HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES FOR OUR
DYT STAFF AND ADMINISTRATION
Updated: July 6, 2020
DYT activities during COVID-19 is guided by the following principals:
Ensure a healthy and safe environment for all campers, families and employees.
Provide services and supports to deaf and hard of hearing children in an ASL environment.
Support (to the best of our ability) vulnerable students who may need special assistance.
Provide continuity of ASL and social opportunities for all deaf and hard of hearing campers, but with the following modifications:
modifying Deaf Culture behaviour (ie hugs as a greeting gesture, any skin to skin contact to get a person’s attention).
ASL is a visual language that does require signs that sometimes touch the face, therefore hand hygiene will be increased throughout the day.
Updated health and safety measures are intended to support all DYT employees, campers, parents and leadership staff so they are informed and feel safe at camp while understanding their roles and responsibilities. DYT will provide ongoing orientation and training as needed, to ensure everyone in the camp setting is well informed of safety protocols.
The provincial health officer’s order continues to prohibit gatherings of people in excess of 50. This will not affect our DYT regular camp activities as our camp groups are much smaller than the prohibited number. DYT will be practising physical distancing when on-site, and will only travel off-site to areas that are not in excess of 50 people. Large groups of campers will not be permitted.
Self-isolation and quarantine (any COVID-19-like symptoms)
If anyone entering our DYT drop off/pick up zone, or camp location has a common cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, they must not enter. Anyone exhibiting symptoms must stay home and be tested for COVID-19. Those people exhibiting any symptoms must follow directions provided by their health-care provider and self-isolate at home for 14 days, or until test results show they do not have COVID-19 or another communicable illness. Children or staff may return to DYT camps once they are assessed by their family physician or nurse practitioner and it is determined that they do not have COVID-19, and their symptoms have resolved. If there is a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, contact tracing will be done to find out if it is a part of a cluster of cases or a local outbreak. If this is the case, DYT will immediately inform everyone that has been in contact with the person infected. DYT will also immediately close our day camps (see DYT camp closure policy).
Sometimes, children will become ill during the camp (sunstroke, stomach flu, etc.) and will need to go to the First Aid tent. DYT Staff may wish to have a change of clothes available should you have any concerns while caring for the sick child before returning to the other campers. All items used by the child should be cleaned and disinfected as soon as the child has been picked up.
Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting will be done according to the following guidelines:
General cleaning and disinfecting of the drop-off/pick up zones and premises will occur at least once a day.
Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day. These include doorknobs, light switches, toilets, tables, desks, chairs, keyboards and toys.
any surface that is visibly dirty will be cleaned and disinfected.
common, commercially available detergents and disinfectant products will be used to clean and instructions on the label will be followed
items that are not easily cleaned (e.g., fabric or soft items) will be limited.
garbage containers will be emptied once daily.
disposable gloves will be used when cleaning blood or body fluids (e.g., runny nose, vomit, stool, urine). Before and after using gloves, hands will be washed.
paper hand towels will be used. Hand drying machines are not permitted.
water fountains will not be used. All children & staff will bring their own water bottle (with name clearly labelled).
hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be used while in public spaces when access to soap and water is not available.
Hand-hygiene stations will be set up at pick up/drop off zone. Everyone entering must clean their hands. If a sink with soap and water is not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will be available but will be kept out of the reach of children. DYT will supervise its use. Required hand hygiene will be built into the daily schedule. DYT staff will model washing hands properly in a fun and relaxed way. Staff will also help young children with hand hygiene as needed.
Children will be shown and encouraged to cough or sneeze into their elbow sleeve or a tissue. Used tissues will be thrown away and immediately hand hygiene will be done. DYT will practice “hands below your shoulders” to help young children not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. ASL is a visual language that does require signing that sometimes touches the face, therefore hand hygiene will be increased throughout the day. Parents and staff will teach and reinforce these practices amongst children. Masks are not recommended at this time but are optional.
Children and staff will not share food, drinks, facecloths and other personal items. Snack or mealtime will be staggered to allow spacing between individuals during meals.
Staff and Children should always wash their hands when:
They arrive at camp and before they go home
Before eating and drinking
After using the toilet
After playing outside or handling pets
After sneezing or coughing into hands
Whenever hands are visibly dirty
Staff will minimize the frequency of direct physical contact with children and encourage children to minimize physical contact with each other. Staff will also maintain physical distancing from one another. Younger children will be supported to have minimized direct contact with one another, while older children will be supported to maintain physical distance whenever possible. Children from the same household (e.g., siblings) do not need to maintain physical distance from each other.
Physical distancing strategies include: avoiding hugs and handshakes, regularly reminding children to keep “hands to yourself” and minimizing the number of different staff that interact with the same children throughout the day.
DYT will be providing signage and markers such as cones, tape and clearly marked zones to support physical distancing.
Children may be organized into smaller groups and/or spread out to minimize direct physical contact. Small group environments to reduce the number of children in a group, for example, setting up two or three areas for activities. Individual activities or activities that encourage more space between children and staff will be encouraged. Toys that encourage group play in close proximity or increase the likelihood of physical contact will not be used. Whenever possible, DYT will have outdoor activities to minimize any risk.
If the camp will be using supplies for crafts, each child will have their own activity pack to keep at camp. Each activity camp will be stored by camp leaders ensuring the outside of the box is disinfected before putting away and storing for the evening. At the end of the week, those items that can’t be disinfected may go home with the child so there is a new kit for the following week with new children.
For those campers requiring a buddy system for washroom breaks, this practice can be maintained ensuring the children know to keep their distance. If there is a concern from a DYT leader that campers will not maintain their distance, the floating DYT leader can help for support. Signage will be displayed in the washrooms to remind children to wash their hands and DYT leaders will double-check with children upon returning to the group. Signage will be provided with text and images.
American Sign Language and Deaf Culture
ASL is the language that we use in our program. Interpreters will also be available. Our #1 goal is to increase and enhance language and social opportunities for all deaf and hard of hearing campers. ASL is a visual language that does require signs that sometimes touch the face, therefore hand hygiene will be increased throughout the day. As well, we will be modifying some Deaf Culture behaviours (ie hugs as a greeting gesture, any skin to skin contact to get a person’s attention etc).
Day Camp Operations
Signs for greeting families and children will be in plain language text and pictures to ensure everyone strictly follows the following guidelines upon arrival at camp:
At least one DYT staff (who is not leading a group) can wait in a designated area for outdoor campers with signage and markers measuring every 2 meters for families to wait their turn to support physical distancing. If the camp is located indoors this should be done at the door of the facility so that that only DYT leaders and participants are permitted indoors.
Families should approach the DYT staff one by one, maintaining physical distance (two metres) from the other families and from the DYT staff on duty.
Where possible sign-in and sign-out should be done by a visual or signing gesture or verbal interaction to promote touchless contact.
Families will be provided with a time range for drop off and pick up so that everyone is not arriving at the same time
Attendance will be taken each day including any parents or caregivers who remain on-site for any length of time. This will help with contact tracing should the need arise.
Daily screening of each participant will include the following:
Parent/Caregiver will be asked by staff if they or their child/ren have any COVID-19 symptoms along with additional screening questions (See the document: Daily Screening)
Responses are recorded on the daily sign-in sheet
Private buses used for transporting campers will be cleaned and disinfected and this will be arranged with the bus company that DYT contracts with. All buses will have a physical barrier between the driver and passengers, such as plexiglass. Campers will have their own seat, when possible unless the children live in the same household.
Campers and staff will be taught to cough or sneeze into their elbow sleeve or a tissue and throw away used tissues and immediately perform hand hygiene. Everyone will be encouraged to refrain from touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands as much as possible with the understanding that ASL signs sometimes require touching the face.
Personal protective equipment
Campers and staff will not be required to wear non-medical masks at this time. However, wearing a mask is a personal choice, and anyone who chooses to do so will be treated respectfully. DYT will provide all staff with masks, gloves and First Aid supplies.
COVID-19 and children
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), the COVID-19 virus has a very low infection rate in children. In B.C., less than 1% of children and youth tested have been COVID-19 positive. Most children are not at high risk for COVID-19 infection. However, children under one year of age, and older children with immune suppression and medical complexity are considered more vulnerable and at higher risk for illness. While children who are considered more vulnerable can attend camp, parents and caregivers are encouraged to consult with their health-care provider to determine if their child should attend camp if they are uncertain.
Children and youth typically have much milder symptoms of COVID-19. Many children have the asymptomatic disease. However, there is no conclusive evidence that children who are asymptomatic pose a risk to other children or to adults. Evidence indicates transmission involving children is primarily limited to household settings and from COVID-19 positive adults to children. Children are not the primary drivers of COVID-19 spread in child care facilities, schools or in community settings.
DYT will provide masks, gloves and First Aid supplies. All DYT staff should have access to or carry a mask and gloves in case they are required to care for a sick or injured child. First Aid Kits carried by staff should also contain equipment to perform resuscitation in a safe manner.
It is important to remember that children who are injured or feeling unwell still need comforting by an adult. If a leader is concerned that they may have been exposed to droplets when caring for a sick child, it is advised that they contact 811 for Health Advice.
For more information
More information on health and safety standards for child care, plus the latest COVID-19 related child care information is available at www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response