National Groomer Association of Canada

What is Covid-19

Know the facts about COVID-19

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Published: 2020-06-25

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COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.

Symptoms of human coronaviruses can:

  • take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus
  • be very mild or more serious
  • vary from person to person

Coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands

These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.

The best way to prevent the spread of infections is to:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • cough and sneeze into your sleeve and not your hands;
  • practice physical distancing at all times;
  • stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others; and
  • wear a non-medical mask or face covering, made with at least two layers of tightly woven fabric, constructed to completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping, and secured to the head by ties or ear loops, to protect the people and surfaces around you.


How does it affect our Industry

Covid-19 knows no boundaries, as a pet groomer, we must be conscious of spacing between works and the using of facial mask and shields.

In our industry, gloves, mask, shields and space between groomers has always in place

  1. Gloves are worn to protect from hands from viruses and diseases, including fungus that maybe transmitted from animal to human,m gloves are also worn to protect our hand from hair slivers. And our own vanity to protect our hand from cracking and chapping due to use of shampoo ingredients, cleaning solutions, heat from the hair dryer, and protection of scratches from animals tools
  2. Masks and shields have been worn in the past to protect our eyes, face, nostrils, and lungs from hair and dander that can be blown around the grooming room. Also it protected us from dogs sneezes. Today we wear them also to protect ourselves from droplets that maybe spread from one person to the other
  3. Spacing 6 feet or 2 meters spacing has always been required between tables to allow groomers to efficiantly move around the table while grooming and to safetly distance one animal from another. Today we continue to do the same and the spacing requirement also protect us of the droplet from one person to the other.
  4. Grooming Smocks have been worn in the past to protect our clothing while grooming animals and are washed daily to ensure cleaningnessless. Today we continue to ware our smocks to protect our clothing from human droplet that may spread the virus.
  5. Disinfecting between four legs clients whether it be bath tub, table, holding kennels/cages/play pens and equipment has been our daily routine. Today due to covid, this practice is also extended to disinfecting and wiping down include any item or fixture in the salon that a human client may have touched. This includes but does not limit the items of debit machines, front desk reception, door knobs, stair railings.
  6. Hand sanitizer is now required to be used when entering the salon by both clients and employees and also after handling computer equipment and debit machine. Signs must be posted to alert clients and staffing to keep their distance wash or sanitize their hands and wearing of mask while inside the salon.
  7. Covid test kit Today all employees must complete a covid screening prior to entering the employed location a desktop application must be downloaded to their phones and daily results summited. This is called covid 19 worker and employee screening.
  8. Covid-19 workplace safety plan Each salon and location must have a plan to protect workers and others from corona virus 2019, you can download the text template and check list in the following link.
  9. Overview As an employer it’s your responsibility under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect a worker. This guide will help you use current public health and workplace health and safety information to develop a plan and put controls into place to help make the workplace safer for everyone.
  • All businesses that are operating must have a written safety plan by law. The plan must be made available to anyone who asks to see it, and posted in a place where it will be seen easily.
  • All employers are encouraged to review and update their safety plan regularly. You can use the COVID-19 workplace safety plan template to help create your plan.
  • Employers are not required to send their plan to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and the ministry will not provide comments on safety plans sent in. During an inspection of your workplace, an inspector or compliance officer could ask whether you have developed a safety plan and may ask to see it.
  • Discuss and share your safety plan with everyone at work, including:
  • workers
  • unions
  • supervisors
  • health and safety representatives or members of joint health and safety committees (JHSCs)
  • contractors
  • suppliers
  • This guide does not replace the Occupational Health and Safety Act or the Employment Standards Act and their regulations and should not be used as or considered legal advice. Health and safety inspectors and employment standards officers apply the law based on the facts in the workplace.

PPE

Protecting workers

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), employers must take every reasonable precaution to protect the health and safety of workers. This includes protecting workers from hazards posed by infectious diseases.

As part of fulfilling this obligation, you must assess your workplace to determine what you need to do to protect the health and safety of your workers, including how to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

COVID-19 control measures that use masks

A mask is a piece of equipment that covers the wearer’s nose, mouth and chin. It is fixed to the face with straps, ties or elastic, either behind the head or with ear loops. For COVID-19, masks can be used in two ways at a workplace:

  • As source control: workers and visitors wear the mask to protect those around them. The mask is controlling the hazard at its source – the wearer
  • As personal protective equipment (PPE): workers wear the mask, along with eye protection, to protect themselves

Not all masks are suitable for both purposes. You need to consider how you will use the mask in your workplace and make sure to select a suitable type of mask.

Masks are important to reduce the risk in situations where other controls, particularly physical distancing, cannot be consistently maintained. However, masks should not be the only control measure or replace other control measures in your workplace.

To decide whether you will use masks as source control in your workplace or if they will be needed as PPE, you will need to assess all relevant factors in your workplace including how effective the source control masking and other control measures are at reducing risk.

Using masks as source control

Using masks as source control involves having workers, visitors and clients in the workplace wear a mask to protect those around them. This reduces the risk that the virus may be transmitted through the droplets of a potentially infectious person.

How effective this strategy is at preventing transmission depends on:

  • the type of mask(s) used
  • masks being worn properly and consistently by everyone

In some workplaces in Ontario, wearing masks may be required. You should be aware of the most current:

If people in your workplace are not wearing masks because they are not required, or because they cannot wear them for health or other reasons, you may need to implement additional control measures.

All employers should consider using masks as source control in their workplace, alongside physical distancing, wherever possible. Source control masks should not be used as a substitute for physical distancing — both control measures lower risk and should be used together.

Where physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained, it is even more important that you require that workers and visitors wear masks as source control, alongside other control measures, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Even with other controls in place, including physical distancing and source control masking, there may be situations where PPE will be required.

When workers are performing tasks that require them to work within two metres of an unmasked person without a barrier (for example, Plexiglas, partition, wall), then PPE will be needed unless other controls can be implemented to address the hazard.

Using masks as personal protective equipment

Masks worn as PPE are meant to protect the people wearing them. Correct use of PPE can help prevent some exposures, but it should not take the place of other control measures. Personal protection equipment must be used alongside other control measures.

To determine when PPE is needed, you will have to assess all the relevant factors in the workplace. This includes the effectiveness of other controls you already use.

Even with other controls in place, including physical distancing and source control masking, there may be situations where PPE will be needed to comply with your duty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers.

To protect against COVID-19 in non-health care workplaces, PPE for workers likely includes a surgical or procedure mask in addition to eye protection (for example, face shield or goggles). Cloth masks are not suitable for use as PPE.

Surgical or procedure masks worn as part of PPE also work as source control and would normally meet any requirements for face coverings.

If you determine that personal protective equipment is needed in your workplace, you will need to:

  • train workers on the care, use and limitations of any PPE that they use
  • maintain your supply of PPE and make sure it is readily available to workers when they need it

Supplies of some types of personal protection equipment are limited. Make sure you are using the right controls to protect your workers and only using appropriate PPE so there is enough available for other workers who need it.

Selecting masks

A mask should:

  • securely cover the nose and mouth
  • fit closely to the face without gaps

A nose piece that can be molded to conform to the face may be helpful to ensure a close fit.

Using a mask should not introduce any new health or safety hazards into the workplace such as masks getting caught in machinery or restricting vision.

When choosing what type of mask to use in your workplace, consider:

  • the purpose of the mask (source control and/or personal protection equipment)
  • mask qualities that impact your workers’ ability to wear it when needed, for as long as needed (for example, breathability, comfort and durability)

Existing performance standards, such as ASTM International mask standards, can help provide information on mask qualities such as breathability, filtration, and fluid resistance.

Masks used as PPE should be substantial enough to prevent droplet penetration.

Masks used as source control:

  • may be disposable or reusable
  • if made of cloth, should be made of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric, such as cotton or linen
  • should not have exhalation valves

Using masks properly

If you use masks in your workplace, you will need to make sure workers are trained on the type of mask they are using and its limitations. Workers should be told whether they are using masks as source control, PPE or both.

The effectiveness of a mask depends on the person wearing it correctly and consistently.

Those wearing masks should:

  • inspect their masks for tears, holes or other defects before each use
  • ensure their masks are clean and dry
  • wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after touching the mask
  • put on and remove their mask by holding its ear loops or ties, rather than touching the part of the mask that covers their face
  • replace masks that become damp or dirty
  • wash cloth masks regularly with hot, soapy water and let dry completely before reuse
  • discard used masks that cannot be washed in a plastic lined garbage bin

Accessibility and accommodations

Not all people are able to wear masks, for example, because of a health condition. Develop a policy to address these situations before they arise.

Accommodations for someone who cannot wear a mask must not result in reduced protection for workers. Employers may need to implement other control measures to replace the protection that would be provided by the mask.

Different types of masks fit people differently. Workers may need to try various options to find a mask that works for them.

For people who need to have their faces seen, such as for lip reading, masks with clear panels are available for source control and PPE. Like all masks, these should securely cover the nose and mouth and fit closely to the face without gaps. If you choose to use a mask with clear panels as PPE, ensure that the mask is designed to meet this purpose.

Face shields

A face shield is a device that has a transparent window or visor supported in front of the face that provides a barrier of protection to the eyes, nose and lips.

Face shields can be used as PPE to provide eye protection. They are an alternative to other acceptable forms of eye protection, such as goggles or safety glasses with side shields.

Do not use face shields in place of masks. There is insufficient evidence that face shields used without a mask are suitable for use as source control masking or PPE.

A mouth shield, or other device that provides a barrier of protection to only the mouth and nose, is not a face shield or a mask and should not be used as source control or as PPE.


Government Grants and Loans for Businesses

COVID-19 Business Support Grants (gov.on.ca)

In Ontario expiry dates are open until April 7th 2021