Nelson and District Seniors Coordinating Society

Covid-19 Protocols

December 2020

Understanding the risk

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways, including through droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, and from touching a contaminated surface before touching the face. Higher risk situations require adequate protocols to address the risk.

  • The risk of person-to-person transmission is increased the closer you come to other people, the amount of time you spend near them, and the number of people you come near. Physical distancing measures help mitigate this risk.
  • The risk of surface transmission is increased when many people contact same surface, and when those contacts happen in short intervals of time. Effective cleaning and hygiene practices help mitigate this risk.

Protocols for Seniors’ Office

Building access

  • Every one who enters must stop at the entrance, put on a mask, and use hand sanitizer.
  • Post signage indicating that employees, contractors, or visitors exhibiting COVID-like symptoms are not allowed to enter the office building.

Workplace operations

  • Where possible, volunteers and staff will work from home.
  • Staff must initial health check log at start of each shift. This is a column in the contact tracing log.
  • Consider alternating program intake days to reduce the risk of exposure and maintain the physical distancing requirement.
  • Avoid meetings or gatherings where physical distances cannot be maintained. Use larger rooms, moving meetings outside, or have all or some attendees attend virtually.
  • Consider creating cohorts of workers/volunteers who work together and who do not interact with other cohorts. This will assist in reducing transmission throughout the workplace in the event that a volunteer or staff member becomes ill.
  • Whenever a person is moving about masks must be worn – especially in the long hallway.

Workstations

  • If office attendance is required, position volunteers in a location that allows them to put more distance between themselves and their co-volunteers or customers. Arrange workstations at least 2 metres apart and away from communal pathways.
  • Minimize sharing office space, phone and computers. Use the spray bottles marked “COVID “ to spray and wipe with a cloth when using a shared computer keyboard, mouse, desk surface or telephone.   

Communal spaces

  • Maximum number of persons in the large reception area is 4, with no more than 2 of those people from the public (i.e. 2 volunteers/staff, plus two public)  Maintain physical distancing (2 meters) in offices and the hallway.  
  • Waiting areas should be arranged to maintain physical distancing requirement.
  • Volunteers/staff are encouraged NOT to mingle.  Eat outside or at their desk.
  • If breaching the physical distancing requirement is unavoidable, ensure that time spent in close proximity is minimized. Open door to back corridor if using the client room behind reception.
  • Volunteers to bring own dishes and utensils where possible.  Kim to ensure any dishes are thoroughly washed and kitchen sanitized periodically throughout the day.  Kim to collect all covid clothes as well as hand towels at the end of each day for laundering.
  • Refrain from providing and consuming communal foods.
  • Allow communal doors to remain open throughout the workday to reduce contact with door handles.
  • Instruct volunteers/workers to use their own equipment, such as pens, staplers, headsets, and computers.
  • Minimize the number of people using previously shared office equipment or other items (photocopiers, coffee machines, microwave ovens, etc.). Shared equipment should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.  Use spray bottle marked “covid”.
  • Staff/volunteers will wash or sanitize hands :
    • before and after using the kitchen, and after using the washroom,
    • after coming into contact with public items.
    • After using common items in any work area or room.

Outside visitors

  • Only 2 clients in front reception.  Over 2 must remain outside until invited in by the office manager or volunteer.  
  • All clients must wear a mask. Seniors will provide a mask to client if they do not have one with them.
  • Clients must use hand sanitizer upon entry into the office.
  • Clients must be physically distanced unless they are attending the office together.  If physical distancing is not possible clients must wait outside
  • Place clear markings on the floor directing visitors where to stand when approaching front desk – two (2) meters apart.
  • Clients must provide name and contact number to be available for potential contact tracing. Contract tracing log is on the extra desk in the front reception.
  • seating and table must be cleaned with sanitizer after each use.
  • Use of the Client Room behind reception is only room available for use with clients.  Open the door to the back corridor to improve air flow – increases air flow and used as exit route for clients to leave the office.  Only 2 chairs, set two (2) meters apart for meetings with clients.  Occupants must wear masks.  Chairs, table and door handles to be wiped down after all meetings.
  • No public access allowed down the hall corridor and no public access to washroom.
  • Allow enough time between clients to allow time to sanitize all surfaces.
  • If required, visits to the workplace should be prearranged, staggered, and safety protocols should be communicated before entry into the workplace (e.g., email and/or signage posted to entrance). All visitors must be logged in the contact tracing log.
  • Post signage at the workplace to inform everyone of the measures in place.  Place Worksafe Poster on outside door.  Post office protocols with hand sanitizer station – clients must read before proceeding to marked, physical distance point.
  • When booking appointments, visitors should be reminded to reschedule if they experience symptoms typical of COVID-19 or are placed on self-isolation.
  • Minimize non-essential in-person interaction between workers and visitors (e.g., use of virtual meeting tools, email, or telephone).
  • Provide visitor-facing staff with hand sanitizer for their use only.
  • Visitors should attend appointments alone and minimize time spent in waiting area before their appointments (e.g., request visitors to wait in vehicles and text message or call when ready).
  • Remove non-essential communal items, such as candy, magazines, and complimentary phone chargers.
  • Beverages (coffee, tea, water) should not be offered at this time.
  • Provide a safe place for visitors to dispose of used sanitizing wipes and other personal protective equipment.