COVID-19 Safety Plan: January 2022 Update
January 11, 2022
In January 2022 the government requested employers bring back their Covid Safety Plan due to the high transmissibility of the current variant. This plan outlines the control measures, policies, procedures, protocols, communication plans, training, and monitoring processes necessary to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Our plan follows the process as outlined by WorkSafeBC and is readily available for review by clients, staff, as well as visitors, suppliers, and any other person who could be providing services with us. We require all staff and persons served to review the strategies as outlined below.
In May 2020 the BC government announced a phased system for opening up the province as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic. Pivot Point published our “COVID 19 Go Forward Plan”. At that time services to persons with Diverse Abilities were also deemed essential. The goal today is the same as it was then, to continue to flatten the curve and keep transmission rates low. According to the BC government, the risk of transmission is a direct function of two variables: the number of contacts (the number of people present at the same time) and the contact intensity (the type of contact ie. close or distant and the length of contact ie. brief or prolonged). These factors can be rated as low, medium or high risks. It is important to note that Pivot Point services could fall into any of the aforementioned risk areas and levels, and can vary throughout the service term.
Pivot Point is leaving it up to individuals (and their families) and staff to make the best decisions for themselves with respect to the level of contact intensity they feel comfortable with. However there are a few factors which Pivot Point must insist upon. These recommendations are consistent with the provincial government and include:
The BCCDC directs people who test positive for Covid 19 to:
- Self isolate and manage their symptoms
- • Self isolating means keeping away from others. To learn more visit the BCCDC website.
- • Contact your doctor or 8-1-1.
- Complete an online form to report test results
- Notify close contacts
If you are managing your illness at home, you can end isolation when all three of these conditions are met:
- If you are fully vaccinated: At least 5 days have passed since your symptoms started, or from the day you tested if you did not have symptoms.
- • You should wear a mask even in settings where a mask isn’t required and avoid higher risk settings, such as long term care facilities and gatherings, for another 5 days after ending isolation
- • Fully vaccinated means you received both doses of a 2-dose series (e.g. AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Moderna vaccine) more than 7 days ago, or have received a single dose of a 1-dose series (e.g. Janssen/Johnson and Johnson) more than 14 days ago.
- • If you are not fully vaccinated: at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms started, or from the day you tested if you did not have symptoms.
- Fever has resolved for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications- continue to isolate for longer if you have a fever or are not feeling better.
- Symptoms are improving and you are able to participate in your usual activities.
- • Symptoms include:
- – Fever or chills, new or worsening cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, any new body aches, headaches, loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
- • If you are directed by your doctor or Public Health to self isolate you must do so.
- • When you end isolation, you are not considered contagious. However it can take longer to recover from the illness.
- • Symptoms include:
If you have been identified as a close contact with someone testing positive for Covid 19 you need to self-monitor and may also need to self-isolate and or get tested:
- •Monitor for symptoms (as outlined above) for 14 days from the day you last had contact with the person who has Covid 19, even if you are fully vaccinated or had Covid 19 in the last 90 days.
- •If you are fully vaccinated or had Covid 19 in the last 90 days, you are not required to self- isolate, and you can continue to participate in routine activities, such as work or school, as long as you do not have any symptoms. However do not visit friends or relatives who are at higher risk for severe Covid 19 for 14 days after you were last exposed to Covid 19.
- •If you are not fully vaccinated and did not have any Covid 19 in the last 90 days, you are required to self isolate for 10 days from the day you last had contact with the person who has Covid 19, even if you do not have any symptoms. In addition to the 10 days of self-isolation, you should not visit friends or relatives who are higher risk for severe COVID-19 (e.g. those currently in hospital, long term care, those with compromised immune systems or over the age of 70 years) for 14 days after you were last exposed to COVID-19. More details on risk factors for severe disease are available on the BCCDC website.
- •If you develop symptoms use the BCCDC’s Self Assessment Tool to determine if you need to get tested.
At this time, travel has been restricted to essential travel only. If you have arrived from outside of Canada you must follow the requirements found on https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid. If you return and are waiting for the results of a lab test for Covid 19, have been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have Covid 19, if you have a positive test result, or have symptoms (even mild), you must self isolate for 14 days if you are unvaccinated and 5 days if you are fully vaccinated, and monitor for symptoms.
Workplace closures: It is important to note that when workers in a workplace test positive for Covid 19 and public health confirms transmission has occurred in the work environment, the workplace may be ordered to close for 10 days or longer. These closures will be restricted to the locations where the transmission has occurred. Pivot Point will work diligently to prevent closures of any sort, however there is always a possibility of this happening.
- •Due to client and staff confidentiality, the names of cases and close contacts will not be shared unless required for public health investigation or decision-making.
Our COVID 19 Safety Plan involves different levels of protection for staff, persons served and their families. Whenever possible we want to use the highest level of protection. However we have created protocols for lower levels if the first level is not practicable:
The first level of protection is elimination.
- •Pivot Point is limiting the number of people in our sites by implementing work from home arrangements, establishing occupancy limits, and rearranging work spaces to ensure that people are able to distance if possible.
- •We have implemented policies and procedures for working online.
- •Signage is posted at our offices and centers which includes occupancy limits, protocols and effective hygiene practices.
- •Staff must follow our working alone and work from home policies.
- •We have locked / restricted access to non-essential rooms in our offices and centers.
The second level of protection is engineering controls. If we cannot maintain physical distance, we have installed plexiglass to separate people. We also have portable plexiglass which can be used for meetings or 1 to 1 sessions as needed.
The third level of protection is administrative controls. We have established rules and guidelines for our shared spaces (both in our offices and centers, and in client and family homes). These can be found at every site, in our Go Forward Plan and listed below.
The fourth level of protection is personal protective equipment. If the first three levels of protection are not enough to control the risk, then Pivot Point is mandating the use of masks or other face coverings, as described below.
Adhering to Pivot Point’s enhanced safety procedures as follows:
- Pivot Point’s Covid waiver MUST be signed by staff and clients prior to in person sessions.
- We ask that individuals and their families:
- •Carefully manage in person visits with friends and family who don’t live with you. Only get together in small groups, maintain physical distance, limit sharing/touching the same objects, etc.
- •Stay home and away from others if you have cold or flu symptoms. If the individual served is sick, do not attend the session and contact your Pivot Point staff as soon as possible.
- •Wear a mask when you are not able to physically distance (if at all possible). *N95 masks are recommended.
- •Keep materials sanitized and available for sessions.
- •Provide sanitization products (eg Clorox wipes) for our staff who are working in your home. If this is not affordable, staff may request this from our Head Office.
- Pivot Point staff will also do our part by:
- •Center based sessions are staggered so that people are not congregating. This includes welcoming the client/students at the door or the vehicle whenever possible.
- •Hand sanitizing stations are provided at the front door of our offices and centers and MUST be used by all who enter. Staff who provide in-home sessions MUST sanitize their hands upon arrival. Maintain hand washing and sanitizing procedures at the beginning, throughout and at the end of the session whether in community, offices, centers or in families homes. *See proper hand washing below.
- •Daily cleaning protocols are in place and include wiping all common areas and surfaces and sanitizing all equipment that has been used in client homes, offices and communities. Cleaning checklists are used in our centers to be accountable to this plan.
- •Limit the use of shared items and no use of outside materials during sessions. If a client brings their own electronics (e.g. laptop, IPad and Augmentative device) to a session, it is sanitized upon arrival and again when leaving. Staff do not bring any of their own materials to sessions in families homes or communities.
- •Time (approximately 15 minutes) is scheduled between sessions for staff to engage in proper hygiene protocols.
- •Maintain physical distancing (6 feet) whenever possible. No shaking hands, high fives or hugs. Walk in a large perimeter around others when in close proximity.
- •Staff must wear a mask (or face shield) at all times (*preferably N95). Staff can provide their own mask or they can be ordered from our Head Office by the Regional Manager. All staff are trained in the proper techniques for donning and doffing a mask. *See proper mask use below.
- •Portable plexiglass (on a limited basis) may be used when face shields are not appropriate or not tolerated. These can be ordered through our Head Office.
- •We will do our best to limit the number of environments that staff are exposed to in order to reduce inadvertent transmision.
- •Routine daily symptom screening for all staff and persons served is mandatory. As staff and clients arrive at the session (home or office/center) they are asked if they have had any symptoms of illness or if they have been in contact with anyone who has. If the answer is yes, then the session is canceled and the isolation period is adhered to. Online sessions are offered in the interim.
- •If a staff or client starts to feel ill during a session, that session ends immediately. Any symptoms must be reported to a Pivot Point Manager and the isolation period must be honored. It is recommended that the person contact 811 or use the BC COVID 19 Self Assessment Tool (https://bc.thrive.health/). Online sessions can be scheduled in the interim.
- •If either of the last two incidents occur, the staff uploads a casenote and contacts the RM. Families are asked to call the RM directly.
- •Contact tracing is conducted as required, however Pivot Point will maintain confidentiality as much as possible. Our goal is to limit the exposure.
- •If staff are sick and unable to work, Pivot Point will attempt to fill the sessions with another staff while also keeping the number of people in each individual’s “bubble” (staff and client) as low as possible. Otherwise online sessions are offered in the interim.
- •Staff are discouraged from having persons served in their vehicles. However if this is absolutely necessary, all surfaces in the vehicle must be sanitized before, during and after it is in use. When in a vehicle the client is to sit in the back passenger side seat to allow for greater distancing.
- •The management team assesses risks often and makes changes as needed.
- •We will continue to be mindful of possible mental health issues (anxiety, depression, etc).
Information and training is provided to all staff and individuals served prior to the next in person session.
- The community and visitors to our center
- •Pivot Point expects staff to adhere to the aforementioned safety protocols when working in the community.
- •While we have limited visitors to our centers, any visitors must adhere to the safety protocols as well. Pivot Point staff monitor and support visitors in being able to do so.
It is important to note that the addition of mental health supports has been extremely effective to the overall well being of many of the individuals served, their families and our staff. As such we will continue to offer supports that meet the needs of all of our clients and our staff.
Together, we can take these actions to flatten the curve, while doing more to improve our well-being and strengthen our relationships.
Stay Safe and Healthy
Pivot Point Directors