EcoTraining COVID-19 Protocols
EcoTraining developed comprehensive protocols for the operation of all our Training Facilities and Business Premises in the time of the COVID-1 pandemic. The protocols align with the WHO, NICD, and DoH guidelines and advice, and will be revisited as required on an on-going basis. They cover information, PPE, physical distancing, and sanitisation and hygiene practices, among others, for staff, students, and other customers. We are confident that these extensive protocols enable the training, safari, tourism and related industries to operate safely as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. Our EcoTraining Camps will be among the safest places to be. The protocols address all the acknowledged risk areas related to training and tourism. We will ensure the crucial areas of concern for the government are addressed through these protocols and the following:
PERSONS WITH HIGHER RISK
- Persons above 65 years of age will be asked not to travel and attend Wildlife Courses.
- Persons between 60 and 65 are recommended not to travel and attend Wildlife Courses.
- Persons with high-risk health issues are recommended not to travel and attend Wildlife Courses.
- High-risk staff will be allocated to different shifts, lower-risk areas, be given additional PPE e.g., visors, and will work from home where this is possible.
- All EcoTraining Instructors/Trainers are fit and healthy with no underlying conditions under the age of 60.
INCREASED NUMBERS OF STAFF TRAVELLING ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT CREATE A HIGHER RISK OF TRANSMISSION.
- EcoTraining will facilitate staff living-in on-site as far as possible
- All traveling by EcoTraining staff will be reduced as far as possible.
- Private transport use for staff is encouraged if it cannot be eliminated.
LIMIT RISK OF TRANSMISSION AS A RESULT OF TRAVELLING BETWEEN DISTRICTS & PROVINCES
- Students that need to travel from home or ORTIA (OR Tambo International Airport) to any EcoTraining Facility will be issued with a letter of enrolment to facilitate the travel, plus it is recommended that directions or a map of the route also be carried.
- Students are encouraged to stop only to purchase fuel or other items at a petrol station or permitted retail operations en-route;
- Only enrolled students starting or resuming courses using private vehicles or official transfers may cross provincial borders.
ABILITY TO TRACE CONTACTS IN THE EVENT OF SOMEONE TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
- EcoTraining Camps and Offices will obtain and keep student and visitor details plus recent and planned travel information.
- Staff contact details will be up-to-date and all details of staff on all shifts, drivers of vehicles, etc., will be meticulously recorded.
COMMITMENT TO THE PROTOCOLS
- All owners, directors and/or managers of businesses, premises or transport services will sign a pledge to adhere to industry protocols
- EcoTraining will engage with the TBCSA, FGASA, DHET, CATHSSETA, The KNP and other sector leaders for support and to implement the standard industry protocols
2. PLEDGE OF ADHERENCE TO PROTOCOLS
The Directors and CEO of EcoTraining will sign a pledge that they will adhere to these protocols before EcoTraining opens for operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. DESIGNATED COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICER AND TEAM LEADERS
EcoTraining will designate a COVID-19 Health and Safety Officer (COVID-19 Officer).
In addition, a COVID-19 team leader will be designated in each camp. This cross-functional team will report to the COVID-19 Officer (and comprise the COVID-19 Committee) on implementation of COVID-19 protocols, and any issues related thereto.
COVID-19 OFFICER AND TEAM RESPONSIBILITIES
- Risk assessments of all aspects of operation in-line with the Department of Labour COVID-19 Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Workplaces if more than 10 people are employed.
- Develop, maintain, and implement:
- Standard hygiene and sanitising procedures (including schedules /logbooks) per
area/facility/vehicle category etc.
- Special area cleaning procedures – as required
- Capacity limits and controls
- Physical distancing plans
- Student/visitor/passenger procedures
- Staff procedures
- PPE standards for staff
- PPE standards for students and visitors
- Procedures for staff with symptoms, and /or suspected COVID-19
- Procedures for students and visitors with symptoms, and /or suspected COVID-19
- Standard hygiene and sanitising procedures (including schedules /logbooks) per
- Monitoring the implementation of the protocols and the effectiveness of the measures undertaken
- Monitoring overall compliance, identifying and correcting gaps, and adapting the plan to practical experience
- Monitoring compliance with correct PPE usage – observations and spot checks
- Maintain staff and guest/client/visitor/passenger health records
- Maintain and checks logs of cleaning activities
- Maintain and manage stock and use of PPE
- Oversight of all staff and guest training and information provision
- Independent Third-Party Hygiene Audits – as required
- Independent Third-Party decontamination cleans – as required
- Monitoring compliance with the Department of Labour COVID-19 Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Workplaces.
The COVID-19 Officer will ensure they keep in touch with their primary representative association and the TBCSA, as well as WHO, National DoH and NICD, and their Provincial Department of Health with respect to recommendations and guidelines for travel, tourism and hospitality operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. STUDENTS AND VISITORS MEDICAL DECLARATION: MEDICAL AND TRAVEL STATUS AND ACCESS
All students must provide a negative PCR test certificate or a valid COVID-19 negative test certificate, obtained not more than 96 hours before the date of arrival, from an accredited laboratory and in line with the World Health Organization requirements. For the safety of yourself and your fellow students, please also avoid close contact and isolate as much as possible before the start of your course.
All Students and Visitors will also be required to complete a Medical and Travel declaration. This will be on arrival and departure or when appropriate. Students and visitors will be screened on arrival and before entering the premises. All students and visitors must complete the form, not just the contracting party. This means all students arriving at camp, people sharing tents, etc., must complete the declaration.
EcoTraining will develop a standard form for this and ensure it is POPI (Protection of Personal Information) compliant. The completion and acceptance of the form act as access acceptance into a camp or onto a vehicle.
This will facilitate reduced numbers, and keeping student records and traceability, and only updates to information and temperature need to be taken on arrival. While the declaration must be signed on arrival to ensure it is up-to-date, EcoTraining may opt to ask some/all of the questions on booking/reservation and may suggest that high-risk individuals might want to postpone their the trip, or they could decline such reservations.
DECLARATION FORM TO INCLUDE
- General health, chronic and other conditions, and medication
- Physical impairments
- Symptoms prior 30 days
- Smoker status and fitness level
- COVID-19 history
- COVID-19 status disclosure signed-off
- Record of trip – full current trip itinerary (past and future) for tracing
- Recent travel history other than this trip – 1 month
- Next of kin/friend not traveling with your name and contact details
- ID or passport number
- Travel insurance declaration and proof (international guests)
There will be a simple risk rating completed on the form by the supervising staff member and higher risk Students and Visitors should be noted on a separate schedule.
The form will state clearly that the Students and Visitor’s details will be shared with local public health authorities if any other Student and Visitor or staff member they may have been in contact with while on EcoTraining premises or on an EcoTraining Game Viewer becomes ill with COVID-19. If they do not agree with this, they cannot have access to the property.
The guest declaration form must be linked by annotation to tent the Student or Visitor will use where this is relevant. Where an external transport provider is conveying Students and Visitors to or from another facility or establishment, e.g., a hotel or an attraction, copies (electronic or on paper in a plastic folder) of the guest medical and travel declaration taken by the transport provider or facility can be passed on to the facility or transport provider, as long as Students and Visitors temperatures are taken again at a point/time of transfer.
5. STUDENTS, VISITORS, AND STAFF TEMPERATURE MONITORING
The temperature of all Students and Visitors will be taken on arrival. For multiple-day stays, the daily temperature should be recorded (when arriving for breakfast or departing for afternoon activity each day). For all other activities longer than 2 hours, temperatures should be retaken.
The staff member taking the initial temperature reading must annotate the medical declaration form indicating either the actual temperature recorded or that it was taken and it was in the normal range. As far as possible any subsequent readings during a stay and the check-out reading should be also noted on the same record.
All staff members’ temperatures, including management or staff visiting from other branches/ head office, etc., and outsourced workers, will be recorded on arrival for shifts and on departing after shifts. These will be recorded on an appropriate manual or automated schedule. All temperatures will be taken with a non-contact thermometer. Any temperature outside of the normal range (above 37.5 °C) requires action to be taken. Refer to Protocol 16.
6. SIGNAGE AND EASY TO FOLLOW STUDENT INFORMATION
Students will need extensive information and briefings on the COVID-19 protocols. Easy to understand and assimilate information must be provided in the tents, on the backs of vehicle seats, in the lecture areas, study areas, on tables, and other communal areas. Notices attached to walls, seats, tables, etc., are preferable to avoid contamination by touch.
For first arrivals, standard briefings should be made to all Students and Visitors, similar to current safety briefings. The information and briefings must emphasize that all measures are for students and staff safety, and should cover the following:
- Hand sanitising and correct hand washing
- Footwear sanitising where applicable
- Surface sanitising
- Physical distancing – spacing, and queues
- Use of masks – detail on proper use and specifically what is expected when eating and drinking
- A brief explanation of procedures if someone has a high temperature or COVID-19 symptoms
- Access to medical services and pharmacies
- Other details– such as tent cleaning and linen change frequency, food
- Dedicated vehicle seats and vehicle entry
- Vehicle exit procedures (which entrance/exit, not to touch doors or seats except one seat and seat belt), etc.
7. STAFF TRAINING
EXTENSIVE TRAINING MUST BE PROVIDED TO ALL STAFF TO ENSURE THAT THEY UNDERSTAND:
- The virus, how it is spread, the symptoms and how long it survives on surfaces
- The required sanitisation and distancing procedures for themselves and for students
- The effective use of PPE and what PPE they must use
- How to change into and out of uniforms
- All special procedures e.g., activity staggering and dedicated separate activity teams, separation of duties, entry and exit queues, and procedures.
Some staff in certain functions with higher risks such as wash-up, tent cleaning, vehicle cleaning, and laundry should have additional training specific to their roles. Training should also cover support for staff, addressing their general fears and concerns, what happens if they have symptoms or test positive, etc., and how this might affect their team, and how EcoTraining will support them.
Staff training should not be once-off but should repeat for all staff, with regular updates on a cycle to ensure there is are no lapses in knowledge or deterioration in the levels of protocols practiced.
Training areas must have proper physical distancing.
8. GUESTS/VISITORS/PASSENGERS/CLIENT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
STUDENTS AND VISITORS WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS EXCEPT WHEN:
- In their tents
- Alone in the ablutions
- They are in a small family group or a group of friends.
- While eating or drinking
Acceptable masks are cloth masks, surgical masks, and N95 respirators. It is expected that most Students and Visitors will have their own cloth masks. All facilities and businesses should have a spare supply of surgical or cloth masks, which can be provided to Students and Visitors should they not have their own mask(s). If a student does not have their own masks for a multiple-day stay, then multiple masks should be provided. The cloth mask needs to be washed by the individual.
There is limited information on removing masks to eat and drink. The recommended practice is to use a flat brown paper bag or another cloth bag, which the mask will slide into. The bag should be marked on one side “outside” and the outside of the mask should always be against that side of the bag. A new bag is required each day or cloth bags must also be laundered. Containers must be used for disposal of used disposable masks.
9. STAFF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
All staff must wear masks at all times, except while taking meals. EcoTraining will provide a minimum of 3 cloth masks per staff member. One is worn on duty, one is in the laundry, and one is already clean and ready to wear the next day when returning to duty. Certain duties require gloves to be worn, (to be discarded after each shift or after each soiled linen, crockery cutlery batch has been handled, or vehicle cleaned). Clearing, wash-up, waste disposal, laundry staff, and vehicle cleaning staff should wear gloves.
Disposable plastic aprons are appropriate in-room cleaning, clearing, and wash-up. Biohazard containers must be used for the disposal of used disposable PPE.
10. SANITISING AND HYGIENE PRACTICES
Frequent hand sanitising and/or handwashing is critical along with frequent proper sanitising of surfaces and these together are the key defence against COVID-19. AVOID handshaking, hugging or any form of touching. Members of staff using an area continuously, such as a counter, desk, or worktop will be responsible for sanitising their surface after frequently – every 10 – 15 minutes.
Surface sanitising schedules should be drawn up for other areas, which are not used continuously by a member of staff or a student. Schedules will depend on frequency and type of usage and surface. These schedules must be initialled, or updated on a computerised workflow system, to ensure compliance with sanitising requirements.
Students and visitors will be required to sanitise their hands and shoes on initial arrival at the EcoTraining camps. Staff members can administer the sanitiser, or it can be self-administered from a dispenser, but observed.
Thereafter sanitisers for students and visitors to use will be available for pens, credit cards, phones, books, boarding or disembarking a game viewer, entering or leaving an area, using bathrooms, etc. Hand sanitiser for students and visitors must be widely available i.e., on hand for, or carried by, key staff in contact with Students and available throughout the camp including the game viewers.
Staff must hand sanitise or wash hands before and immediately after entering the work premises or vehicle, after changing into uniforms, visiting their tents, and particularly after touching items or surfaces.
The following items and surfaces throughout the EcoTraining camps, and in/on vehicles, must be wiped or cleaned with an appropriate disinfectant detergent. As far as possible, this must happen after every “use” or change of person/people using, or at a minimum, frequent:
- Water bottles, jugs and amenity bottles
- Door handles – rooms/vehicles/cupboards
- Pens- used by more than one person
- Light switches
- Taps and mixers
- Soap and sanitiser dispensers
- Toilet roll holders
- Toilet flush buttons/levers
- Electrical socket switches
- Salt and pepper shakers and other static tableware, e.g. toothpick holders/sauce bottles
- Tablets and mobile devices
- Computers, laptops, and printers
- Deck railings and banisters/balustrades
- Tables, counters, and desks
- Plastic Folders
- Kitchen surfaces
- Fridge handles and doors.
- Kitchen Equipment
- Vehicle keys
- Steering wheels and gear levers
- Dashboard controls
- Armrests and back of seats/chairs
- Seatbelt buckles
- Window sills
At as many access areas as possible and where practical should be left/wedged open to reduce surface touching.
All luggage should either be sprayed with a disinfection spray after off-loading, or wiped, with a minimum of all handles and corners carefully wiped with surface sanitiser. Staff handling luggage should sanitise or wash hands immediately before and after touching the luggage. If the students handle their own luggage to move it into or out of, the vehicle or tent, and it is not touched by staff, then wiping or spraying is not required.
10.4 CASH HANDLING
Cash handling should be minimised or eliminated. Prepayments, EFTs, and signing to accounts should be maximised. If a student or EcoTraining staff member handles cash, hand sanitising should happen immediately afterward.
10.5 REMOVE SURFACES
Throughout the camps and vehicles, the number of surfaces which can be touched must be reduced to eliminate touching and the need for surface sanitising:
- Remove magazines, books, games, decor items, etc.
- Games, magazines, and newspapers – provide on request, sanitising before and after use.
10.6 REDUCE USE OF AREAS
Any areas which are not in use, or which can be taken out of use, should be locked to eliminate usage and the need for regular surface cleaning or deep cleaning in the event of any contamination. Use on-request with a staff member opening and locking afterward can be practiced for some facilities.
- Bio-spill kits will be used for all cleaning of blood or vomit
- Only appropriate disinfectant surface cleaners to be used
- Only 70% alcohol-based hand sanitisers to be used
- Water reticulation systems, fridges, and laundry equipment must be regularly serviced and operating effectively
11. STANDARD PHYSICAL DISTANCING AND CAPACITY CONTROLS
The space between any persons in public areas and back of house areas should be a minimum of 1.5 meters at all times, with two meters preferred.
Exceptions are when one person, is wearing a visor, or if there is a Perspex or similar shield between the people concerned. Students and Visitors from the same small family/friend group who share a tent can be close to each other. EcoTraining will maximize any types of non- contact processing to reduce the need for the proximity of people.
11.1 CAPACITY CONTROLS
The capacities of all public areas and vehicles must be determined and managed to ensure distancing can be achieved. Capacity limits should not be exceeded and new queuing systems may have to be introduced to manage capacity limits.
Camps are to operate with a low density of people. No more than 30 people, including EcoTraining staff will be present in one camp at any time.
- Excess chairs and tables should be removed, or tables combined to enlarge while reducing and
spreading seat capacity to enforce distancing. Capacity may be subject to regulations e.g., max of 15 people including staff in one dining area, otherwise, the guideline is capacity at 50% of prior capacity. Discretion can be used for people from the same small family/friend group who are sharing a tent.
- Where possible dining areas can be split or meals can be scheduled at different times.
- At any queuing point or potential queuing point, floor markers must be used to manage queues and spacing at 1.5 meters.
- Queuing situations must be monitored and adjusted if proven to be inadequate.
STUDY AND LECTURE AREAS
- Lecture areas will be sanitised prior to the start of any lectures.
- Students will be required to sanitise their hands before entering lecture areas.
- Tables and chairs should be spaced out and excess tables or chairs is to be removed as far as possible. Discretion can be used for people from the same small family/friend group who are sharing a tent.
- Movement of students between lecture areas will be limited
- Physical distancing in lectures will be practiced.
- Not more than two students are to share a desk.
- Desks are not allowed to be clustered together in lecture areas.
- Cloth masks would be worn by students and instructors at all times
- Library books need to be wiped down before and after every use, by the person that used the books.
- Lecture areas are to be kept neat and tidy, nothing is to be left on tables or chairs.
- Where dome tents are used and shared between non-group/non-family members, a maximum number of occupants per tent, at approximately 50% of capacity. Where Meru-Style tents are used, a 4 – 5m² minimum spacing per bed is required
Regulations may set vehicle capacities. Below are recommendations for the tourism industry:
BUSHBUS AND OTHER TRANSFER VEHICLES
- The guideline is 70% capacity, with discretion in seating family/friend groups together. Unconnected individuals should have empty seats between them.
- When international markets open, we expect generator markets will set standards – including vehicle capacity utilization – e.g., Germany might state 24 in a 48-capacity vehicle or 50% capacity – and we will need to follow these requirements.
- The vehicles used by EcoTraining for the transfer of students and staff, and the Game Viewers used on Game Drive are to be sanitised and all surfaces need to be wiped before and after every activity, by the driver of the vehicle.
- Hand sanitizer/wipes are to be provided on these vehicles.
- In trying to reduce the chances of exposure, EcoTraining is instructing all Employees, students, and volunteers to keep travel to the minimum and refrain from traveling unnecessarily between camps and towns.
TRANSFER BY SUV OR PASSENGER VEHICLE
- No passenger can occupy the passenger seat.
- For small cars, only one person can be seated in the rear, unless the Students or Visitors concerned are people from the same small family/friend group who are sharing a tent.
- For large vehicles, as well as people from the same small family/friend group who are sharing a room, two people may sit in the back. Central seats should be marked with tape to indicate they are not generally for use.
- The guideline is 70% capacity, with discretion in seating family/friend groups together.
- 2 People per row and unconnected individuals should have empty seats between them.
12. FOOD SERVICE
Camps staff and duty teams are required to wash their hands before handling any foodstuffs and other items.
Self-service should be discontinued if possible and food should be plated and/or provided in portions as far as possible. Menus should be revised to reduce complexity e.g., reduced buffet options. There should be limited self-service at buffets; only to select or pick-up pre-portioned items. Any self-service should be handled by staff or duty students only.
Self-service juice, coffee, etc. should also be manned by staff or duty students. Pre-portioned plated items, on buffets, or delivered to tables should be the main way food is served. Offering deli-type take-away/grab-and-go style meals and options –should be instituted where possible with a small rubbish bag provided to insert waste and disposables after use for collection.
The two keys to safe kitchen operation are physical spacing and surface and equipment sanitising.
To facilitate spacing, staffing levels may have to be reduced. Menus should be simplified to reduce production complexities and therefore number of staff required, and menu simplification will also reduce the range of suppliers required, and external interactions are minimised.
Workstations should be demarcated to indicate the physical spacing required. If possible, facing workstations should be eliminated
Equipment must be sanitised frequently using surface sanitisers (handles, knobs, dials, switches, and static equipment) and utensils, pots, and pans, and receptacles should undergo more frequent hot washing.
Kitchen equipment and crockery and cutlery should be washed separately; both at high temperatures.
The exteriors of any packaged food item not completely used up, and of all containers of food, should be sanitised with wipes after each use (before returning to storage after opening and extracting). Ventilation should be maximised either with open windows.
14. TENTS CLEANING AND GAME VIEWER CLEANING
Tent cleaning frequency may be reduced and linen change frequencies reduced to lower contamination risks. If daily or more frequent cleaning and changing were standard, longer stays should have room cleaning every two to three days, and linen changes should stay at once a week. To reduce surfaces in rooms, all excess items should be removed.
New tent cleaning standards will be required and tent cleaning staff must be trained on these standards. This will also include how to handle linen and sanitising of bathrooms. Disposable gloves should be worn when cleaning bathrooms and disposable aprons are also recommended. Tent cleaning staff must sanitise their hands and shoes, and disposable aprons on finishing each tent and before entering the next tent.
Once students depart the camp all furniture, all surfaces, all movable items, wall surfaces close to frequently used areas, and all floors should be thoroughly cleaned with an effective disinfectant. Student ablutions and outside shower areas are to be thoroughly cleaned including all wall surfaces.
Consideration should be given to increasing the time between check-out and check-in to ensure housekeeping has sufficient time for thorough deep cleaning of tents and other shared and public areas.
Efficient tent ventilation is important. If tent flaps can be opened, they should be opened during tent cleaning.
Soiled linen should be removed from beds with care and folded simply, with as little shaking/dust release as possible. All linen and towels from tent changes should go into ample quality plastic bags for transporting to the laundry or for laundry collection.
The contents of housekeeping trolleys should be reduced and the trolley and remaining contents should wipe and deep cleaned at the end of each day’s shift.
All other equipment, mops, wet cloths, etc., are sanitised by dipping in sanitising solution after each tent clean. Colour coded cloths should be used for different items; bath, shower and sink, toilet, tent surfaces, etc. and disinfected separately. At the end of shifts, cloths and mops should be sanitised in a solution for 30 minutes, and all clothes washed with hot water.
The virus does not live very long on surfaces, particularly porous surfaces. The current WHO statement is “studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.”
If EcoTraining can rotate tent use, i.e., leave tents idle for 1 – 3 days (or more), occupancy permitting, this will also assist in ensuring tents are decontaminated for the next group of students arriving.
Surfaces in vehicles must be reduced by removing all but essential items. Water bottles must be unique per student.
Vehicles used frequently for short trips should undergo a surface clean between every trip – as per 9.2, wiping down with sanitising wipes. This includes levers for opening boots, bonnets, petrol tanks, etc. All vehicles after longer trips, or at the end of a day, should go through a deeper clean. Otherwise, all mats and loose items must be removed and cleaned, and all surfaces inside and outside well-cleaned with a suitable disinfectant. This includes inside boots, inside glove compartments and shelves, inside door compartments, all handles including folded handles e.g., on spare wheel compartments, inside the spare wheel and tool compartments and tools if used. Oil and water dipstick handles, petrol caps, etc., must all be disinfected. Cleaners must wear gloves and can wear disposable aprons or gowns.
15. STAFF AREAS
Staff areas as just as important for sanitising and physical spacing as public areas.
It is important to ensure that additional staff information is recorded and kept up-to-date including relevant medical history regarding chronic or other conditions and staff must be asked to inform HR/management if these changes. It will be explained that these steps are for their own protection. Other staff information such as contact details, physical address, who they live with, next of kin etc., must be up-to-date.
In order to manage staff teams, and address PPE requirements and allocation of staff to work cycles, EcoTraining should identify working areas and rank then as high, moderate and low-risk areas based on the type of job/ activities and levels of contact with Students and other staff. At-risk staff members, i.e., those who are older or have co-morbidity conditions should be given special consideration. Rosters can be adjusted so older/ compromised staff work in low-risk areas, or on shorter cycles and there should be enhanced standard operating procedures for at-risk workers including more PPE such as visors.
Staff should be allocated to shift teams and changes to teams should be avoided. This allows for mitigation if a staff member tests positive, as only one staff team will be required to isolate. Staff in teams should work, eat and arrive separately so there is no cross-contamination between teams.
A similar increase in sanitising and surface cleaning in all staff areas as in public areas is required, plus the same schedules for completion to indicate sanitising has occurred.
On arrival, staff must undergo a sanitising process including spraying or wiping shoes, clothes, handbag, cellphone and face mask before or just after entry. Staff members will have their temperature checked on arrival and before departing (see section 4).
Staff uniforms may be reduced in complexity and limited to simple items. For instance, caps, scarves and ties can be omitted. Correct uniform change and uniform laundry procedures must be followed.
Staff who care for their own uniform or work clothes at home, need to be trained and assisted to sanitise uniforms correctly. If possible, it is preferable that uniforms be properly cleaned at high temperature. Staff bathrooms must be operated under the same hygiene, sanitising and spacing standards as guest bathrooms (see sections 10, 11 and 12).
Any staff transport vehicles must adhere to the same protocols as student and visitor vehicles with respect to sanitising, cleaning, capacity, entry and exit, driver interaction etc. Where outsourced workers are concerned, the outsource company must ensure similar staff records are kept and must ensure their staff follow all standard operating procedures. They must also assist in keeping the same staff on the same shift or team, and in identifying at-risk workers for additional attention. HR policies must be updated to reflect all the changes due to the COVID-19 operating environment.
16. OFFICE STAFF
Most of the staff procedures and PPE requirements apply to offices.
As with office-based staff in other industries, if people can work from home this will be encouraged as far as possible. Office staff shifts will be staggered and teams/shifts reduced to limit the number of staff in offices.
Desks and chairs will be removed, spaced apart or taped off to ensure proper distancing and spacing, with Perspex screens used to separate facing workstations and nearby workstations if required. Superfluous items will be removed from desks to limit surfaces and items for sanitising.
Regular hand sanitising for all employees and regular sanitisation of surfaces (as per section 9.2) will be implemented and no-touch refuse bins will be used for all waste and for sanitising wipes.
Where equipment e.g. headsets, PCs, desks, telephones are used, these will be dedicated to one staff member and there will be no hot-desking.
All operations, i.e., consultations/bookings/enquiries, will be by telephone or on-line with no walk-ins.
Ventilation will be maximised via windows or air-conditioning.
The WHO guidelines for offices being work-place ready in the COVID era will be followed.
17. STANDARD PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS, VISITORS & STAFF DISPLAYING COVID-19 SYMPTOMS
The operations must have to hand and available the telephone numbers of the health authorities, medical centres, general practitioners, public and private hospitals, and testing centres and services to be used.
All staff should be aware of basic procedures, but a senior staff member on duty should, at all times, be tasked with managing the response to a guest or staff member with a high temperature, COVID-19 symptoms, or a positive test result.
As far as possible, prompt testing for both staff and Students should occur, as full knowledge of COVID-19 status assists in ensuring the correct steps are taken as soon as possible, as well as allowing COVID-19 negative staff, teams, and Students groups to continue business as normal.
17.1 STUDENTS AND VISITORS – ON ARRIVAL BUT BEFORE CHECK-IN/PICK-UP ETC.
If a student or visitors has symptoms on arrival before arrival or at before pick-up, they should be asked to return home where possible, and asked to contact their healthcare professional and self-isolate and monitor their symptoms. This is unless symptoms are already severe, in which case a medical professional should be consulted immediately.
In the case where they are not in their own vehicle, they should be assisted to organise appropriate safe transport home where possible. Any vehicle used to transport them should be deep cleaned afterwards.
If they cannot for any reason (i.e., they are not in their home town) return home, then they must be moved to a designated COVID-19 holding area/sick bay or a designated COVID-19 tent. In the case of the Camp, they can be checked-in. In the case of a transfer, they should, with a consultation with the establishment, be returned to that facility for isolation and monitoring. Any vehicle used to transport them should be deep cleaned afterwards.
If they are due to check-in at EcoTraining that evening, the EcoTraining must be contacted and asked if they have a self-isolation room which the student or visitor can check-in to. If not, they should be assisted to move into an identified self-isolation accommodation establishment.
17.2 MONITORING OF STUDENTS AND VISITORS WITH SYMPTOMS
Where possible, Students and Visitors with symptoms should stay in a tent that has a further reduction of softs and reduced movables/surfaces and be served by designated, low-risk, staff only with additional PPE e.g., visors or other eye protection, gowns gloves (discarded after each contact) used.
The Students or Visitors will be required to isolate, i.e., not participate in activities, take meals in the isolation, etc. The temperature should be recorded three times a day. If symptoms are severe, worsen or persist more than one day, a medical professional should be consulted. Based on the medical professional’s recommendation the Students or Visitors should either be:
- Referred for a COVID-19 test
- Examined (in Camp, or using safe transport to a GP) by a GP
- Recommended to continue self-isolating – with or without medication
- Referred directly to a hospital for admission
Guests in isolation should preferably be in a designated tent, single occupancy and no shared bathrooms.
Tents and vehicles used for transport of, or accommodating of, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases and areas known to have been utilised by the Student or Visitor concerned, should undergo decontamination deep clean. Where confirmed cases are concerned, an outside service provider can be used to ensure effective decontamination.
EcoTraining may be informed through tracing services that a Student or Visitor who previously visited, stayed or was transported has tested positive, in which case the same decontamination cleaning processes must be adhered to for rooms, vehicles and areas the Student or Visitor used.
A room or vehicle can also be left unutilised (out of order) for five to seven days before cleaning, to allow any traces of the virus on surfaces to die, and then non-professional services can conduct the cleaning. Vehicles can also be parked in the sun, as heat is understood to hasten the demise of the virus.
COVID-19 designated parking areas for parking-off, and designated cleaning bays, should be used for vehicles with possible contamination.
When caring, serving or cleaning for or after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, biohazard disposable waste bags, boxes and containers must be used for waste and all soiled /dirty items including used PPE, which is going for cleaning or disposal. Where a Student or Visitor who has been travelling on a trip in a vehicle or staying in a facility, tests positive, the staff who have interacted with the Student or Visitor or cleaned the relevant or vehicle and the rest of any travel group they are travelling with, must go into 14-day self-isolation at home or in an accommodation establishment.
If feasible, when a business re-opens, all staff should be tested for COVID-19 and for COVID-19 antibodies before returning to work. Any staff members who test positive cannot return to work until they have isolated for 10 days (as per the procedure for staff who are positive -see flowchart below). If staff have antibodies this should be noted on their file and they can be considered lower risk, and possibly assigned to care for potential COVID-19 cases when these present.
Any staff member with a temperature or showing COVID-19 symptoms must not work and must be asked to self-isolate. Where practical, staff should self-isolate at home, with regular check-ins on progress and status from the HR/COVID-19 senior person from the business. Businesses may support suspected COVID-19 staff with accommodation provided in their own tents or isolation accommodation sourced for this purpose.
The senior manager on duty responsible for COVID-19 health and safety must be involved in the decision and processes to deal with any staff member showing symptoms at any stage. If they show symptoms before a shift they should not start and should preferably not enter the premises.
Staff members with symptoms should be monitored as per the flow diagram below. The business should assist and advise the staff member when to seek medical support. Testing should be done wherever possible to confirm status.
Where a staff member is confirmed positive to have COVID-19, all staff on that members’ shift team must self-isolate for 14 days. In the event that testing becomes widely and easily available, all such staff members should be tested. COVID-19 free staff or staff who have isolated for 14 days can return to work. In addition, the Department of Health and the Department of Employment and Labour must be informed. The business must investigate the compliance with protocols related to the employees’ work role and place, and identify whether there were failings or gaps that need to be addressed.
18. SPECIAL AREAS
18.1 GOODS RECEIVING
- Suppliers and camp staff are required to wash their hands before handling any foodstuffs and other items.
- Suppliers delivering to the premises should be kept to a minimum. Fewer suppliers, less supplier
deliveries, and drivers and less off-loading staff entering your premises.
- EcoTraining Staff is to handle deliveries.
- Staff members manning the loading and off-loading should wash hands frequently between each delivery.
- All goods must be fully sanitised at a station at the loading area before entering the storage and refrigerators – Spray sanitisers are recommended.
- The entire area and all its surfaces should be sanitised at regular intervals
- Vendors should be advised on how EcoTraining will accept goods and how their staff should arrive with necessary protective gear
- All staff working in the laundry must be trained on COVID-19, using the flowchart for on-premise laundry – see below. Before entering the laundry, any laundry attendant must ensure that their hands are washed properly and then sanitised.
- Laundry attendant must now dress in the PPE provided:
o Safety Glasses
- Before any equipment is used, a laundry attendant must sanitise and wipe down all surfaces.
- Whilst the linen is being washed, the soiled linen bins are to be washed and sanitised. Bins used for soiled linen may NOT be used for clean linen.
- The washing area is a PPE ZONE all other areas are non-PPE ZONES and under no circumstances may the linen attendant enters a non-PPE with contaminated PPE.
- Clean linen and towels are then placed in the clean linen store.
- After all washing and folding are complete the laundry area is to be sanitised working from the far section to the entry point. A bucket of disinfectant and bleach is to be placed at the door to sanitise the mops and cloths at the end of the shift.
18.3 VEHICLES AND SPECIAL VEHICLES
GAME DRIVE VEHICLES
- Equipment and procedures specific to game drive vehicles includes:
- Roll bars and handles – to be wiped after each trip or each drink/meal stop on a trip
- Binoculars – not to be shared and to be wiped frequently by guests with wipes provided
- Portable food and drink containers – to be cleaned with surface disinfection after each use, and
thoroughly at the end of trips
- Change to disposable ponchos, or guest to be allocated their own poncho for the duration of stay and industrial clean after each use.
- All vehicles (Section 12) and food service protocols e.g., separate portions/snack packs, disposable cups, and utensils (Section 11), as well as distancing and sanitising and surface cleaning applications.
VEHICLES – OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
All vehicles should have clear entry and exit procedures, with Students and Visitors entering one at a time, asked not to touch seatbacks, take up seats one at a time, etc. Disposable headrests should be replaced after each trip.
Vehicle air-conditioners can be modified to include HEPA air purifiers (similar to plane systems), which will reduce the ability of the virus to circulate inside the vehicle. This should be seriously considered for larger and luxury vehicles. Otherwise open windows can be encouraged, when weather permits, to allow air circulation.
Activities vary greatly in their level of risk. For instance, hiking in small groups could be safely carried out by following the protocols. A review of activities will be carried out later to establish categories and requirements per category, but for the current situation activities should follow the normal protocols
18.5 COVID – 19 INFOGRAPHICS
The below infographics must be displayed in each tent, shower block, lecture area, study deck, and other suitable areas: