Posted on Leave a comment

Travel Safety: How to Protect Yourself During Christmas Travel

travel during covid

With Christmas just around the corner, people have started considering making travel plans. Whether it’s to meet the family that lives in a different city or to take a short winter vacation, travel is slated to increase during these holidays.

If you are planning to travel, you will need to factor in the very real risk of coronavirus into your plans. While traveling may be possible, you will need to take care to take extra precautions to keep yourself and others safe.

There are several steps that you can take to ensure your safety, including:

  • Disinfection: Make sure to disinfect the surfaces of the vehicle you are in thoroughly. If you are traveling in your own personal car, you should wipe down the windows, seats, seatbelts, console, steering wheel, and door handles. If you are traveling by plane or in a rideshare vehicle, wipe down the surfaces around you with antibacterial wipes or using sanitizer.
  • Carry Hand Sanitizer: Ensure that you have a bottle of hand sanitizer with you that has at least60% alcohol. You can use this to clean your hands if soap and water are not available, as well as if you come into contact with frequently touched surfaces like elevator buttons and hand railings.
  • Keep Distance: Make sure that you maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and other travelers when possible. Though this may not always be feasible, ensure that you keep as much distance between yourself and others as you can.
  • Wear a Mask: If you are in a vehicle with people not from your household, including rideshare drivers, or in an airplane with other passengers, ensure that you wear a mask at all times. Masks can reduce the amount of virus in the airspace. The more people wear a mask, the lower the risk of transmission.

Air Travel

When traveling by air, make sure you research each airline’s policies around social distancing before making a booking. Some airlines block middle seats so that you are not seated directly next to a non-household member, which can help reduce the risk of transmission. If possible, ensure you are traveling with one of these airlines.

If you are taking a short flight, consider going snack free. Snacking on flights will require you to lower your face mask, which can significantly increase the risk of virus transmission. 

If you can choose which seat to book, book a window seat. Also, ensure that your seat is not next to the restroom. An aisle seat will put you in contact will people traveling up and down the aisles, while the restroom is a frequented spot, and so will once again put you in contact with more people. A window seat will reduce the amount of contact that you have with fellow passengers to as little as possible. 

Rideshare Vehicles

If you are traveling via a rideshare vehicle, do not use the carpool option. Carpooling means increased proximity to several non-household members, as opposed to just one (your driver).

Similar to air travel, avoid accepting complimentary drinks or snacks that will require you to lower your face mask. If it is a short ride, avoid even snacks or drinks that you have brought from home. 

Carry a magazine or a book that you can read during your journey. This will ensure you do not have to handle any complimentary magazines that are in the vehicle. 

When possible, make sure to ride in the back seat instead of the passenger’s seat. This will create a level of distance between you and the driver. If possible, hire a rideshare vehicle that has a partition between the driver’s seat and the back seat, as this will significantly minimize the risk of virus transmission. 

If you are traveling this winter, make sure to research the area you are traveling to thoroughly before finalizing plans, and be aware of your own region’s case load. If COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in either place, you may want to reconsider your plans or choose a safer destination. Furthermore, make sure you have researched local guidelines well so that you can stay in compliance with any restrictions they might have. 

While travel this year will require you to be more careful than previously, traveling safely is possible. As long as you follow all local restrictions and guidelines and follow safety measures, this winter can be enjoyable!

Posted on 1 Comment

Treat COVID-19 As Boon Instead of Bane

Mental health, relax life

I know there is a lot of you out there struggling to cope with the pandemic. The stress, anxiety, anger, and frustrations are flooding your life. They are controlling every step you take and every decision you make.

You say and do things you don’t really mean to. So, you end up hurting the ones you love, or they are hurting you instead.

But let me tell you something.

This storm will pass. It may take longer than we thought. But it will pass. What matters is that you laugh. It’s OK for you to laugh. It’s crucial, even. When we have to face something this terrifying and hard, it’s vital that we try and find out what each moment will teach us.

Remember, difficult times don’t last, but tough people do.

How I Got Off to a Bad Start

I would always let my anxiety take hold of me. That distress became my wheels while I was just a hungry horse trying to drag the whole carriage down. 

The truth is, no one could predict how fast COVID-19 was going to reshape the world. To me, it felt like everything happened overnight. Millions of people lost their jobs, cities turned to ghost towns, and everyone I know and love was suddenly at risk of getting infected with a disease. The thought of losing them was horrifying. 

Then, my best friend got infected. Someone I’ve known since middle school got bedridden almost immediately after contracting the disease. That’s when it hit me. This was real.

My anxiety went through the roof. The lockdown made me feel panicky and trapped. There was nothing I could do to help my friend. I had to stay at home and limit my interaction with people. In just a matter of days, mine and everyone else’s future became uncertain – no more weddings, summer vacations, or family gatherings. No more life as we knew it.

I’m a law student. I’m used to long lectures, regular visits to the library, workshops, and study groups. But the moment the pandemic rolled in, everything was put on hold. Even my single source of income, a job in retail, put me at risk of contracting the disease and losing it all.

I couldn’t let that happen with my weak immune system. I quit my job. I couldn’t go to class anymore and couldn’t meet my friends to seek support in my community.

Suddenly, I lost the will to do anything. I was moping around in bed and doing nothing. I just went through the motions, morning to night. And just before I realized, I wasted five days of my life frowning, slouching, and crying over what could have been.

No more! I won’t let that helplessness ruin me or what I stand for. Yes, I did feel alone. And yes, I didn’t want to ignore my loneliness. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing I can do to fix it.

The Pandemic Didn't Change Me; I Changed Myself

Hope and motivation are something we should find for ourselves. They are a key component of our happiness. Something that keeps us going.

When I’m afraid, I need to be brave for someone else. I had to be brave for my friend. She was always my backbone. She was there for me and gave me the little pushes I always needed to keep moving.

Now our roles changed. Honestly, I’m happy they did. As soon as she got better, I stood up, freshened up, and went to check in on her.

I can’t describe to you the warmth in her smile when she saw me walk through the door. I’ve always been the wisecracker in our group. I could make even the grumpiest old lady laugh at my jokes. I think the moment she laid eyes on me, she expected I’d make some weird joke.

Luckily, my sassiness remained unchanged. Just a couple of minutes of me being there, every patient in the room was having a blast. In the end, my friend just looked at me and said, “Thank you. I needed that.”

I’m happy to say my friend made a full recovery. I know I didn’t treat her with a couple of gags. But, I also realized something else that day.

Each patient in the room there needed something to lift their spirits, regardless of how small it may be. To you, it may sound insignificant, but everything we do, everything we try, can put a smile on their faces and ours.

So, don’t just drown in your own self-pity, fear, or silence. You must find your own strength and learn from it. This is the only way we, our civilization, will heal. Yes, I understand that things may not always go the way we want them to. But, when they do, we should be able to enjoy it.

Take one day at a time. Figure out what’s crucial in your life. If you want to stop feeling helpless, start helping others. It will get rid of that loneliness, sadness, and stress. Another thing you can do is get your body back on track. Move around, go for a little walk every day, try doing some push-ups or jumping jacks.

Trust me; a little exercise can go a long way. It will clear your mind and give you something to focus on. If you don’t think you can handle all of that alone, try getting expert mental health treatments.

As long as you do everything to get that smile back, you can make it work. Just don’t give up on yourself and those around you. Although COVID-19 will not go away as quickly as most of us wanted, we can still maintain a positive outlook on life.

Just in a different way. Find your anchor, anything that makes you happy, and stick to it. Spend time with your loved ones, relax, and enjoy the time you dedicate to the people around you. So, when this pandemic passes, you will still be you.

Posted on Leave a comment

Our High-quality Disposable ASTM Level 2 Medical MasksVS Other No-Brand Supermarket 10 Dollar Masks

Medical masks vs supermarket masks

Medical masks once used to be a rarity in public sight. However, the growing air pollution and nCoV-2019 pandemic entirely altered the situation. If you’re going to use a mask, you need to know which one suits your purpose the most. 

ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) has tested and categorized the different masks that are effective and safe for public use. As per this categorization, an ideal Level 2 medical mask should have these features:

  • Fluid Resistance: Level 2 medical masks show a moderate risk of fluid exposure. They can resist up to ~2 ml thick volume of synthetic blood at an s velocity of 120 mmHg.
  • Breathability: Level 2 masks have medium breathability and are comfortable under most circumstances.
  • Bacterial Filtration: Bacterial filtration of around 3 micrometers has a 98% possibility in Level 2 masks.
  • Particle Flirtation: PFE in Level 2 medical masks is 98% possible for as minuscule as ~ 0.1 microns.
  • Flammability: Flammability is the final parameter here. A standard Level 2 face mask exhibits normal time for flame spread and is safe for use in masks.

Once you’re aware of these indicators, let us show you how our high-quality disposable masks are the best Level 2 masks:

Elastic Earloops

One of the most common problems that mask wearers point out is that the back of their ear hurts when they’ve been wearing the mask for too long. Our masks have straps that are much more comfortable and won’t hurt even after hours of use.

Three Layers of Protection

The first layer in our mask is a thick one, followed by two thinner layers underneath. The three are finely woven together to avoid any openings or to suffocate you in any way. Ordinary drugstore or supermarket masks fail to achieve this precision.

Shape Retaining

When masks don’t comply with the shape of your face and particularly your nose, it’s an uneasy fit. We have designed our high-quality disposable masks to fit with the curvature of your face. Even if you take off your mask and put it back on, you won’t have to readjust it either.

We at Soothy Garden have developed this mask after all the necessary and advanced research. If all else has failed for you, we assure you that our high-quality disposable masks won’t disappoint!

Posted on 19 Comments

Are You Wearing Your Masks Properly?

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in the number of people that are taking the necessary precautions. Currently, we’re in a potential second phase of the virus, and if people continue to neglect the new normal, the issues are going to continue. Among the easiest ways to contain the virus is to wear masks and wear masks right. 

While a lot of people are starting to wear masks, a great majority of them don’t seem to wear them correctly. There are tons of videos online showcasing people incorrectly wearing their masks. Whether it’s wearing masks halfway or cutting out holes in the masks, a lot of people are using incorrect techniques.

How to Properly Use a Disposable Mask

When you use disposable face masks, wear them once, and then throw them away. When you take them off, be sure to only touch the loops and avoid touching the fabric. When you’re throwing the masks away, be sure to cut off the loops. These loops can get stuck in the feet of birds and present a massive environmental problem. When you are finished removing the mask and severing the loops, wash your hands thoroughly.

How to Wear Masks Properly

Generally, a mask usually comes with instructions that dictate how to wear it properly and how to dispose the mask when the times come. However, in the absence of instructions, here are all the steps you need to follow to wear a mask properly.

  1. Before wearing the mask, clean hands with either soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  2. Inspect the mask to ensure that there aren’t any tears or holes on both sides of the mask.
  3. Identify which side of the mask represents the top and which is the bottom. On the top, users will see that there’s a bendable edge on the nose that allows users to mold the mask according to the shape.
  4. Secure the loops over your ears and press the nose strip down for a secure fit. Make sure the fabric covers your nose and mouth.
  5. While wearing a mask, do not touch the fabric with your hands.

There are different types of mask, and these are the instructions necessary for each type:

Ear Loops

These are the most common type of face masks that you will find. To wear them, hold the mask by the ear loops and place one around each ear.

Ties

More regularly seen in non-disposable masks, wear them properly by bringing the mask nose level, and secure the ties with a bow.

Bands

These masks typically feature two bands, one that you need to tie at the crown of your head and the other rests at the nape of your neck.

Remember, wear masks in public spaces and always keep them over your mouth and nose. Avoid touching the fabric, but if you must, make sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately afterward to prevent the spread of the virus.

Wearing masks properly and following the social distancing guidelines are crucial for navigating through the second phase of the pandemic. It’s the best way to ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones.

Posted on 5 Comments

For Employers: How Do You Protect Your Employees Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Plexiglass barrier for sale

Since the initial COVID-19 outbreak began back in January, a lot has changed. Many of us are no longer working in our usual work environment. Instead, there are many of us left either unemployed or trying to figure things out as we adjust to working from home. Working from home is not ideal for everyone. While for some, it has helped to increase their motivation and creativity, for others it has had a negative impact on their professional performance.

How to protect your employees and ensure office safety?

Many employers have decided to return their staff to the office. And so, it is your job as an employer to secure your employees’ safety. This is an important process that will allow your company to go back to normal while staying healthy. Keep in mind that if your employees do not feel safe enough to return, they have the right to refuse work.

It is in everyone’s interest to get the best out of the situation that we are facing. One of the very first steps would be to identify high-risk areas in your company. Such an example would be a cafeteria or an over-crowded office. A good idea would be to reduce the number of employees that are present at your company at the same time. This does not necessarily mean that you would need to terminate anyone’s position. It simply means that you would take the time to create schedules that allow part of your employees to work from their homes, while others come to the office.

Those who still come to the office every day must remain at a 2-meter distance from each other. This would require rearranging the offices, cafeterias, and other common areas. A good tip for office safety is to use a plexiglass barrier to separate the desks from each other. This is an especially important measure for areas in which the 2-meter-distance rule cannot be followed.

Since the outbreak, we have learned a lot more about the importance of maintaining personal hygiene. With your employees spending anywhere from 4 to 8 hours or more at the office, it is up to you as an employer to ensure office safety by implementing a cleaning protocol. Any surfaces in each common room would need to be properly cleaned. Securing enough face masks, hand sanitizer, hand soap, and paper towels in the bathroom is a must.

If any employee shows symptoms of COVID-19 in the last ten days, they must self-isolate. If possible and upon agreement, they can continue working from home if they desire. This is entirely up to the employee. As an employer, you need to develop a plan in case one of your employees tests positive for COVID-19. You also need to be aware of any traveling that your employees have done in the last 14 days and conduct testing for COVID-19 to ensure everyone’s safety.

Conclusion

We are hoping that with these tips, you will be able to ensure office safety. Plexiglass barriers, face masks, and maintaining a 2-meter-distance is a must, and we need to learn how to work and function in these new conditions that we are living in.

Posted on Leave a comment

Why Is It Important for Children to Wear Face Masks?

ASTM Level 2 Procedure Face Mask for Kids

In light of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, and as per CDC recommendations, all individuals must wear face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. These recommendations are also extended to children who are susceptible to the virus and can quickly spread it as well. It is next to impossible to keep your child indoors for nearly an entire year.

At some point, kids will be exposed to the outside world, and perhaps even with someone who has been infected with the coronavirus. This is especially true, considering how unsure most countries around the world are about reopening schools, it is essential for parents to reinforce protective practices in their children so that they stay safe from this deadly virus.

One of the most important methods of preventing this disease’s spread is by wearing a face mask! This includes getting your child to wear one as well. 

What Kind of Face Mask Should Your Child Wear?

According to the World Health Organisation, kids who do not have any underlying health issues can wear non-medical or fabric masks. However, the best kind of mask for your child would be one that offers adequate protection and is easy to breathe in as well.

Level 2 masks that have an adjustable nose bar and elastic ear loops are perfectly suited for children to wear. They are also the safest and most comfortable masks you could use for your child.

Three-layered masks made from non-woven fabric and filter material should always be given priority over other kinds of face masks for children. This is because such masks offer excellent protection against bacteria and viruses like the coronavirus while being breathable and comfortable to wear. Having colorful masks can also encourage kids to wear them more often. 

When Should Kids Wear Masks?

It’s recommended that children always keep a mask on when stepping out of their homes. Nonetheless, at times, some parents may wish to remove their child’s facemask for a while. However, kids should always have a face mask on under the following circumstances:

  • If a distance of more than 6 ft cannot be maintained
  • If your child is in a crowded area or an indoor environment that isn’t their home
  • If your child is exhibiting symptoms related to the coronavirus such as dry cough and fever
  • If stated by law 

The Perfect Mask for Your Kid

Wearing a face mask is essential for kids to protect them from the Covid19 pandemic. However, not all masks are suitable for kids and maybe uncomfortable for them to wear and breathe in. Soothy Garden’s ASTM Level 2 Procedure Face Mask for Kids is an excellent product when it comes to protective face masks for children.

Not only are these facemasks colorful and fun, but they are also made from the best quality non-woven fabric and filter material. Making them breathable and soft yet highly effective. Their adjustable nose bar and elastic ear loops ensure that the mask remains firmly in place over your child’s nose and mouth, and they remain safe from all sorts of bacteria and viruses.  

Posted on Leave a comment

COVID-19 Asymptomatic: What Does It Mean?

Ever since the first cluster of coronavirus cases was recorded, researchers have been racing to better understand this contagious disease. They’ve studied how it spreads and all the possible ways to treat it.

COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person either through direct contact (touching) or indirect contact (nasal discharge or saliva droplets from coughing and sneezing). But there’s one particular problem that has puzzled countless people – asymptomatic cases.

We decided to take a closer look at what asymptomatic means, including the best ways to manage it.

What Is an Asymptomatic Case of COVID-19?

According to the WHO, the term asymptomatic transmission refers to a virus transmission from an infected individual that doesn’t have any coronavirus symptoms. These people don’t know they are infected because they are transmitting the infection without feeling sick.

How Many People Are Asymptomatic?

Based on reports from the Advisory Board, of all the patients who tested positive for COVID-19, 30% were asymptomatic. However, they still carried just as much of the virus as symptomatic patients and could transmit the pathogen to someone else. 

Recent data suggests that 80% of COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic or mild. Only 15% are severe, while 5% are critical and require oxygen and ventilation treatment. People who develop severe complications are more vulnerable to developing influenza infections.

What Happens in the Body of an Asymptomatic Individual?

Asymptomatic people are completely different from pre-symptomatic individuals. They don’t develop any symptoms of the infection, while pre-symptomatic who are infected won’t show the symptoms of the disease yet. In time, they will start to notice the infection.

Both of these groups can spread COVID 19, experts explain.

But, because they don’t cough or sneeze as much as other symptomatic people, an asymptomatic person is less likely to spread the disease. Instead, they will maintain their normal daily routines and remain completely unaware of the fact that they are carrying the infection.

Because of how unique the virus is, it’s hard to predict its impact on asymptomatic individuals. 

For patients who do develop symptoms like fever, dry cough, or fatigue, they will experience changes to their bodies from 1 to 14 days after they’ve been infected. Most people feel symptoms in the first 5 to 6 days.

How Can People Protect Themselves?

The COVID-19 protection guidelines remain the same for asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, or symptomatic individuals. It’s important that you take the proper precautions. You need to:

  • Maintain regular hygiene. Scrub any areas of the body that might have been exposed to the virus.
  • Wash the hands multiple times a day with water and soap. If you don’t have access to water, you can use hand sanitizers or hand rubs instead. The hands are constantly exposed to harmful pathogens, which makes it essential to wash your hands as much as possible.
  • Keep a safe distance from people (two meters). By maintaining this distance, the pathogens are less likely to come in contact with your body, even if a person is sneezing or coughing near you.
  • Don’t touch your face. Any pathogen that comes in contact with the skin can easily get someone infected. It’s vital to maintain proper hygiene even on the face.
  • Use facial coverings (masks) that will protect the nose and mouth. So, even if you are asymptomatic, you will avoid transmitting the infection to someone else.
  • Avoid going out if you don’t feel well. No matter how tempting it is to go outside and have fun if you are not in your best shape, you should stay at home. That way, you are less likely to infect the people around you.
  • Drop dangerous habits like drinking or smoking. Anything that might weaken the lungs or digestive system will be a real setback when dealing with COVID-19.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel or huge groups. It’s normal for people to want to spend time with others. But you should limit traveling as much as possible so that you can stay safe and prevent the spread to others.

Conclusion

To date, more research is necessary to fully understand COVID-19. The infection is incredibly unpredictable and affects people in various ways. It’s possible to get infected and not have any symptoms. This is what experts refer to asymptomatic cases. But, no matter how you feel, you still have to take the right precautions and keep yourself and those around you safe at all times.

Posted on Leave a comment

School Mask Requirements of Great Vancouver

Back to school

The new academic year is around the corner with schools reopening soon, but this year will be different from others. To start the 2020 school year, students and staff members will all be wearing face masks for most of their day. They’ll all also need to carry additional face masks with them, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s time to make the transition back to everyday life while keeping each other safe. People are starting to return to their jobs, and schools are slowly beginning to reopen as well. However, if treated too carelessly, COVID-19 could spread more quickly.

As a result of the ongoing risk, any businesses or institutions reopening again will be enforcing strict operational protocols. While adapting to these new rules may be uncomfortable for some of us, it is essential to help reduce further spreading of the virus. 

Schools are no different. Since they are home to hundreds of staff and thousands of students every day, they are at higher risk of hosting an outbreak of the virus if people are not careful. Thanks to the actions of the government and local school boards, schools that are reopening have strict mask requirements and other protective protocols.

In the area of Great Vancouver, each school district is enforcing rules regarding face masks for students. The details of these school mask requirements of Great Vancouver are given below. Find your City below!

Vancouver

The Board of Education passed a motion (August 19, 2020) encouraging the wearing of non-medical face masks by all students and staff at all times while in school.

  • Every student and staff member will be given masks when they return to school.
  • Students and staff will have the choice to wear a mask in the classroom.
  • Secondary students will wear masks while in high traffic areas, like hallways, and any time they are outside of the classroom or learning group and they cannot physically distance from others.
  • Students in Grades 6 and 7 will wear masks while in high traffic areas like hallways or when outside of their learning group.
  • Staff in both elementary and secondary schools will wear masks while in high traffic areas, like hallways, and any time they are outside of the classroom or learning group and they cannot physically distance from others
More information about COVID-19 Health and Safety Guideline in Vancouver Schools: https://www.vsb.bc.ca/News/Documents/20200813_Fact%20Sheet_H&S_General%20FINAL.pdf

West Vancouver

When you need to ware masks

  • Non-medical masks are required to be used in situations where a person cannot maintain physical distance and is in close proximity to a person outside of their cohort or household .
  • Secondary students and staffs are required to wear non-medical masks in high traffic areas such as buses and in common areas, such as hallways or anytime outside of their learning group whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Itinerant teachers and specialists interacting with multiple learning groups are required to wear a non-medical mask . 

Other policies about masks

  • Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering in schools, outside of the requirements above, is a personal choice. It is important to treat people wearing masks with respect.
  • No student needs to wear a non-medical mask if they do not tolerate it.
  • Those that choose to wear non-medical masks must still seek to maintain physical distance from people outside of their cohort. There must be no crowding, gathering or congregating of people from different cohorts, or those practicing physical distancing, even if non-medical masks are worn.
  • Schools will consider requesting students and staff have a non-medical mask or face covering available at school and accessible should they become ill while at school.
  • Wearing non-medical masks at all times in schools is not recommended as there are multiple more effective infection prevention and exposure control measures in place.
More detailed information about school reopening COVID-19 safety plan in West Vancouver: https://westvancouverschools.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Safety-Plan-September-2020.pdf 

North Vancouver

  • Non-medical masks or face coverings are required to be worn by staff and middle and secondary students in high traffic areas, in common areas (e.g. hallways) or in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained and the person is interacting with people outside of their learning group (e.g. Teachers Teaching on Call , specialist teachers or Education Assistants required to work in close proximity to students across learning groups).
  • Exceptions will be made for students who cannot wear masks for medical reasons.
  • Schools will also ensure non-medicla masks are available for staff if someone should become ill while at school.
  • Beyond the above, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering in schools is a personal choice what will be respected. Re-usable face masks will be made available for staff and students who choose to wear one, and upon request.

More detailed information about school reopening COVID-19 safety plan in North Vancouver: https://www.sd44.ca/COVID-19/BacktoSchoolSeptember2020FAQs/Pages/default.aspx#/=

New Westminter

Elementary Students

Non-medical masks are not recommended for elementary school students due to the increased likelihood they will touch their faces and eyes, as well as require assistance to properly put on and take off their mask. Masks will be provided upon request of parent/guardian.

Middle/Secondary Students

Non-medical masks or face coverings are required for all middle and secondary staff and students when they are indoors in high traffic areas; e.g., hallways, common areas, etc., and anytime they are outside of their classroom or Learning Group and physical distance cannot be maintained.

Staff (classroom-based)

Staff are required to wear a non-medical mask/face covering in high traffic areas and in common areas such as hallways and anytime outside of their Learning Group. Staff can also wear a mask/face covering within their classroom or Learning Group if that is their personal preference.

Staff (Other- Itinerant, Specialist, EAs, etc.)

Staff who routinely interact with more than one Learning Group must practice physical distancing and wear a non-medical mask at all times. Staff providing health care services and other health care providers are required to wear a mask when working in close proximity with students.

Other considerations:

  •  Medical grade masks (i.e., N95) are only recommended for health care workers and other related professions. Good hand hygiene and sanitization practices are recommended and are the most effective prevention strategy.
  • A supply of reusable masks (max 2 per school year) will be available for staff.
  • Individual decisions by staff are respected where an acceptable explanation is provided to their supervisor. In certain circumstances, a staff member’s medical conditions may make the wearing of a mask inadvisable.
  • Where the wearing of a mask demonstrably impacts the delivery of an educational service (e.g., speech pathology services or certain specialized services), a location may require adaption by the installation (permanently or temporarily) of shielding (e.g., plexiglass) as a transmission barrier. The site administrator is responsible for consulting with the staff member on such a need/request.
  • Masks on young children can be irritating and may lead to increased touching of the face and eyes and will not generally be encouraged.

More detailed information about school reopening COVID-19 safety plan in New Westminter: https://newwestschools.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/COVID19-HS-PLAN-version-1.5-Aug19-2020-002.pdf

Burnaby

Masks are required for staff and students (Grades 6-12) in high traffic areas such as hallways or when outside learning groups.

More information about school COVID-19 guildline in Burnaby: https://burnabyschools.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/HealthAndSafety_Fall2020_InfoPage_20.08.26_web_final.pdf

Richmond

  • Every student and staff member will receive two reusable masks when they return to school.
  • Any student or staff member may choose to wear a mask at any time.
  • All staff and secondary students will be required to wear masks while in high traffic areas such as hallways or when outside of their learning group.

More information about Richmond schools Health and Safety for COVID-19: https://www.sd38.bc.ca/sites/default/files/2020-08/Fact%20Sheet%20-%20Health%20and%20Safety.pdf

Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam

For Middle Students

Middle schools will operate on the same model as elementary schools around learning groups/cohorts, protocols and procedures. Face masks for students and staff will be made available and, though their use is optional, the use of masks in areas of the school where physical distancing is difficult to maintain such as hallways and common areas will be strongly recommended. Exploration classes will be offered in a modified format.

For Secondary Students

Face masks for students and staff will be made available and, though their use is optional, the use of masks in areas of the school where physical distancing is difficult to maintain such as hallways and common areas will be strongly recommended.

More Info about Return to School Guidelines in Coquitlam: https://www.sd43.bc.ca/Pages/newsitem.aspx?ItemID=527&ListID=ed550773-e9ff-4e20-9964-4e1b213f518c&TemplateID=Announcement_Item#/=

Surrey

Elementary School: Masks available for students who would like to wear one; 

Secondary School: Masks required in all high traffic areas such as buses and in common areas such as hallways when physical distancing cannot be maintained

Surrey Schools’ Guideline: https://www.surreyschools.ca/NewsEvents/Posts/Lists/Photos/SSC_BackToSchool_Elementary_FINAL.pdf

Delta

  • Masks will be required for staff and secondary students in high traffic areas in common areas such as hallways, or anytime outside of their learning group whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be made for students who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons.
  • Schools will ensure non-medical masks are available for staff and students.
  • The decision to wear a mask in the classroom is a personal one that will be respected.

More information about Delta School Stage 2: Health and Safety Measures: https://www.deltasd.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/08/Stage-2-Health-and-Safety-Measures-V2.pdf

Langley

School Supplies: Two (2) non-medical masks will be made available to each staff member and student from Grades 4- 12. Schools will be communicating information regarding the distribution of masks. 

For Staff: Staff are required to wear a non-medical mask in high traffic areas such as buses or hallways, or anytime outside of their learning group, whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained. Staff can also wear a mask or face shield within their classroom or learning group if that is their personal preference.

For Students: Students in middle and secondary school are required to wear non-medical masks in high traffic areas such as buses or hallways, or anytime outside of their learning group whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained; exceptions will be made for students who cannot wear masks for medical reasons. Even when wearing a mask, staff and students will still be required to maintain physical distance from people outside of their learning group.

Other guidelines:

  • Students will have the choice to wear a mask in the classroom
  • Staff will have the choice to wear a mask when interacting within their learning group
  • Everyone must treat each other and those wearing masks with respect
  • Elementary school students (K-3) are not required to wear masks

More Langley school Phase 2 Education Restart Plan: https://www.sd35.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/08/Education-Restart-Plan-2020Aug26-Final.pdf 

Conclusion

Enforcing rules like these is never easy, especially when it comes to large groups and vulnerable populations. Some individuals even contest the mandatory mask rules. However, provinces and school boards have deemed them necessary for a reason: they lower the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. 

While schools transitioned to the digital sphere for the last semester, the world must slowly learn to live with this virus as it may stay with us for years. The first step in adapting to this new reality is the introduction of school mask requirements. 

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Choose a Plexiglass Barrier for Your Office?

Plexiglass

A plexiglass barrier is a shield made from a petroleum-based thermoplastic. It’s clear and transparent, just like glass, but comparatively cheaper and is quite challenging to break.

This simple little thing may not seem like much of a necessity in your office. However, if the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the little things matter. 

A plexiglass barrier is important to protect yourself in your office. It will act as the first line of defense against coughs and sneezes. This function is especially crucial if your workstation has a lot of traffic.

So, we’ll be guiding you through how you can choose the perfect plexiglass shield for your office.

Choosing a Plexiglass Barrier for Your Office

If you’re going to choose the right plexiglass barrier for your office, you can’t just pick the any transparent wall. That’s the first step to losing the value for your money.

To help you make the best choice, consider:

Thickness

Plexiglass, no matter the density, will not break easily. However, this material isn’t invincible. It can still get scratched, dented, bent, and generally suffer damage. If people are going to be moving in and out of your office often, you’ll need your barrier to be reasonably thick.

Additionally, you want to make sure that the thickness is even across all parts of the plexiglass sheet. This’ll improve its durability enough to withstand any external impacts (accidental or otherwise).

Ease of Installation

You’re protecting against microorganisms and minor impact, not a nuclear explosion. If your plexiglass will be too difficult to install, you may be going in the wrong direction.

In this regard, we’ll advise that you get a plexiglass barrier you can easily screw in in a couple of minutes.

Size

Your plexiglass barrier may be the right size for the space it will occupy. If it is too small, you run the risk of betraying the purpose of buying it. In that case, you’ll end up leaving yourself/employees exposed to danger.

On the other hand, if it’s too big, you may have issues cleaning it. This will be particularly challenging if the plexiglass is mounted on a table or counter.

Optical Clarity

It’s much easier to look through some types of glass than others. 

For the best results, ensure that your glass has a reasonably high level of optical clarity. This should be between 88-90%. This way, you’ll be able to see people on the other side of the glass easily. However, if your job doesn’t require this, then there’s always the option to get a glass with a lower rating.

Conclusion

Among the requirements for getting a plexiglass barrier for your office, these rank the highest. When upgrading your office to offer more protection for your workers, keep them in mind to get your money’s worth.

Posted on Leave a comment

B.C. makes masks mandatory in schools when physical distancing can’t be maintained

covid-19-back-to-school
News from cbc.ca/news

All staff and students in B.C. middle and secondary schools will have to wear masks in areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained, according to the provincial government.

The Ministry of Education made the announcement Monday, saying that that masks will be required in high traffic areas like buses and in common areas like hallways.

A ministry news release says students and staff  will still have to physically distance from people outside their designated learning group, even if they are wearing a mask.

School guidelines ensure that different learning groups do not congregate in the same areas. 

Students who cannot wear masks for medical reasons will be exempted from the new guidelines.

The province says it’s providing additional funding to help school districts buy up to 1.5 million masks — enough for every public-school staff member and student to have at least two masks.

It says that Canadian Shield, a manufacturer of personal protective equipment products in Ontario, is donating an additional 54,500 face shields for K-12 schools in B.C.

In addition to the updated guidelines on the use of masks, the government says it is increasing the cleaning of things like
doorknobs, keyboards, desks and chairs.

As well, students, staff and visitors will be required to clean their hands before boarding school buses or entering schools. Hands will also have to be cleaned before and after eating, when using washrooms and using playground equipment.

Schools are scheduled to open on Sept. 10.

On Monday, the province also announced a total of 236 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed across the previous three days, continuing the upward trend in infections. Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Reka Gustafson said most of the new cases originated with young adults.