COVID-19 Health and Wellness
Covid-19 Health and Wellness Policy
Please note the following Covid-19 Health and Wellness policy, which apples to all staff and children within this facility.
On arrival, children and staff will have their temperature taken before entering the facility. Children and staff are required to wash their hands with soap and water (staff can use hand sanitizer). If the child has a temperature, they must be taken home and remain home until they show no symptoms of Covid-19.
Rigorous hand washing with plain soap and water is the single most effective way to reduce the spread of illness. Children and staff can pick up germs easily from anything they touch, and can spread those germs to objects, surfaces, food, and people. Everyone should practice diligent hand hygiene. Staff will teach and reinforce these practices amongst the children.
How to perform hand hygiene:
- Wash hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing the “ABC’s” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”).
- If hands are visibly soiled, alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not be effective at eliminating respiratory viruses. Soap and water are preferred when hands are visibly dirty.
Parents will additionally be asked to sign a statement each morning, confirming that their child is symptom free and that their child has not been given acetaminophen or ibuprofen in the last 12 hours.
Based on the current epidemiology of COVID-19 in B.C., and the fact that children are at a much lower risk of developing COVID-19, KinderHeart Montessori will remain open, while supporting the health and safety of children and adults. KinderHeart Montessori will adapt as much as possible to implement public health and infection prevention and control measures, including staying home when ill, physical distancing, minimized physical contact, hand hygiene, frequent cleaning, and disinfection.
Children or staff who have symptoms of a common cold, influenza or COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory diseases are to remain at home. Children or staff may return to the centre once they are assessed by their family physician or nurse practitioner and it is determined that they do NOT have COVID-19, and their symptoms have resolved.
COVID-19 and Children
- COVID-19 virus has a very low infection rate in children. In B.C., less than 1% of children and youth tested have been COVID-19 positive. Most children are not at high risk for COVID-19 infection.
- Children and youth typically have much milder symptoms of COVID-19 most often presenting with low-grade fever and a dry cough. GI symptoms are more common over the course of disease, while skin changes and lesions, are less common.
- Many children have asymptomatic disease. However, there is no conclusive evidence that children who are asymptomatic pose a risk to other children or to adults.
- Evidence indicates transmission involving children is primarily limited to household settings, and from COVID-19 positive adults to children. Most cases in children have been linked to a symptomatic household member.
- Clusters and outbreaks involving children and youth are unusual and tend only to occur in areas where there are high levels of community spread.
- Children are not the primary drivers of COVID-19 spread in childcare facilities.
- For younger children maintaining physical distance is less practical and the focus should be on minimizing physical contact instead.
COVID-19 and Adults
* While COVID-19 impacts adults more than children, some adults with specific health circumstances are at an increased risk for more severe outcomes, including individuals:
* Aged 65 and over,
* with compromised immune systems, or
* with underlying medical conditions.
- Most adults infected with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms that do not require care outside of the home.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Regular cleaning and disinfection are important to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 from contaminated objects and surfaces.
KinderHeart will be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with BCCDC’s guidance on Cleaning and Disinfectants for Public Settings, using a product from Health Canada’s hard-surface disinfectants for use against the virus that causes COVID-19, to:
- Clean and disinfect the premises at least once every 24 hours.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least twice every 24 hours, including doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, and toys used by multiple children.
- Clean and disinfect any surface that is visibly dirty.
- Clean and disinfect cots and changing stations after each use.
- Consider limiting the use of frequently touched items that cannot be easily cleaned.
- Wash bed linens after each use.
- Empty garbage containers daily and when full.
- Wear disposable gloves when cleaning blood or body fluids; wash hands before wearing and after removing gloves.
How to Manage Staff and Children During the Pandemic
Cohorting Children and Staff Licensed childcare facilities must adhere to relevant legislation that outlines the types of services and restrictions on age groups, staff ratios, and group sizes.
KinderHeart will consider how to apply cohorting principles to our setting to minimize the mixing of different children and staff members.
Recommendations include (whenever possible) to:
* Reduce the time or mixing of age groups for the first and last half hour of the day as permitted by the legislation.
* KinderHeart will consider each group a cohort (e.g. infant / toddler groups; 30 months to school age children – and preschool).
* Many small groups are better than fewer large groups where possible.
* Staff scheduling will be arranged for staff to remain in the same group.
* Physical Distancing and Minimizing Physical Contact Physical distancing refers to a range of measures aimed at reducing close contact with others. Physical distancing is used as a prevention measure because COVID-19 tends to spread through prolonged, close, face-to-face contact. Within child care settings, physical distancing should include avoiding physical contact between staff, avoiding unnecessary physical contact between staff and children, minimizing close, prolonged, face-to-face interactions where possible, and encouraging everyone to spread out as much as possible within the space available.
It is not necessary to attempt to eliminate close contact between children, recognizing the importance of children’s emotional, physical, and developmental needs.
Staff should try to:
- Reduce prolonged face-to-face contact between other staff members and practice physical distancing where possible.
- Reduce the number of different staff that interact with the same children throughout the day.
- Minimize unnecessary physical contact with children.
- Minimize the number of visiting adults that enter the centre, unless that person is providing care or supporting the inclusion of a child in care
. · Organize more activities that encourage individual play and more space between children and staff.
- Encourage children to minimize physical contact with each other.
Sick Leave Policies for KinderHeart
KinderHeart staff who are experiencing symptoms that could be due to COVID-19 are supported to stay home through the implementation of sick leave policies that do not negatively impact employment. Signage is posted at entrances reminding staff/ people not to enter the facility if they are sick.
How to Manage People Who Become Sick
Personal measures are actions individuals can take to protect themselves and others.
* Physical distancing
* Minimizing physical contact
* Frequent hand washing
* Practicing respiratory etiquette and staying home if sick.
When COVID-19 is present in the community, the risk of introducing COVID-19 into KinderHeart is reduced if staff and children:
- Self-isolate if required by law or public health.
- Perform a daily health check
- Stay at home when sick.
- Call 8-1-1 or use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine if a COVID-19 test is needed.
The following people must stay home and self-isolate:
- A person experiencing key symptoms of Illness (look at chart below)
- A person waiting for results of a COVID-19 test
- A person confirmed by public health as a case of COVID-19
- A person confirmed by public health as a close contact of a confirmed case or outbreak of COVID-19; or
- A person who has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
Anyone required to self-isolate will be supported by public health.
Daily Health Check
Daily health check is a tool to use to reduce the risk of a person attending KinderHeart when potentially infectious. KinderHeart will communicate to people who regularly attend a child care setting (i.e., children, staff, parents or caregivers of children, and other adults) their responsibility to conduct a daily health check before attending or dropping their child off at the facility. A checklist to conduct a daily health check is available below.
|Key Symptoms of Illness||May return when|
|1a.)Temperature of 100 F / 37.8 C or higher (orally) or 99 F / 37.2 C or higher (under both arms)||May return to childcare when symptom free or after seeking a health assessment|
|1b.)Runny nose||May return to when symptom free or 24 hours from start of symptoms|
|1c.)Cough||May return when symptom free or 24 hours from start of symptoms|
|1d.)Sore throat||May return when symptom free or 24 hours from start of symptoms|
|1e.)Difficulty breathing or wheezing||May return to childcare when symptom free or after seeking a health assessment|
|1f.)Unexplained fatigue, aches, or cold/flu-like symptoms||May return to childcare when symptom free or 24 hours from start of symptoms|
|1g.)Sinus congestion||May return when symptom free or 24 hours from start of symptoms|
|2) Children who have, or children with others living in the same home who have just returned from international travel in the past 14 days (must disclose date of entry into Canada)||May return after self-isolating for 14 days and being symptom free|
|3) Children who have, or children with others living in the same home who have been identified as at-risk of potential Covid19 exposure||May return after self-isolating for 14 days and being symptom free|
If you answered “YES” to two or more of the questions included under ‘Key Symptoms of Illness’, or you have a fever or difficulty breathing, seek a health assessment.
*A health assessment includes calling 8-1-1, or a primary care provider like a physician or nurse practitioner.
*If a health assessment is required, you should not return to KinderHeart until COVID-19 has been excluded and your symptoms have improved.
*If you answered “YES” to only one of the questions included under ‘Key Symptoms of Illness’ (excluding fever and difficulty breathing), you should stay home for 24 hours from when the symptom started.
* If the symptom improves, you may return to KinderHeart when you feel well enough.
* If the symptom persists or worsens, seek a health assessment. A health assessment includes calling 8-1-1, or a primary care provider like a physician or nurse practitioner.
*If you answered “YES” to questions 2 or 3, use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you should seek testing for COVID-19. 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 KinderHeart once well enough to participate.
- If a COVID-19 test is recommended but not done, self-isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and return when you or the child are well enough to participate. If a COVID-19 test is not recommended, staff or children may return when well enough to participate.
Additionally, our regular health and wellness policy stands:
Children may not attend childcare programs while they have any of the following symptoms:
- unusual, unexplained loss of appetite, fatigue, irritability, or headache
- eye infections
- unexplained rashes or any rash that is not confirmed by doctor to be non-contagious
- known or suspected communicable diseases (measles, chicken pox, pink eye, hand foot and mouth, etc.)
- ear infection
- nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea in the last 48 hours
- green snot
Staying Home When Sick and When New Symptoms Develop
Staying home when sick is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. Therefore, it is important for anyone who is sick to stay home.
*Staff or children who are experiencing symptoms of a previously diagnosed health condition do not need to stay home and should not be required to provide a doctor’s note to attend KinderHeart.
* Asymptomatic staff and children may still attend KinderHeart 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 KinderHeart.
* Children and childcare providers should stay at 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
For mild symptoms without fever, children and staff members should stay home and monitor symptoms for 24 hours.
If symptoms improve and the child/staff member feels well enough, they can return to KinderHeart without further assessment or doctor’s note.
If symptoms include fever or difficulty breathing, or if symptoms last for more than 24 hours or get worse, 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 KinderHeart once well enough to participate.
- If a 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 you are unsure, call 8-1-1 for advice.
See the BCCDC website for more information
Respiratory Etiquette Children and staff should:
- Cough or sneeze into their elbow sleeve or a tissue.
- Throw away used tissues and immediately perform hand hygiene (“Cover your coughs”).
- Not touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands (“Hands below your shoulders”).
Personal Items and Books Personal items
(e.g., blankets, reusable food, and drink containers) can be brought into KinderHeart from home for individual use. Please no soft lunch bags or bag packs. KinderHeart will provide a bag for personal items.
* Parent should label these items and wash these items at the end of the day.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by books or paper; therefore, there is no need to limit the use of books and paper-based materials.
When to Use Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, are not needed at KinderHeart beyond those used by staff as part of regular precautions for the hazards normally encountered in their regular course of work. They should only be used when all other controls have been implemented.
What to Do if a Child or Staff Member Develops Symptoms
If a Staff Member or child develops Any New Symptoms of Illness while at KinderHeart, staff must take the following steps:
- Immediately separate the symptomatic child from others in a supervised area.
- Contact the child’s parent or caregiver to pick them up as soon as possible.
- Where possible, maintain a 2-metre distance from the ill child. If not possible, staff should wear a nonmedical mask or face covering.
- Provide the child tissues to cover their coughs or sneezes. Throw away used tissues as soon as possible and perform hand hygiene.
- Avoid touching the child’s body fluids (e.g., mucous, saliva). If you do, practice diligent hand hygiene.
- Once the child is picked up, practice diligent hand hygiene.
- Staff responsible for facility cleaning must clean and disinfect the space where the child was separated and any areas recently used by them (e.g., classroom, bathroom, common areas).
Parents or caregivers should pick up their child as soon as possible if they are notified their child is ill.
Staff should go home as soon as possible.
If unable to leave immediately:
- Symptomatic staff should separate themselves into an area away from others.
- Maintain 2 metres from others.
- Use a non-medical mask to cover their nose and mouth while they wait to be picked up.
- Staff responsible for facility cleaning must clean and disinfect the space where the staff member was separated and any areas used by them (e.g., classroom, bathroom, common areas).
Children and staff should return to KinderHeart according to the guidance in this document.
A health-care provider note should not be required for children or staff to return.
10957 Barnston View Rd.
Pitt Meadows, B.C.
Phone: (604) 460-8558
Opening Fall 2019