In DVSA News

Please note: Students must complete the Online COVID Screening Tool before each class and send it to prior to arrival at the DVSA facility.
Link to Online Screening Tool


The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is paramount. Due to the need for ongoing COVID-19 precautions, we’ve implemented numerous safety measures in the school to help prevent the potential transmission of the virus. These include:

  • reduced class sizes and/or increased studio space to allow for physical distancing
  • designated studio working areas to promote physical distancing
  • the mandatory use of face masks when in the school
  • the availability of hand sanitizer and the promotion of its use
  • increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures throughout the school – all studios are disinfected between sessions
  • contact tracing protocols
  • staff and faculty screening for symptoms
  • encouraging students to bring their own tools


Children & Teen Summer Art Camps

As of June 1, 2021, the Ontario Ministry of Health has approved the opening of summer camp programs.

Health and safety for our art campers, faculty, assistants and staff remains paramount and DVSA is diligently working to provide a safe summer camp experience for children and their families as we meet and look to exceed the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Day Camps. DVSA will also follow all existing worker health and safety requirements as outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, public health requirements as directed by the Hamilton medical officer of health, and other relevant requirements as outlined in policies and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture.

Plans are in place to respond should any staff, camp participant, or parents/guardians be exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19.

DVSA will ensure all current infection prevention and control practices are adhered to. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Ensuring all toys and equipment used at DVSA are made of materials that can be cleaned and disinfected (i.e., no plush toys, playdough) or are single use and are disposed of at the end of the day (e.g., craft supplies)
  • Minimizing the sharing and frequency of touching of objects, toys, equipment and surfaces, and other personal items
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces twice daily at a minimum; however, more frequent cleaning and disinfection may be necessary, depending on frequency of use and the extent of soilage
  • Frequently touched surfaces include, but are not limited to: washrooms (for example, toilet fixtures, faucets), eating areas (for example tables, sinks, countertops),  doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, touch screens, push buttons, handrails, computers, photocopiers, sport equipment, toys, and, water fountain knobs
  • All surfaces and shared materials in all studios will be wiped down and disinfected between each session
  • Children will be required to either provide their own set of basic supplies or will be issued with supplies for their exclusive use
  • Only using cleaning and disinfectant products that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). Low-level hospital grade disinfectants will be used, ensuring the products used are compatible with the item to be cleaned and disinfected
  • Performing and promoting frequent, proper hand hygiene (including supervising or assisting camp participants with hand hygiene). Hand washing using soap and water will be emphasized with washing taking place on arrival, on the completion of an activity/program or on coming in from breaks and at the end of each session
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in all studios, washrooms and at all entrances
  • Specific washrooms will be allocated to specific programs to reduce the risk of cross contamination
  • DVSA requires all eligible staff and campers to receive COVID-19 vaccination prior to the start of camp

DVSA will encourage physical distancing of at least 2 metres between camp participants, parents/guardians and staff by:

  • Spreading camp participants out into different areas
  • Spreading furniture, camp equipment, and activity stations out into different areas
  • Using visual cues (e.g., signs, posters, floor markings, etc.)
  • Staggering or alternating lunchtime and outdoor playtime to reduce number of individuals in a lunch area
  • Incorporating more individual activities or activities that encourage more space between camp participants
  • Using telephone or video conferencing when possible for meetings between staff and parents

DVSA will operate programs in consistent classes of no more than 12 individuals, including both staff and camp participants who stay together throughout the duration of the program, with the following considerations:

  • While close contact may be unavoidable between members of a studio, physical distancing and general infection prevention and control practices will be encouraged, where possible
  • Face coverings (non-medical masks) will be used if physical distancing of at least 2-metres cannot be maintained between classes
  • Face coverings will be changed if visibly soiled, damp, or damaged
  • Classes will not mix with other classes or be within in the same room/space at the same time, including pick-ups and drop-offs, mealtimes, playtime, outdoor activities, program spaces, etc.
  • Programs that utilize a studio/space that is shared by classes or has other user groups will be cleaned and disinfected before and after using the space. A cleaning log will be posted and used to track cleaning
  • Each class will have designated supplies, tools, and equipment or these will be cleaned and disinfected between class uses
  • Personal belongings brought to camp should be minimized. If brought to camp, personal items (e.g., backpack, clothing, art supplies, water bottles, food, etc.) should be labeled and will be kept in an area designated for the individual
  • Camp participants will be required to bring their own facial mask, sun protection (hats, sunscreen) and these items may not be shared
  • In shared outdoor space, classes must maintain a distance of at least 2 metres between class groups – each group will have clearly marked designated areas

Meals and Snacks: 

  • Participants and staff will perform proper hand hygiene before and after eating.
  • Each camp participant will be required to have their own drink bottle that is labeled, kept with them during the day, and not shared.
  • Water bottles will be used as there will be no access to water fountains.
  • Each camp participant will be required to have their own individual meal or snack with no common/shared food items. There will be no access to vending machines.

Pick Up and Drop Off:

  • Pick-up and drop-off of camp of camp participants will happen at staggered times using one of 4 designated doors. Parents/guardians will not be allowed in the school unless it is determined that there is a bona fide need for the parent/guardian to enter.
  • Pick-up and drop-off procedures will support physical distancing with one designated parent/guardian at pick-up and drop-off for each camp participant, staggered entry times, and limiting the number of people in entry areas.


  • Art camp participants must have a completed Daily Online Screening Tool emailed to prior to arrival at the DVSA facility. All students will be asked for confirmation the daily on-line screening was completed prior to entry. If the camp participant fails the screening tool, they cannot attend the camp.
  • Camp participants with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 will be directed to get tested. Household members of camp participants who also attend camp will not be allowed access to the facility.  DVSA will deny entry to any individual who has any of the symptoms outlined in the COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website or who has come in close contact with a person with symptoms of or confirmed COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Camp participants will be monitored for atypical symptoms and signs of COVID-19
  • Screeners will maintain a distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from those being screened, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) (i.e., surgical/procedure mask and eye protection (goggles or face shield)).
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol content will be placed at all screening stations and entrances to the school.
  • DVSA will contact the Hamilton Public Health unit to report a camp participant suspected to have COVID-19. The local public health unit will provide specific advice on what control measures should be implemented to prevent the potential spread and how to protect and, if needed, isolate staff members and camp participants
    Thermometers will be disinfected between each use.

Record Keeping: 

  • DVSA will keep daily records of anyone (e.g., camp participants, parent/guardian, staff and visitors) entering the program setting who stays for 15 minutes or longer. Records (e.g., name, contact information, time of arrival/departure, screening completion etc.) will be kept up-to-date and available to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case or outbreak.

Management of Camp Participants with Suspected COVID-19:  

If a camp participant begins to experience symptoms of COVID-19 while attending day camp, DVSA staff will ensure that:

  • Symptomatic camp participants are immediately separated from others in a supervised area until they can leave the site. The campers’ parent/guardians will be contacted immediately to pick-up the participant. In addition, where possible, anyone who is providing care to the camp participant will maintain a distance of at least 2 metres.
  • We will contact the Hamilton Public Health unit to notify them of a potential case and seek advice regarding the information that should be shared with other parents/ guardians of camp participants in the program.
  • While contacting the public health unit, at a minimum, the camp participant and staff member will be required to wear a surgical/procedure mask (if tolerated), and the staff member should also wear eye protection (goggles or face shield).
  • Communication protocols that include plans to update and inform necessary stakeholders within the day camp workplace and community while maintaining confidentiality of the ill individual will be initiated with direction from the local public health unit.
  • Regular day camp functions will continue unless directed otherwise by the local public health unit.
  • Environmental cleaning/disinfection of the space and items used by the camp will be conducted once the camp participant has been picked up. Items that cannot cleaned and disinfected (e.g., paper, books, cardboard puzzles) will be removed from the area.
  • Other camp participants and staff who were present while a camp participant or staff member became ill will be identified as a close contact and grouped together until they can be picked up by parents/guardians to self-isolate at home. The local public health unit will provide any further direction on testing and isolation of these close contacts.

Testing for COVID-19:

  • Symptomatic staff and camp participants will be referred to contact their local public health unit for next steps. Please contact DVSA to report any confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 and please remain at home.
  • DVSA will consider a single, symptomatic, laboratory confirmed case of COVID- 19 in a staff member or camp participant as a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak in consultation with the local public health unit.

Occupational Health & Safety:  

  • All DVSA and camp staff will receive training in all policies and procedures regarding the Ministry of Health requirements. 
  • If a DVSA staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, they will remain off work for 14 days following symptom onset and must receive clearance from the Hamilton Public Health unit to return.
  • If a staff member is a close contact of an individual diagnosed with COVID-19, the staff member must consult with the local public health unit to determine when they can return to work.






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