VSOCC Health & Safety Measures
VSOCC is committed to maintaining healthy and safe environments, and providing high quality learning experiences and care during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In addition to existing VSOCC policies and procedures, the following measures are informed by BC Public Health, BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC), WorkSafe BC, the BC Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Child Care Licensing Regulations. Updated December 02, 2020.
Daily Health Check
All employees and children must complete a health check for new symptoms of COVID-19 each day prior to arriving and entering a VSOCC centre.
- Do you* have new onset of symptoms of fever**, chills, cough or worsening chronic cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of sense of smell or taste, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting?
- Have you* returned from travel outside Canada in the last 14 days?
- Are you* a confirmed contact of a person confirmed to have COVID-19?
If YES to any of the above questions, stay home and isolate.
If YES to questions 2 & 3, stay home and isolate for the full required period as directed by public health. If symptoms appear during this period, seek a health assessment.
* You refers to the employee/ child / visitor entering the child care facility.
** Fever = body temperature of 37.5 Celcius or higher taken under the armpit or orally, as directed by Vancouver Coastal Health – Child Care Licensing.
Stay Home When Sick
Staying home when sick is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of communicable diseases, including COVID-19.
Children and employees must stay home when new symptoms of illness develop, such as:
- Difficulty breathing (in small children, this can look like breathing fast or working hard to breathe)
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Nausea or vomiting
If children and employees have new onset of one of the above symptoms AND it is not a fever or difficulty breathing, they should stay home and monitor the symptom for 24 hours.
- If it worsens, seek a health assessment by calling 8-1-1 or a primary care provider. If a COVID-19 test is recommended as a result of the health assessment, self-isolate while waiting for results.
- If it improves and the child/employee feels well enough, they can return to the child care facility without further assessment or doctor’s note.
If children or employee has TWO or more symptoms OR have a fever OR have difficulty breathing, seek a health assessment by calling 8-1-1 or a primary care provider. If a COVID-19 test is recommended as a result of the health assessment, self-isolate while waiting for results.
If the COVID-19 test is positive, self-isolate and follow the direction of public health.
If the COVID-19 test is negative, return to the child care facility once well enough to participate.
If the COVID-19 test is recommended but not done, self-isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and return when feeling well enough to participate.
If a COVID-19 test is not recommended, employees and children may return when well enough to participate.
All children that attend must be well enough to participate in all aspects of the program.
What if my child has a previously diagnosed health condition?
Employees or children who are experiencing symptoms of a previously diagnosed health condition do not need to stay home and will not be required to provide a doctor’s note to attend child care.
What if a member of our household has developed new symptoms of illness?
Asymptomatic employees and children may still attend VSOCC child care programs if a member of their household develops new symptoms of illness.
If the household member tests positive for COVID-19, public health will advise on self-isolation and when they may return to the child care setting.
Arrivals & Departures
Families will drop off and pick up without entering the program room.
Educators will welcome, ask the daily health screen questions, sign your child in / out, and assist your child to wash their hands and to put away or get their belongings.
Access to Program Rooms
Access to program rooms is limited.
Families will not have access to the program areas.
Children will not visit other programs.
VSOCC employees will only enter areas required for work purposes.
Visitors will be limited to public health staff and authorized support service and maintenance workers, as needed.
Safe Entry Protocols
All individuals entering the centre must
- sanitize their hands,
- wear a mask while in common areas such as lobbies, hallways and elevators, while having face to face conversations, and when 2 meter distance cannot be maintained, and
- sign in at their designated program.
If entering the program room, all individuals must wash their hands.
Visitors must have pre-approved authorization before entering. All visitors must wear a mask within program rooms.
Everyone Must Wash Their Hands
- When entering the centre and program area
- After sneezing or coughing
- When hands are visibly dirty
- Before and after all meals and drinking
- Before and after sensory play activities with shared materials such as water, playdough, goop and sand
- After returning from outdoors
- After use of the washroom
- After physical exertion
- When leaving at the end of the day
Cough & Sneeze Etiquette
Cough and sneeze into your arm or a tissue, and wash your hands.
All adults must maintain a 2-metre distance from each other. Educators will physically distance amongst adults: no hugs or hand shakes with families and colleagues.
Physical connection, comfort and socialization is important for children’s health, well-being, and developmental age. It is not expected that young children will physically distance from one another. Educators will set up activities to give children lots of space and encourage lots of outdoor play to encourage physical distancing between children.
Personal Protective Equipment
All adults must wear a mask in VSOCC indoor common areas such as lobbies, hallways and elevator, during face-to-face conversations with other adults, and when 2 meter distance cannot be maintained between adults.
Masks are not recommended for educators in child care settings. However, VSOCC employees have the option to wear non-medical masks within program rooms.
All adults should maintain a 2-metre distance from each other. Educators will physically distance amongst adults: no hugs or hand shakes with families and colleagues.
Physical connection, comfort and socialization is important for children’s health, well-being, and developmental age. It is not expected that young children will physically distance from one another. Educators will set up activities to give children lots of space and outdoor play opportunities to encourage physical distancing between children.
If a CHILD Suddenly Develops Symptoms
Educators will isolate and supervise the child; contact the child’s parent/guardian/ emergency contact to request immediate pick-up; and clean and disinfect all items and spaces with which the child was in contact.
If an EMPLOYEE Suddenly Develops Symptoms
Employees must immediately alert their supervisor, put on a mask, and maintain a 2-metre distance from others. Employees will be sent home as soon as safe supervision of children is addressed. Items and spaces the employee was in contact with will be cleaned and disinfected.
Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
Case finding and contact tracing are measures conducted by public health. If an employee or child is a confirmed case of COVID-19 through testing or investigation (i.e., case finding), public health will identify who that person has been in recent close contact with (i.e., contact tracing) to determine how they became infected and who else might be at risk of infection.
If it is determined that a person with COVID-19 was in a child care setting when they may have potentially been infectious, public health will work with VSOCC to understand who may have been exposed and will directly notify those considered to be a close contact. Public Health will work with VSOCC to develop a communications plan, including who should be notified, how and when. Employees and families will be notified if they were potentially exposed. Other employees and families not potentially exposed may be notified. A process map showing how contact tracing would occur in a child care setting is available in the BC CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Settings: Appendix C.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
High touch areas will be cleaned and sanitized at minimum two times per day, and includes:
- Washroom sinks, counters, toilets & fixtures
- Elevator panels & buttons, intercom panels & phones
- Door handles, handicap buttons, & alarm silence buttons
- Kitchen counters, handles & buttons
- High touch areas on gates / windows, tables, chairs, play
furniture, shelving and lower wall areas
- Toys, including sensory materials and equipment.
VSOCC interior and exterior program areas exceed the licensing requirement of 3.7m2 per child, therefore VSOCC programs have space to maintain physical distancing while offering quality learning experiences.
Educators set up and design learning areas, curriculum and activities that teaches children to physically distance and reduce the likelihood of children congregating or crowding, including:
- reduce number of chairs at tables,
- spread out napping into various areas,
- create more play zones with fewer children,
- adapt meal time and nap routines for smaller groups and fewer children,
- slow and reduce group transitions, and
- ensure sensory play zones are set up for fewer children, and equipment and materials are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Snacks and Lunch
Children will not share food items and will not serve themselves from a communal plate / bowl or jug.
- For meals from home, educators will assist children to get and set out their meals.
- For VSOCC meals, educators will serve the children using serving utensils, and provide the children with individually portioned meals.
- Small groups of children will be rotating to eat their meals, and will have adequate room and space at the table.
VSOCC educators are committed to ensuring families and children feel safe, reassured and have great experiences in our programs. They are taking this opportunity to find new and creative ways to offer exciting and safe learning experiences for your children.
These measures are subject to change, as new information and guidelines from the BC Public Health Officer, BC CDC and WorkSafe BC become available. For information about COVID-19 in BC, go to www.gov.bc.ca/covid19.