COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocol for Bishop’s University Residences

COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocol for Bishop’s University Residences

Last revision:  16/9/2020

Due to the progression of COVID-19 coronavirus disease in the world and cases in Quebec, university and college residences have asked for instructions to reduce the risk of transmission in their environment. The recommendations made here are based on current ministerial directions and measures in progress. Given the evolving situation, these recommendations may change.

The Bishop’s University residence team aims to reassure residents that the University has implemented a multitude of measures and guidelines to ensure their well-being and to offer them all possible assistance and support. Our hope is that students will feel safe in all residence spaces, and that they will not hesitate to disclose any symptoms they may be feeling, or if they have been potentially exposed to the virus.

1)  Guidelines to ensure the health and safety of residents and residence staff

  • Provide training for staff and Residence Assistants (RAs) on the measures to be observed during self-isolation. Possibility of offering an online COVID-19 training module. Training will include updated hygiene and safety measures as published by public health and other evidence-based government agencies.
  • Student residents that require maintenance services completed in their rooms may be asked to temporarily leave while the maintenance work is being performed. Bishop’s employees will wear face coverings and any protective equipment required for them to complete their work safely.
  • Provide health and safety information via:
    1. Email
    2. The residences website
    3. Links on the residences Facebook page
    4. RA summer training
  • Provide the necessary information to residents by email prior to arrival and again during orientation and move-in days. Each residence building at Bishop’s is unique and guidelines will be different for each building (shared bathrooms, hallways, staircases or elevators, common rooms, etc.). Generally, however, shared rooms must have beds separated by at least two metres and may not be bunk-bed style.
  • Residents will be required to self-assess their symptoms by completing a self-assessement form at their arrival on campus.
  • Residents will be provided information regarding the health and hygiene measures implemented in residences by the custodial service. Hygiene measures including cleaning will be performed in accordance with Public Health Guidelines.
  • Mandatory wearing of face coverings when circulating in residences or common areas outside of the resident’s family cohort is required.

2)  Staff or residents showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or under an isolation recommendation

  • To avoid transmitting the virus, personnel with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or under a voluntary isolation recommendation must stay at home and follow instructions issued by the Bishop’s University COVID-19 Task Force or Human Resources.
  • Staff who develop symptoms during work hours should return home to avoid spreading the infection to others and contact their supervisor immediately.
  • Residents with symptoms should immediately provide information to their RA, RLC, or to the Manager of Residence Life.

3)  Management of a possible COVID-19 case in residence

How to proceed when a resident has symptoms consistent with COVID-19:

  • If a resident has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they must self-isolate in their room and go to the COVID-19 testing clinic1 as soon as it is open.
  • Transportation of a resident with symptoms of COVID-19 and for whom a COVID test was recommended following a consultation with the coronavirus line should proceed as follows:
    • If the resident’s state of health requires urgent ambulance transportation (e.g. respiratory distress, chest pain), call 911 stating that this is a person under investigation for COVID-19.
    • Do not use public transport.
    • If the resident’s state of health allows, they should use their personal vehicle if possible. The person must go alone to the designated COVID-19 clinic.
    • Respect a distance of 2 metres between users (for example one per seat) if more than one infected person.
    • Disinfect the surfaces potentially affected by the infected user after each transport.
    • Use a procedure mask for personal use when traveling. These masks will be available at the Residence reception desk in Paterson Hall.
[1] CLSC Murray, 500, Murray Street, Sherbrooke
Opening hours: Every day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. no appointment

How to proceed when the symptomatic resident is awaiting a test or the result of a test for COVID-19:

The resident is required to:

  • Isolate themselves in their room.
  • Not have any visitors (including other residents or those from within a family cohort).
  • Not leave their room unless it is to seek medical attention.
  • Use a dedicated bathroom.  If this is not possible, the bathroom should be disinfected after each use, ideally by the infected person.
  • Eat meals left outside their room door.
  • Arrange for the necessities of life (e.g. food, medications, cleaning supplies) to be delivered to the room.
  • Respect the Government instructions for the symptomatic person awaiting a test or the result of a test for COVID-19 https://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/en/document-002496/

Carrying out a service or intervention with a resident awaiting a test or the result of a test for COVID-19:

  • Ask the symptomatic resident to wear a procedure mask.
  • Ask the symptomatic resident to perform hand hygiene.
  • Stay 2 metres from the symptomatic resident, if possible.
  • After the service, disinfect the equipment used with a disinfectant wipe.
  • For meal delivery, ensure the cleaning and disinfection of the trays, plates and utensils used, as well as the washing of the hands of any person in contact with these objects.

NOTE:

If the employee is within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes, the employee should wear face covering and goggles.

If the employee is likely to be in contact with potentially contaminated splashes, secretions or excretions, the employee should wear gloves, and if available, a gown.

If the employee is wearing any personal protective equipment, they must remove it safely and then wash their hands. Refer to the procedure for putting on and removing personal protective equipment.

Staff members will remain in regular communication with the student awaiting results.  Residents who have been in sustained close contact with the student awaiting results may be informed that their colleague has been tested with consideration for confidentiality. These residents will also be asked to self-isolate (same procedure as above), until the test results are received.

4)  Management of a confirmed COVID-19 case

The public health department will carry out an investigation in collaboration with the University’s designated contact. They will identify all significant contacts and ensure they are notified of their exposure and that isolation instructions are sent to them. When required, the public health team will also communicate with the appropriate liaison at the locations frequented by the individual suffering from COVID-19 (e.g. University residences).

  • If possible, ask the resident to move out of residence.
  • Apply the instructions for people with COVID-19 in self-isolation at home: https://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/en/document-002497/
  • In the context of student residences, for accommodation, it is possible to house two residents confirmed positive for COVID-19 in the same room.
  • In residences, reserve a bathroom for the use of each resident or residents infected with COVID-19. If this is not possible, the bathroom should be disinfected after each use, ideally by the infected person.

Carrying out a service or intervention with a resident who has tested positive to COVID-19:

  • Ask the infected resident to wear a procedure mask.
  • Ask the infected resident to perform hand hygiene.
  • Stay 2 metres from the infected resident, if possible.
  • After the service, disinfect the equipment used with a disinfectant wipe.
  • For meal delivery, ensure the cleaning and disinfection of the trays, plates and utensils used, as well as the washing of the hands of any person in contact with these objects.

NOTE:

If the employee is within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes, the employee should wear a face covering and goggles.

If the employee is likely to be in contact with potentially contaminated splashes, secretions or excretions, the employee should wear gloves, and other personal protection equipment if needed.

If the employee is wearing any personal protective equipment, they must remove it safely and then wash their hands. Refer to the procedure for putting on and removing personal protective equipment.

5)  Physical distancing measures

At all times:

  • A physical distance of 2 metres must be maintained between all individuals not within the same family cohort.
  • A face covering must always be worn when circulating in buildings or when  physical distancing is not possible. This does not apply to family cohorts once established.
  • External visitors are not allowed in residence buildings and rooms, unless special authorization is granted with precise guidelines to follow (number of residents allowed, cleaning surfaces, etc.).
  • Indoor gatherings in residences are not allowed, unless special authorization is granted with precise guidelines to follow (number of residents allowed, cleaning surfaces, etc.).
  • Laundry rooms is opened.
  • Common kitchens are closed, except for when approved for family cohort use.

Special rules would apply in case of an outbreak in residences.  The public health authority will determine which circumstances trigger an outbreak in residences.  During the period of the outbreak:

  • Physical distancing of 2 metres will need to be maintained between all individuals.
  • Some residents might be required to self-isolate in their rooms/apartments.
  • Gatherings and visitors will not be allowed.
  • All common rooms will be closed.
  • The laundry rooms will remain open, with directions and schedule for usage.
  • Meals will be delivered three time per day, outside the resident’s room, for residents that will be required to self-isolate.  The Residence Life team will ensure daily check-ins with students that will be required to self-isolate.  Counselling services will be available for students who need support.
  • Any other restrictions might be imposed by the public health authority.

Concept of the family unit or Cohort

Up to eight (8) residents of a predetermined block in New Side residences (Abbott, Kuehner or Munster), a floor section in Mackinnon or two apartments in Paterson will be considered a “family unit”. Each family will be granted special permission to gather and share common spaces or participate in common events on campus and may exceptionally not be physically distant when within the family unit (unless symptomatic).

6)  Quarantine

Instructions for students who are not infected but must quarantine themselves for 10 days as mandated by Public Health Authorities are included in this section.  https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/221

The resident is required to:

  • Come directly to the place of quarantine (from the airport, for instance), without delay.
  • Ensure they wear an appropriate facial covering while in transit.
  • Isolate themselves in a room dedicated to quarantine.
  • Not have visitors.
  • Not leave their room for 10 days unless it is to seek medical attention.
  • Use a dedicated bathroom.
  • Eat meals left outside their room door and refrain from eating at Dewie’s or elsewhere on campus.
  • Arrange for the necessities of life (e.g. food, medications, cleaning supplies) to be delivered to the room.

The Residence Life team will ensure daily check-ins with students in quarantine.  Counselling services are available for students who need additional support.

7)  Annex to the Residence Community Living Standards (RCLS)

A COVID-19 specific Annex to the RCLS will be added, in order to formally reiterate the importance of respecting health and safety guidelines in the residence community to keep everyone safe.

8)  Residence life activities

Residence life will offer activities to student in residences with the following guidelines:

  • The number of residents per activity will be determined on a case by case basis, ensuring the 2-metre distance is respected between individuals, as well as Public Health guidelines.
  • Activities will be conducted outdoors as much as possible, with members of the same “family unit”.
  • Frequent hand washing and sanitizing will be required.
  • When indoors, the objects and gathering rooms utilized will be sanitized before and after use.
  • For indoor activities, only members of the same “family unit” will be allowed to participate in an activity together.

References:

  1. Résidences étudiantes, éléments a prévoir par les établissements d’enseignement dans le contexte de la COVID-19, Gouvernement du Quebec, MEES, 2020