The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is paramount. Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, we’ve implemented numerous safety measures in the school to help prevent the potential transmission of the virus. These include:
- reduced class sizes
- 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
Below are our protocols in place for Summer Art Camps, designed to meet and/or exceed the day camp guidelines provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health. Many of these measures will remain in place for our adult and children’s classes for the Fall session. We will update this page regularly.
Summer Art Camp Health & Safety Protocols
In the interest of protecting our campers, faculty, assistants and staff, DVSA will 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;
- Increasing the frequency (minimum four times daily) of cleaning and disinfecting objects, toys, equipment and frequently touched items;
- Cleaning and disinfecting, at least four times daily, frequently touched surfaces, including doorknobs, water fountain knobs, light switches, toilet and faucet handles, electronic devices, tabletops, and chairs.
- 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;
- 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, at all entrances
- Allocating specific washrooms to specific programs to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
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; and,
- Using telephone or video conferencing when possible for meetings between staff and parents.
DVSA will operate programs in consistent classes of no more than 10 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 class, physical distancing and general infection prevention and control practices will be encouraged, where possible;
- Face coverings (non-medical masks) will be used
- 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 room/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.
City of Hamilton bylaws require all students, faculty and staff to wear a non-surgical face mask at all times while in the school and outside where social distancing is not possible. Please ensure your child understands the expectations and arrives with 2-3 masks for their day. If your child has a legitimate medical condition (physical, mental, emotional) that makes it difficult for them to wear a mask, or necessitates breaks from wearing a mask, this must be noted on the camper’s medical form. Ministry of Health Day Camp Guidelines acknowledge these issues and we will work with you to ensure appropriate accommodations are made. Please note: We also request all parents and care-givers to wear a mask during pick-up and drop-off.
Meals and Snacks:
- Participants and staff will perform proper hand hygiene before and after eating;
- Ensure 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 pick-up and drop-off for each camp participant, staggering entry times, and limited numbers of people in entry areas.
- All individuals, including camp participants, parents/guardians, staff, and visitors must be screened including daily temperature checks upon arrival of the program setting prior to entry. 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, in particular, 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.
- 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 go home. 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).
- 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.
- Camp participants or staff who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be excluded from the program setting for 14 days.
Testing for COVID-19
- Symptomatic staff and camp participants will be referred for testing.
- Those who test negative for COVID-19 will be excluded from the program until 24 hours after symptom resolution. If a symptomatic person receives a negative result, a repeat test within 24-48 hours can be considered if clinical suspicion is high.
- Those who test positive for COVID-19 must be excluded from the program for 14 days after the onset of symptoms and clearance has been received from the local public health unit.
- 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.
- If there is a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 at the school the facility will remain closed for 48 hours to facilitate a deep cleaning of the building.
- Staff members and camp participants awaiting test results will be excluded from camp.
Occupational Health & Safety:
- All DVSA and camp staff will receive training in all policies and procedures in regard to 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 will be required to remain off work for 14 days from their last exposure and must consult with the local public health unit to determine when they can return to work.