Covid Safety Plan

Update – August 25th 2021

In line with recent changes to public health guidance, masks are once again mandatory at W.E.G.C.S.S.

Please respect our staff and clients by wearing a mask, and not coming to the building if you or anyone in your immediate circle has been unwell.

Thankyou.

Update – July 9th 2021

Having moved into Phase 3 of B.C.’s restart plan we have revised our approach in line with the provinces public health guidelines.

Masks are still recommended, but no longer mandatory.

Our office door will remain closed, and we are not yet inviting the public into the building, but please knock and we will come to the door to help with your request. As always we are available by phone on 250-355-2484 or by email at officemanager@wegcss.org.

Please do not come to the building if you, or anyone in your immediate circle has been unwell.

Capacity has been increased to 15 people in the whole building to enable us to begin working with volunteers again, however we will not be fully implementing our public programs as yet, but are planning for September in the hope that we then move to phase 4 of B.C.’s restart plan. 

Food Bank and Seniors Lunch will continue to operate as they have during the past year until further notice.

Below our details of our full Covid Safety Plan prior to this update, if public health advice changes we will revert to this plan.

Covid Safety Plan

WEGCSS is committed to ensuring the health and wellness of all staff, volunteers, partners, and patrons. The goal of this document is to outline the exposure and risks involved concerning COVID-19 and how we as an organization will respond to those risks. The following document will outline the risks involved, information from health authorities, and WorkSafe, response, and action plan to ensure our work and program environments are safe for all involved. It is important that each staff member and volunteer review this document.

Part of our commitment to enhance staff health and safety is to educate staff on how to protect themselves, and what is expected of them in terms of their responsibilities to the Society and the public well-being. Refreshing staff on existing health and safety protocols combined with training on the new normal will ensure that we are meeting adequate health and safety standards.

WEGSS REPONSIBILITIES

  • Provide access to the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): masks, face shields, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and communication tools (i.e. posters).
  • Training for staff and volunteers will be provided via Zoom or in-person to review guidelines and expectations pertaining to COVID-19 for workplace and programming,
  • Have prepared binder in main office which contains: Covid-19 Service Delivery Response Plan, Staff Absence Form, Staff & Volunteer Acknowledgment Form, and Office Tracking Form.
  • Support staff to complete a site risk assessment and identify areas of concern along with action plan to address issues.
  • Support staff by purchasing additional equipment to accommodate physical distancing (i.e. plexiglass barriers, wipeable chairs, etc.)
  • Replace any in-person meetings, programs or events with online delivery when possible.
  • Make sure staff and participants can access required self-assessment tools.
  • Adhere to health authority and WorkSafe guidelines and communicate information to staff, volunteers and participants (when required).
  • Ensure staff, volunteers and patrons follow recommended guidelines of staying 2 metres apart wherever possible.

EMPLOYEE AND VOLUNTEER RESPONSIBILITIES

In order to keep the risk low to exposure, it is everyone’s responsibility to take ownership of their role. Please be mindful and review the responsibilities. If there is ever a concern, or if something is unclear, please speak with your Executive Director(s).

  • Follow the guidelines as set forth in this document.
  • Complete a self-assessment each time you come to work and when you have travelled out of the province or if   

       you have left the country https://bc.thrive.health/.

  • When unwell and experiencing coughing, fever, or runny nose, difficulty breathing, do not report to work.  

       Steps to report absence will be covered in later sections.

  • If any concerns about the workplace or guidelines, report them to your supervisor. Steps to report concerns or

       workplace hazards will be covered in later sections.

UNDERSTANDING COVID-19

Symptoms

Understanding the symptoms and transmission of Covid-19 is critical for each and every person. If you experience any of the following symptoms you should stay home, self-isolate, and contact a health professional or dial 8-1-1 for further direction.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny Nose
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing

Even if you are not experiencing the above symptoms, you should not come to work if you have been out of the country within the last 14 days, live with someone who has a known exposure to Covid-19, or someone who is displaying these symptoms. If you are exposed or experience above symptoms, staff and volunteers are required to report their symptoms to their supervisor.

Transmission

Covid-19 can be transmitted through air droplets if someone coughs or sneezes due to the air droplets being airborne for a period of time. As well, contact with surfaced that could be contaminated by droplets is also a concern. For this reason, maintaining a physical distance of 6 ft (2 metres) is imperative. To keep risk low, you should avoid the following:

  • Shaking hands
  • Sitting closer than 6ft from a co-worker or other person
  • Close contact such as touching or hugging
  • Unnecessary touching of door handles, keyboard, tables, pens, etc. To further understand Covid-19, please refer to the graphic below from the Public Health Authority of Canada poster.

RISK ASSESSMENT AND RESPONSE

Risk Assessment

The risk assessment was created based on information from WorkSafe BC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation Guidelines. Using this guideline, we have determined the risk level of our staff and volunteers.

Based on the information in the risk assessment, staff and volunteers fall into the Low and Moderate risk categories. In order to respond accordingly to Covid-19, we have created a number of directives and controls. It is every staff

member and volunteer’s responsibility to ensure they are following the guidelines below. Failure to follow these could result in exposure of COVID-19 by yourself and others. Be part of the solution and respond accordingly.

ACTIONDESCRIPTION
Risk AssessmentAll regular staff (Executive Directors, Food Bank Manager, Office Manager, Daycare manager) will be involved in determining the risks of our office space and service delivery.
PPE and Cleaning MaterialsWEGCSS will purchase appropriate PPE and cleaning materials for staff. Including:

– A mask/face shield for all staff members.
– Hand Sanitizer at office entrance
– Appropriate cleaning and disinfectants in stock.
– Plexi-glass dividers for high traffic areas (i.e. Main office desk and Learning Centre desk)
Site PreparationOffice space will have hand sanitizer at entrance for all persons entering/exiting the building.   Throughout the office there will be signage informing those entering to do a self-assessment. Signage includes:

– Self-Check PosterHandwashing Poster
– How to Wear a Mask Poster
– Occupancy Poster
– Physical Distancing Poster  

Spaces will be structured to ensure 6 ft physical distancing can be maintained.
Covid-19 Staff TrainingAll regular staff (Executive Directors, Food Bank Manager, Office Manager, Garden Manager, Daycare manager) will attend the Zoom training on the WEGCSS Covid-19 Safety Plan.
HandwashingWEGCSS employees will ensure:  

– Hand sanitizer is used each time they enter and leave the facility.  
– Hand washing is performed via the BCCDC guidelines when entering the kitchen space.
– Wash hands again after using the washroom, after coughing, sneezing, using handkerchief or disposable tissue, smoking, eating or drinking, after handling soiled equipment, and when changing tasks so as to prevent cross contamination.  
– Standard signage for handwashing protocols are posted at the kitchen handwash station and in the bathroom. https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/posters/help- prevent-spread-covid-19-handwashing?lang=en  
Coughing and SneezingEnsure you sneeze into the elbow of your sleeve or into a clean piece of tissue. Wash hands immediately after.
Physical DistancingMaintain 6 ft of distance at all times from staff and others. Standard signage for physical distancing requirements are posted at the entrance of our facility.   Physical distancing (2m or 6ft) is to be maintained whenever possible at our facility.   Our facility has the capacity to have 8 people, safely distanced, at one time. At the entrance, there is clear signage displayed stating our capacity.   Food Bank Manager is to remain inside the building while food bank patrons remain outside the building. Food Bank Manager should encourage physical distancing among food bank patrons.
MasksMasks are mandatory for all staff and patrons using our services and/or entering our building.   Masks are not necessary for staff working alone in their office: i.e. Executive Directors and Office Manager. However, masks must be worn in common areas and when answering the door and/or working with the public and outside staff members.   If a physical distance of 6ft can not be maintained between staff members, masks or face shields are mandatory.   For food preparation, please see ‘Food Preparation Protocols’.
Illness or Suspected ExposureIf you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or have been potentially exposed to someone with it, do not come to work. Report your absence on our Staff Absence Form and to your immediate supervisor.   If notified that a person who has been in the office is confirmed to have Covid- 19, or potentially has the virus, it must be reported to the Executive Director. Next steps will be communicated at that time.
Cleaning and Disinfecting ProtocolsWhen arriving to work, use hand sanitizer or wash hands. Ensure you are reminding participants to use hand sanitizer when entering office/program area and again when leaving.   Disinfect door handle and other surfaces that are regularly touched by others.   If you are working alone in office, clean areas touched again before leaving the space.   If someone comes into the office, disinfect the area they have touched or were near to ensure droplets have been removed.   Cleaning products and methods used must be certified by Health Canada or the British Columbia Ministry of Health: https://www.canada.ca/en/health- canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19.html   Please refer to Food Preparation for specific cleaning and disinfecting protocols specific to food preparation.
Schedule MeetingsIf meeting with one or more people, ensure you have the required seating that maintains 6ft requirement.   If meeting with multiple participants throughout the day, ensure you schedule them so there is enough time to avoid them being in the space at the same time. Also, try to leave enough time to perform adequate cleaning/disinfecting of space.   Community meetings should be offered via Zoom unless you are meeting in an area that can maintain physical distancing.
Distribution of MaterialsIf you are giving out any materials to participants, please ensure the following:   If items are new or been stored, you do not have to wear gloves to put items together, but must wash hands before and after.   Mask should be worn to assemble any items that will be taken out to community immediately (within 48 hours). If not, a mask is not necessary.     Please refer to Food Preparation for specific instructions on how to distribute meals/food to community members.
Food PreparationGENERAL:   Confirm with Executive Director to seek approval before preparing food for a program.   Before preparing food, please review existing ‘Food Health & Safety Plan’ listed below.   Food Preparation is forbidden if a staff member is experiencing any of the following COVID-19 symptoms:

– Fever
– Cough
– Runny Nose
– Sore throat
– Difficulty breathing  

If a staff member is exhibiting any of the above symptoms they must stay home, self-isolate, and contact a health professional or dial 8-1-1 for further direction.   Ensure only one staff member is preparing food at a time.   Staff must wear mask at all times when preparing food.   All staff handling food must have valid FoodSafe certification.

Volunteers and participants are not to assist in preparing or clean-up of any snacks or meals for programs.

CLEANING & DISINFECTING PROTOCOLS:   Make sure that the area used for food preparation and/or food packaging is clean and sanitary before starting work by cleaning the table with approved cleaning agent as per BCCDC guidelines: http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/bleach-water-ratios- table.pdf  

All areas used for food preparation should be disinfected prior to starting preparations and again at the end of preparations.  

Use of disposable cleaning items such as paper towel and disposable wipes is required. Do not use cloths to clean tables and door handles or any other surfaces.   Use paper towel instead of cloths or sponges for cleaning.  

MEAL/FOOD DELIVERY:   When doing meal/food delivery, wearing a mask is mandatory. Hand sanitizer must be used before delivering each meal/food box and after returning to vehicle.   Disposable plates and cutlery are to be used when needed.   Make participants aware of the following:  

WEGCSS will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the risk to exposure for Covid-19 remains low for all staff, volunteers, and participants by:  

Ensuring a safety plan is in place to identify and manage known potential risks.

Ensuring staff and volunteers are trained in Covid-19 safety measures as outlined by WorkSafe and the provincial health authority

Ensuring the location used to prepare food was cleaned and disinfected prior to food preparation and that health and safety measures were followed.

By participating in our food delivery service, you agree to accept any and all risks related to Covid-19 and understand that WEGCSS is not to be held liable or responsible for any future health issues.    
Office TrackingAll volunteers/community members who enter the office must be recorded on the Office Tracking Form.   Physical Distancing is mandatory for all in-person meetings.   All volunteers/community members (including staff) must complete a self- check. Self-check will be posted on the door of the office.   The Occupancy limit for our office is 8 people. Four regular staff members and four volunteers/community members. This is dependent however on the ability to structure the room so each person is separated by another by at least 6 feet. If a space cannot ensure that physical distancing is possible, the number must be reduced to accommodate.

Food Safety Plan

The W.E. Graham Community Service Society Health and Safety plan is used to identify proper food handling techniques by staff and volunteers of the WEGCSS. WEGCSS operates four programs that involve handling food.

  • Slocan Valley Food Cupboard
  • Senior’s Lunch
  • Intergenerational Cooking
  • Youth Centre/Youth Programs

All four programs are open to the general public. To ensure that we are meeting all health, safety and quality standards, a Food Safety Plan has been put in place and is guided by policies and procedures that have been adapted from several resources including Interior Health Authority’s, “Food Safety Guidelines For Food Banks” BC Centre for Disease Control, “Ensuring Food Safety”, various HACCP guides, and “Food Protection-Vital To Your Business” from the Ministry of Health.

For each program we have a step by step process for safe handling procedures.

Overall guiding rules for food handling at the WEGCSS:

  • Ensure that all employees and volunteers have read, signed and understand the “WEGCSS-Food Programs Personal Hygiene and Health Requirements”
  • Ensure all clients you serve are aware of and are provided if requested, a copy of “Food Safety Facts for

 Fresh Fruit and Vegetables.” Appendix 1

  • Before handling any food, ensure your health is good. Do not come in if you are sick. If you have symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice or infected cuts/boils please phone the office immediately to report that you can’t come in to work. Return to work only after you are completely healed.
  • Wear clean outer garments.
  • Remove all jewelry and other objects that might fall into mix, equipment and containers. They should be taken off before washing hands.
  • There is no smoking permitted while handling food and it is requested that you refrain from smoking at least 20 minutes before handling food.
  • Hair must be kept clean and tied back if it is long. Do not touch your hair or face at all when handling food. Hair can be both a source of microbiological and physical contamination.
  • Appropriate footwear is crucial. Please do not wear open toed shoes of any sort. Wear sturdy, clean comfortable shoes when working with food.
  • Wash your hands properly. There are signs in washrooms and in packaging area that describe proper hand washing techniques. Wash hands again after using the washroom, after coughing, sneezing, using handkerchief or disposable tissue, smoking, eating or drinking, after handling soiled equipment, and when changing tasks so as to prevent cross contamination.
  • Do not chew gum, eat, or drink while handling food. Keep food and drinks away from packaging table.