HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES FOR OUR DYT CAMPERS, STAFF AND ADMINISTRATION FOR SUMMER 2022
Updated: May 16, 2022
FNDC developed the following Covid Health and Safety Guidelines adhering to the BC Centre for Disease Control Covid 19 and Health and Safety Guidelines for Day Camps and Family Camps on June 22, 2021. FNDC will strive to update these guidelines when new information is announced by the Provincial Health Officer. Please refer to their website at BC Centre for Disease Control (bccdc.ca) or the following links below:
BCCA Day & Family Camps 2021.06.22.docx (bccamping.org)
BCCA Overnight School Camp Guidelines 10.03.21.docx (bccamping.org)
DYT activities during COVID-19 are guided by the following principles:
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 protocol.
General principles for safe day camp operation this summer include:
Strongly encouraging all staff and campers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Spending as much time outdoors as possible.
Utilizing well-ventilated indoor spaces with windows and doors open to allow fresh air circulation.
Frequent hand hygiene.
Shared equipment among campers is permitted.
Minimal physical contact between households.
No masks are required.
Campers from different households can interact.
No limits on group size.
High energy group games and activities are permitted.
Households can eat together outdoors with no spacing restrictions between households.
Singing outdoors is allowed.
Campers and staff do not have to wear masks in well-ventilated shared indoor spaces where there is sufficient space for distancing between households.
Masks are to be worn in vehicles, in common spaces with other households when distancing is not possible, and in poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
Households can eat together indoors with 2 metre spacing between households.
No singing indoors.
COVID-19 and Children and Youth
Most young people are not likely to get very sick from COVID-19, but some will. Being vaccinated for COVID-19 is the best way to protect young people from COVID-19.
Some children have a higher chance of more serious symptoms if they get COVID-19. This includes children with pre-existing conditions especially more than one pre-existing condition including:
chronic lung disease
congenital heart disease
neurodevelopmental disorders including trisomy 21
Children may show COVID-19 symptoms differently than adults. For example, fatigue or tiredness may look like not eating well, not being as active or acting differently.
Think about what is usual or unusual about your child’s specific symptoms for them. For example, a child may have a mild fever, irritability and a runny nose due to teething. A young person may also have a runny nose due to seasonal allergies or other respiratory illnesses.
There are no restrictions on:
Organized gatherings and events, like weddings and funerals
Exercise and fitness activities
Case Finding, Contact Tracing and Outbreak
A close contact is generally someone who has been near a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes when health and safety measures were not in place or were insufficient. With the spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19, there has been an increase in COVID-19 in our communities and many people will be exposed to COVID-19.
Whether notified of a COVID-19 exposure or not, everyone should routinely monitor symptoms of COVID-19 and stay home if they feel unwell or develop symptoms.
If symptoms develop, stay at home until you are well enough to participate in your usual activities and check to see if testing is recommended. Most people do not need testing and can self-manage even if they are known to close contacts.
When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they become a “case”. The people they have spent time with during their infectious period may be considered “close contacts”. At this stage in the pandemic, close contacts are not required to self-isolate or take any special measures. Therefore, contact tracing is of limited value except for high-priority settings.
Self-isolation and quarantine (any COVID-19-like symptoms)
The following campers, staff, or other persons are required to stay home and self-isolate:
Anyone with fever or chills, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, difficulty breathing, sore throat, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue or tiredness, headache, body aches, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
Certain people entering the BC from outside of Canada will need to self-isolate upon arrival. This is a federal regulation and is determined by the Government of Canada.
To find out if you need to self-isolate after travelling, visit the Government of Canada’s website.
Follow the instructions provided by the Government of Canada on how to self-isolate and quarantine.
You are considered to be fully vaccinated if you have two doses of any of the World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccines or one dose of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. You do not need to have a booster dose to be considered fully vaccinated.
If you test positive for COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated, you need to self-isolate at home for 5 days AND until your symptoms improve and you no longer have a fever. You do not need to be re-tested for COVID-19 to end your self-isolation period and return to your normal activities.
If you have not received a full series of any of the World Health Organization approved Covid 19 vaccines, you are not fully immunized.
If you are 18 years of age or older, test positive for COVID-19, and are not fully vaccinated, you need to self-isolate at home for 10 days AND until you no longer have a fever AND your symptoms improve. You do not need to be re-tested for COVID-19 after your self-isolation period ends to return to normal activities; you can remain test positive for many weeks, even after you are no longer infectious.
If you are under 18 years of age, test positive for COVID-19, and are not fully vaccinated, you need to self-isolate at home for 5 days AND until you no longer have a fever AND your symptoms improve. You do not need to be re-tested for COVID-19 after your self-isolation period ends to return to normal activities; you can remain test positive for many weeks, even after you are no longer infectious.
When there is a possible COVID-19 exposure in places like work or school, people do not need to self-isolate unless they test positive for COVID-19 or develop symptoms of COVID-19. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 it’s important to self-monitor. If you develop symptoms, stay home until your symptoms have improved and checked the self-assessment tool to see if you should get a test.
Stay Home When Sick
Camp operators should have flexible sick-leave policies that support staff to stay home when sick;
Parents and caregivers must assess their child daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory disease before sending them to camp;
Staff must assess themselves daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, or COVID-19 prior to entering the camp;
Anyone who is sick is not to attend camp;
Anybody who has symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home and self-isolate;
Those unsure of if they or a camper should self-isolate should use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool. If concerned, they can be advised to contact 8-1-1 or the local public health unit to seek further input. They can also be advised to contact a family physician or nurse practitioner to be assessed for COVID-19 and other infectious respiratory diseases.
Camp operators/administrators should establish procedures for campers and staff who become sick while at camp to be sent home as soon as possible
Screening campers or staff for temperatures or COVID-19 testing are activities reserved for health care professionals.
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 they 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.
If Camper Develops Symptoms at Camp
Staff must take the following steps:
Immediately separate the symptomatic camper from others in the first aid room, or a supervised area if they are not on-site.
Contact the camper’s parent or caregiver to pick them up as soon as possible.
Where possible, maintain a distance of 2 metres from the ill camper. A mask should be worn by both the camper (if tolerated) and the staff person.
Provide the camper with tissues to cover their coughs or sneezes. Throw away used tissues as soon as possible and ensure the camper and staff member wash their hands.
Avoid touching the camper’s body fluids (e.g., mucous, saliva). If you do, practice diligent hand hygiene.
Once the camper is picked up, practice diligent hand hygiene.
Staff responsible for facility cleaning must clean and disinfect the space where the camper was separated and any areas used by them (e.g., bathroom, common areas).
Contact 8-1-1 or the local public health unit to seek further input. Parents or caregivers must pick up their child as soon as possible if they are notified their child is ill
Staff will complete an incident report to document the potential case of a camper.
If Staff Develops Symptoms at Work
Staff should go home as soon as possible.
If unable to leave immediately:
Symptomatic staff should separate themselves into an area away from others.
Maintain a distance of 2 meters from others. A mask should be worn by the staff person.
Use a tissue or mask to cover their nose and mouth while they wait to be picked up.
Staff responsible for facility cleaning must clean and disinfect the space where the staff member was separated and any areas used by them (e.g., bathroom, common areas). Take appropriate precautions when cleaning and disinfecting, and ensure to perform hand hygiene upon completion.
If concerned, contact 8-1-1 or the local public health unit to seek further input.
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 names 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 the pick-up/drop-off zone. Everyone entering must clean their hands. Wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. 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. If hands are visibly soiled, alcohol-based hand rub may not be effective at eliminating respiratory viruses. Soap and water are preferred when hands are visibly dirty.
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.
Campers will be encouraged to wear masks when physical distancing is not possible when moving from one activity station to another activity station, and/or walking to a destination.
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 their hands, and 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 physical communication (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 only DYT leaders and participants are permitted indoors.
Families should approach the DYT staff one by one, maintaining a physical distance (two metres) from the other families and from the DYT staff on duty.
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.
Private charter buses: 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 will also be encouraged to wear masks while transported on bus as well as follow all bus company regulations.
Public Transit: According to Translink, stay home when unwell. While on the bus, avoid touching your face and cough/sneeze into your elbow. Masks are encouraged. Maintain physical distance from other passengers and transit staff when possible and follow physical distance markers where outlined. Use hand sanitizers before and after riding transit.
Car Pooling: Try to keep as much distance as possible between passengers; consider having a second person travel in the back seat. For regular trips (such as those to a work location) try to keep the same people car-pooling together to reduce unnecessary contact with others.
Avoid using the recirculated air option for the car’s ventilation during passenger transport; use the car’s vents to bring in fresh outside air and/or lower the vehicle windows. Have each person handle their own bags and belongings. Be careful of commonly touched shared surfaces such as seatbelt buckles, door handles, visors, knobs and controls. Clean and disinfect these surfaces regularly and between shifts if cars are shared on the job. Keep tissues and hand sanitizer available in the vehicle. Practice cough and sneezing etiquette and be careful to ensure you have enough ventilation when using hand sanitizer. Wash hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as you leave the shared vehicle. We encourage all passengers to wear masks when they are not from 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.
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 comfort from 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.