Health & Safety Training Is A Priority For September Schools Re-opening

The Manitoba Government has provided school divisions with guidance on how to prepare plans for September re-openings. Plans must include health & safety training based on guidance from Public Health. Guidance includes: environmental cleaning, physical distancing, cohorting, personal protective equipment, hand hygiene, disinfectants, risk mitigation for staff and students, screening and self-assessment, management of suspected cases, testing.

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Environmental Cleaning

Cleaning products. Disinfection. Drug Identification Number (DIN). Manufacturer’s instructions. Frequency and timing. Child safety. PPE for cleaning staff. Signage. Inventory. Storage. Porous or soft items such as stuffed toys, area rugs, fabric upholstered seating. High touch surfaces. Shared equipment. Auxillary spaces and common rooms. Washrooms. Toilet fixtures. Faucets, Eating areas, Tables. Sinks. Countertops. Doorknobs. Light switches. Handrails, Keyboards. Sports equipment.

Physical Distancing

Classroom furniture. Designated routes. Different and separate entrance points for students in different grades. Visual cues/Physical guides. Tape on floors. Signs/posters. One way routes in hallways. Staggered periods of student movement. Ensure physical distancing is maintained while students are eating. Staggering pick-up and drop-off of students. Personal belongings brought to school should be stored separately in cubbies/designated areas or lockers.

Risk Mitigation for Teachers and Staff

Self-screening by staff for COVID-19. Symptom screening by parents and caregivers of their children before school. What to do if symptoms appear at school? Masks for teachers and students. Record keeping for contact tracing purposes. Teach children/youth in age-appropriate and non-stigmatizing language how to identify symptoms of COVID-19 and instruct them to speak to a staff member immediately if they are experiencing symptoms.

Cohorting

Purpose of cohorting. Teacher remaining with the class. If different teachers required, which teachers should come to the classroom so students are not required to change rooms? Use of supplies and equipment per cohort group as well as disinfection between use. Posting a cleaning log to track cleaning. Plans should be made to prevent mixing of cohorts in washrooms/changerooms. Supplies and equipment limited to one cohort at a time. Adapted timetables for elementary and secondary levels. Size limitations. Daily record keeping.

Hand Hygiene - Respiratory Etiquette

Manitoba Government guidance on when hand hygiene should be conducted in a school setting. Health Canada authorized list of hand sanitizers and hard- hard-surface disinfectants Proper way to hand wash or use an alcohol based rub sanitizer. Hand washing training designed for students with special needs. Respiratory etiquette training for staff and students. Age-appropriate posters or signage to be placed around the school. Supplies needed to conduct appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Non-medical & surgical grade masks. Goggles & face shields. Gloves for disinfecting and cleaning products. Training employees on the care, use and limitations of any PPE that they use. Teachers using masks should explain rationale to the students. Parents choosing to send cloth masks to school with their children. PPE should be provided to Educational Assistants who work in close proximity with special needs students . Non-teaching staff and visitors may also choose to wear a mask and be responsible for safe use.

About Us Accessibility Canada


Accessibility Canada is a consulting and training firm set up specifically to ensure your organization’s full compliance with the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

Our team of experts has been hand-picked to provide the specialized skills needed to address your organization’s unique needs. We come from all backgrounds in the key areas addressed by the legislation, including the following standards:

  • Customer Service
  • Employment Accessibility
  • Information and Communication
  • Built Environment
  • Transportation

Each standard has specific requirements and timelines – all designed to eliminate barriers.

If you or your staff do not have the dedicated time necessary to address the detailed Accessibility Plan required, then we can make the task a lot easier. And we will ensure your organization’s full compliance with the law, every step of the way.

We are confident that a brief online demonstration will establish are unique position to ensure you comply with the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, including additional optional services to focus right in on your unique needs.

We will work with you to identify gaps and develop strategies to remove barriers including:

  • Architectural or structural
  • Information and communications
  • Technology
  • Systemic
  • Attitudinal

Rather than offering ‘one size fits all’, we offer an extensive suite of services that can be bundled specifically for your organization beginning with your online training.

Contact our president, Steve Gibson B.Sc., LL. B at (204) 816-1510 or email sgibson@accessibilityincanada.com

Accessibility Canada is a national organization with offices in Winnipeg and Toronto.