driver
  • The car windows should be open for the entire trip (weather permitting)
  • PPE worn during transport should be thrown out by placing it directly into a plastic or paper garbage bag, tied up and then put in the garbage with other agency or household waste
  • Remove PPE in this order: o Remove gloves o Sanitize your hands o Remove face shield and mask or goggles and mask o Sanitize your hands.

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