Our Plan to Protect You from COVID-19

Here at Dartmouth Learning Network, we’ve put safeguards in place and changed how we do things in order to protect you from COVID-19. First and foremost, we recognize that safety is a shared responsibility between us and you, the public we serve. Please read through our plan carefully to learn more about what you can expect from us, as well as what we expect from you.

Your responsibilities as an employee, volunteer or learner

We all need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe. At Dartmouth Learning Network, we expect our learners, volunteers, employees and visitors to:

  • understand COVID-19, how it’s spread and how to prevent it;
  • follow public safety protocols and recommendations re staying home when unwell, social distancing, hand washing/hand hygiene, wearing masks, etc.; and
  • clean and disinfect often.

To get it right, we all have a lot of learning to do. Let’s help each other along the way with open and respectful discussions on areas of concern, encouragement, understanding, suggestions and ideas.

To begin, here is what you can expect at Dartmouth Learning Network:

  • when you contact us about learning opportunities
  • when you attend a class or tutoring sessions
  • when using our common areas
  • when sharing equipment
  • frequently asked questions

What to Expect When You Contact Us About Learning Opportunities

During the Initial Phone Call

If it’s determined that our programs and services are the best fit for you, you will be asked:

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your intake appointment will be scheduled for at least 14 days later.

If you answered “no” to all of the questions, an Intake Appointment will be scheduled at the nearest possible date.

Getting ready for your Intake Appointment 

  • Please wear a non-medical face mask. If you arrive without one, one will be provided and must be worn.
  • Please come alone; we do not have a waiting area for friends and family.
  • Pack lightly; you will have to keep your coat and personal belongings with you.
  • If you are feeling unwell on the day of the Intake Assessment, you must reschedule your appointment, contact 811 and follow their directives prior to attending your new intake appointment.
  • If, after your intake appointment, you decide you would like to register for classes or tutoring, you will require your Social Insurance Number to register so please bring your number with you.

At the Intake Assessment

After signing in and washing/sanitizing your hands, go directly to the office to let us know you’ve arrived.

You will be asked:

  • if you have travelled anywhere that would require self-isolation upon your return in the last 14 days
  • if you have any symptoms of COVID-19
  • if you have had contact with any COVID-19 infected person/person awaiting testing

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your intake appointment will be rescheduled for at least 14 days later and you will be required to contact 811 and follow their directives prior to attending your new intake appointment.

If you answered “no” to all of the questions, one of our staff will escort you to a private room for your intake assessment. You and your assessor will be required to wear a mask at all times. Where possible, we will practice social distancing and, we will have a plexiglass shield installed so that, in instances where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, you are still protected.

If you do not have your own pen/pencil to use during the assessment, disinfected pens or pencils will be available for your use. Calculators are not permitted.

All personal items (coats, backpack, purse, etc.) will be kept with you.

After you Have Left

Your assessor will disinfect all contact surfaces, focusing especially on high touch surfaces such as doorknobs/handles, tables, chairs, pens, etc.

What to Expect When You Attend a Class or Tutoring Sessions

Getting Ready for your Class or Tutoring Session

When you Arrive for Classes of Tutoring

  • Wear a non-medical mask as per Nova Scotia public health guidelines for wearing a mask.
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance between you and others.
  • Be patient and wait your turn as needed.
  • Sign in. When you sign in, you are letting us know that you and/or someone in your household does not have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, has not tested positive for COVID-19, is not awaiting test results for COVID-19 and has not travelled anywhere that would require self-isolation upon their return in the last 14 days.
  • Use the hand sanitizing station or wash your hands at the sink immediately.
  • Go directly to your class after washing/sanitizing your hands. If you are here for tutoring, let us know you are here at the office and we will direct you to the proper room.

In your Class/Tutoring Session

  • Maintain a 6-foot distance between you and others.
  • Wear a non-medical mask. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you.
  • Keep personal items (coat, bag, etc.) with you.
  • Do not share items with your fellow learners, teachers or tutors.
  • Do not touch anything unnecessarily.
  • Sanitize items (e.g., stapler/pencil sharpener) after you use it.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands. Remember to immediately wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Where possible, doors will be kept open to avoid unnecessary touching.
  • If someone in the space begins to show possible COVID-19 symptoms, they will be asked to go home and will be required to wear a mask and move to a separate space until transportation home can be arranged. Immediate sanitizing will begin as soon as they leave the classroom or tutoring area.
  • Where possible/practical, a plexiglass divider will be available to allow practitioners and learners to work together more safely when social distancing is not possible.

When the Class or Tutoring Session Ends

  • Clean up after yourself. Take all of your items with you and put any waste in the trash.
  • Clean and sanitize your work station with the materials provided.
  • Maintain 6 feet distance between you and others when you leave the space.
  • Sign out.
  • Use the hand sanitizing station on your way out.
  • Exit the learning centre immediately.
  • Staff will sanitize the room immediately upon your departure.

Breaks

There will be no scheduled breaks. If you need to use the bathroom or to go outside to stretch your legs, you may do so during class/tutoring time, one at a time (not all/some at once). Please do so at a time when independent work is taking place rather than during instruction time.

Wash or sanitize your hands before and after your break.

What to Expect when Using our Common Areas

  • Wear a mask (e.g., hallways, elevators, kitchen, shared bathrooms, etc.).
  • Maintain 6 feet distance between you and others.
  • Wait for your turn.
  • Practice cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • Wash your hands before and after using the washroom or touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
  • Limit touching of items, surfaces, etc. as much as possible and don’t share items (food, phone, etc.).
  • Don’t linger.
  • Clean up after yourself (spills, garbage, etc.) immediately - cleaning supplies are provided.
  • Common areas will be cleaned and sanitized twice per day.

Phone Use

  • A phone is available to you in the lobby. It’s use will be limited to no more than 3 minutes per person (e.g., necessary calls rather than personal calls).
  • You must wear a non-medical mask when using the phone.
  • Sanitize the phone before you use it.
  • Staff will clean and sanitize the phone twice per day.

What to Expect when Sharing Equipment

  • As much as possible, equipment use will be limited to one person (e.g. phones, computers, etc.).
  • Where individual use is not possible, it will be limited primarily to staff and/or volunteers (e.g., photocopier).
  • Staff and volunteers should clean/disinfect equipment after use, especially equipment not typically used daily (e.g., paper cutter, laminator, etc.).
  • Training on how to clean and sanitize equipment will be provided.
  • Shared equipment will be cleaned and sanitized twice per day.

FAQs – “What Happens If...”

...I don’t feel safe to work, volunteer or learn in the space provided?

Your responsibility is to share your specific concerns with us. The employee to whom you report your concerns is responsible to share them with their Occupational Health & Safety representative/committee who will investigate the concern and make recommendations to the Manager/Supervisor.

The Manager/Supervisor will review your concerns, the investigation and recommendations and will make any necessary changes to meet public health and workplace safety guidelines. (S)he will then contact you to make you aware of what actions were taken, if any, and why/why not.

If you do not feel that your concern has been resolved to your satisfaction, you can call the Safety Branch at 1-800-952-2687.

Employees have the right to refuse to work if they feel unsafe however they must return to work in order to refuse it. If your employer has followed the Public Health guidelines, the refusal to work may be challenged by administration and/or employment insurance.

...I feel unwell, what should I do?

If you feel unwell, please stay home. You will NOT be asked for a doctor's note to validate your decision.

Before returning to work, volunteering, or learning you are required to contact 811 to discuss your symptoms and to follow guidelines provided to you by 811 and Nova Scotia public health officials regarding self-isolation, testing, and ultimately, returning to work, volunteering or learning.

The organization’s sick leave policy will apply to employees.

...Someone shows symptoms of COVID-19.

If someone begins to show possible COVID-19 symptoms, they will be asked to go home and will be required to wear a mask and move to a separate space (if available) until transportation home can be arranged. Immediate sanitizing will begin as soon as they leave their work, classroom, or tutoring area. Their ‘isolation’ space will be thoroughly sanitized upon their departure.

Before returning to work, volunteering, or learning, the individual is required to contact 811 to discuss their symptoms and to follow guidelines provided to them by 811 and Nova Scotia public health officials regarding self-isolation, testing, and ultimately, returning to work, volunteering or learning.

...Someone tests positive for COVID-19.

When anyone tests positive for COVID-19, Public Health contacts them directly. They'll work with the person to identify all their close contacts and conduct a risk assessment to determine if any of their close contacts need to self-isolate.

Public Health will directly contact anyone who needs to self-isolate. In some cases, this means Public Health will contact the person's employer/school if they were there when they might have been contagious. In this case, we would share your name, contact information and details about your attendance with Public Health as needed.

If Public Health doesn't contact your workplace/school, that means they decided the risk of spread was low. If we are made aware of a positive test from our learning centre, we will follow public health guidelines.

Employees, volunteers, or learners who weren't directly contacted can continue going to work, volunteer, classes, or tutoring. Everyone should monitor their health regularly whether or not a case has been identified.

...My instructor or tutor is sick or self-isolating, how can I continue learning?

We will do our best to minimize the impacts of illness or public health directives on your learning. If a teacher or tutor will miss more than two of your regularly scheduled in-person classes or tutoring sessions, we will try to provide you with one or more of the following options:

  • a firm date for when you can expect to return to learning;
  • a package of learning materials to take home with you to supplement your learning until your instructor or tutor can return;
  • an opportunity to engage in your regularly scheduled class or tutoring session virtually; and/or
  • a substitute instructor or tutor.
 

...In-person classes and/or tutoring sessions are not possible due to public health directives, how can I continue learning?

We will do our best to minimize the impacts of illness or public health directives on your learning. Should we not be able to offer classes and/or tutoring sessions due to public health directives, we will offer you a minimum of one of the following options:

  • a possible date for when you can expect to return to learning;
  • a weekly package of learning materials to work on independently at home (provided you complete and return packages distributed in a timely manner as agreed upon by you and your instructor/tutor);
  • a weekly phone call from your instructor/tutor to check-in on your independent learning;
  • an opportunity to engage in your regularly scheduled class or tutoring session virtually;
  • if available, connections to community resources that can provide you with the technology you need for online learning;
  • online learning resources that you can access independently; and/or
  • where funds and resources are available, a loan of technology to support your engagement in online learning.
 

...I need to self-isolate or care for someone at home.

Where possible and appropriate, you will be provided with options to continue your work, volunteering or learning from home until you are able to return. This could include, but is not limited to:

Learners:

  • Take-home learning package(s).
  • Scheduled opportunities to check in virtually/by phone with your tutor/instructor.
  • Flexible hours/arrangements.
  • A loan of technology and tools necessary to engage in virtual learning opportunities directed by your tutor/instructor, if funding and resources allow.

 
Volunteers:

  • Ability to meet/tutor virtually (e.g. via Zoom/Google Hangouts).
  • Flexible hours/volunteering arrangements.
  • Administrative support for any printing/learning package assembly, etc.
 

Employees:

  • Provision of technology and tools needed to work from home, if funding and resources allow.
  • Flexible hours/working arrangements (barring undue hardship to the organization).
  • Administrative support for any printing/learning package assembly and delivery, etc.
 

When working, volunteering or learning from home is not possible or appropriate (i.e. it causes undue hardship to operations).

  • Learners should discuss their individual circumstances with their tutor coordinator/school administration as early as is possible to establish a return-to-learning plan.
  • Volunteers should discuss their individual circumstances with their tutor coordinator as early as is possible to establish a plan for their learner(s) and to establish a return-to-volunteering plan.
  • Employees should discuss their individual circumstances with their supervisor as early as is possible to establish a plan for their learners/work-related responsibilities, to determine how best to make use of sick leave, vacation time, and/or leaves of absences (i.e. Employment Insurance) to cover their time away from work and to establish a return-to-work plan.
  • Information about what is required of your employer can be found at https://novascotia.ca/lae/employmentrights/leaves.asp.
 

...I need (or want) to travel.

Employees, volunteers and learners are expected to follow all public health guidelines with respect to their personal travel.

  • Learners should discuss their individual circumstances with their tutor coordinator/school administration as early as is possible to establish a return-to-learning plan.
  • Volunteers should discuss their individual circumstances with their tutor coordinator as early as is possible to establish a plan for their learner(s) and to establish a return-to-volunteering plan.
  • Employees who wish, or need, to travel should discuss their individual circumstances with their supervisor as early as is possible to establish a plan for their learners/work-related responsibilities, to determine how best to make use of sick leave, and/or vacation time to cover their time away from work, and to establish a return-to-work plan. Information about what is required of your employer can be found at https://novascotia.ca/lae/employmentrights/leaves.asp.
 

...An employee, volunteer, learner or visitor will not comply with our posted COVID-19 guidelines for safety?

We have the right to refuse entry to anyone not willing to abide by the posted COVID-19 guidelines.

 

What are my responsibilities as an employee, volunteer or learner?

We all need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe. You should:

  • understand COVID-19, how it’s spread and how to prevent it;
  • follow public safety protocols and recommendations re: staying home when unwell, social distancing, hand washing/hand hygiene, wearing masks, etc.; and
  • clean and disinfect often.

Individuals who fail to comply with these expectations, will be asked to leave the premises. Should they wish to return, they must agree to comply.

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