What does COVID-19 (Coronavirus) mean for First Aid Training?

To ensure social distancing and compliance with Ontario and Canadian guidelines regarding COVID-19, the Workers Safety Insurance Bureau (WSIB) has advised all First Aid providers to suspend in-person courses temporarily. People who require recertification for first aid need not worry. The WSIB has put workers and businesses at ease by providing a 90-day extension for anyone requiring recertification. The WSIB is the regulatory body that oversees first aid training in the workplace in Ontario.

How did we go from the first case of COVID-19 in Canada on January 25, 2020, to today where the numbers in Ontario  are growing daily? Why was it necessary for organizations like SOS First Aid to suspend classes?

My name is Patty and I am a First Aid Instructor with SOS and a Paramedic or First responder. My initial thoughts and worries take me back to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic identified in 2003. SARS was also a coronavirus that originated in China in 2002. Transmission was primarily from person to person. SARS had flu like symptoms such as fever, headache, cough, breathing difficulties, tiredness and diarrhea. Global infection control regulations lead to the successful management and containment of the global outbreak.

What did we learn from SARS? How can we take lessons regarding precautionary measures learned then and apply them to our present situation?

We can and have been applying these lessons in our training sessions. There are guidelines and standards in place for classrooms and disinfecting and cleaning of equipment and surfaces. Students who are showing signs and symptoms of flu or illness are asked to stay home and reschedule their training to when they are well again. We do not want sick participants in our classes. Disease can spread easily as students are close contact with fellow students and touch each other when learning and practising new skills.

Health, safety and hygiene have always been a priority in first aid classes. How to prevent the transmission of bacteria and diseases and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are part of the required curriculum. This includes wearing gloves when providing first aid care, their proper removal and disposal, hand washing with hot water and soap for 30 seconds. We even discuss the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers when there is no access to hand washing which is preferable and more effective. When hand washing is available, do so.

Use hand sanitizer

Before we shut down our operations on March 16, we had added more access to disinfecting wipes, gloves, opportunities to wash hands to our classes, and kept a close watch on the development of the virus and adjusted our courses accordingly. Questionnaires were handed out to our participants asking them about their general health, whether they had a fever, cough, or travelled outside Canada or whether they had been in contact with someone who was unwell.

As the number of presumptive and confirmed cases continued to climb, public health officials and politicians began to implement a travel ban and the Ontario government declared a state of emergency mandating that places where people gather, like fitness centers and restaurants, close their doors temporarily. By March 18, 2020, all first aid providers shut down their operations temporarily.

At this stage, no one knows how much longer classes will be suspended. For clients who require first aid to meet workplace or school requirements, contact your employer or school and ask for an extension.

Blended first aid courses are a very good option for many. Currently, students are able to complete the online portion now of a blended first aid course. The online modules are the first half of their certification training. Once in-person classes resume, students will then be able to complete their one day training. This is the second part of the blended learning training. As long as you complete the in-class portion within 90 days of the online portion, the WSIB and the Red Cross will issue a valid certification for Standard First Aid. Normally the time to complete both training portions is 30 days between the online and the in-class, but the Red Cross and WSIB have granted a temporary extension to 90 days. Contact SOS to set up blended learning at [email protected]

What is COVID-19?

This virus is novel (which means new), also known as the coronavirus. It is a Respiratory Disease and there are certain people within our communities that are most at risk:

corona virus safety

  • Older adults (seniors). Not just with their advanced age, but most of them will have underlying medical conditions which make them more at risk
  • Those with lung conditions such as severe asthma, emphysema, COPD
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immune suppressed, such as those going through chemotherapeutic treatments
  • Infants/young children that may not have strengthened their own immune systems yet

We need to follow the guidelines that are being placed by our Provincial and Federal governments. These are being updated continuously.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Know the Signs and Symptoms:

Infected persons may show no to few symptoms, and they are similar to the cold or flu. In some cases take up to 14 days to appear. They are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia l

Social Distancing: means to keep at least a distance of 1 metre between you and others when out, especially if that person is sneezing or coughing.

Using tissues to sneeze or cough into, and then disposing of them immediately.

Washing our hands, washing our hands, washing our hands!! For at least 30 seconds with soap and water.

Self Isolation: for those who have been in direct contact/exposure to this virus or due to recent travels abroad. For 14 days they should not attend any social gatherings, such as church, work, school, concerts, restaurants, malls, stores, or use public transit: buses, trains, taxis, etc.

Home supplies should be: (reasonable amounts)

  • Soap – hand washing, dish and laundry
  • Bleach
  • Thermometer
  • Alcohol based sanitizers
  • N95 masks, if available. One use only.
  • Vinyl or nitrate gloves. One use only.
  • Paper towels
  • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
  • Facial tissues

Quarantining the ill and adjusting their care as needed.

We are attempting to “flatten the curve” of the spread of this virus. This means if we can slow down the new cases, it will give our doctors/nurses more time to respond and open up more resources for handling those who are ill.

This is all part of our mitigation strategy or system. This is our action plan to take control of this seemingly uncontrollable situation. We can all do our part!

Contact

SOS First Aid and Safety Training services the following Southern Ontario communities: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Guelph, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Acton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ancaster, Brantford, Stoney Creek, St. Catherines, and Welland.

Customer Reviews

Some details weren’t covered, like how fast do you administer compressions.
Andrea Cristini
Andrea Cristini
Great speaker, well paced classes.
Justin S. JR Writes
Justin S. JR Writes
L C
L C
Sachi Chan
Sachi Chan
Louna Aboud
Louna Aboud
Steve McKnight
Steve McKnight
Chris Froud
Chris Froud
Great Basic Life Support Instructor Recert class with Jen Ngo. Very interactive and stress-free!
Kim West-Acernese
Kim West-Acernese
Great BLS instructor revert with Jennifer. Thank you!
WickhamKatie
WickhamKatie
Reilly ODwyer
Reilly ODwyer
Rosa Baby
Rosa Baby
Payal Sharma
Payal Sharma
Thank you Michelle for making class exciting, engaging and most importantly informative.
You Don
You Don
Nadia Hammoodi
Nadia Hammoodi
Hark Marquez
Hark Marquez
Natasha Gilchrist
Natasha Gilchrist
Michelle is really amazing. I learn quiet a bit with her lessons cannot wit to re-take the course every year and hopefully I get to be in her class!!
Diane Ho
Diane Ho
Joseph Melo
Joseph Melo
Michelle was knowledgeable and super engaging with many experiences to share. I feel confident to provide emergency first aid if needed. Thank you!
Natasha Cappadocia
Natasha Cappadocia
Michelle was lovely! Her personal anecdotes made the material memorable and made what could have been a very long boring day, fun. Thank you!
Tyana Mohamed
Tyana Mohamed
Anthony Man
Anthony Man
Siddhartha Datta
Siddhartha Datta
briar hutchison
briar hutchison
JEERAYAPA ZHANG
JEERAYAPA ZHANG
Olivia T
Olivia T
Shreya Joshi
Shreya Joshi
Ioana Popescu
Ioana Popescu
manvi gambhir
manvi gambhir
Mr. Pounall made the experience extremely educating, while entertaining with his jokes every now and then. For the future he should work on enhancing his stand up comedy career and making a few global tours to make this 5 stars a 6 star.
Patrick L
Patrick L
Leonard Dsouza
Leonard Dsouza
Noman jamal
Noman jamal
Thalia
Thalia
Kiran Sandhu
Kiran Sandhu
Jessamyn Bickle
Jessamyn Bickle
Wonderful experience! Allyson , the instructor was very resourceful & up to date. Enjoyed thoroughly. A great learning experience.
Dipalee Vajaria
Dipalee Vajaria
sanja c
sanja c
Prakash Nagar is a great program host/teacher. 10/10 recommended 🙌🏻
Mae Suliguin
Mae Suliguin
The mask fit certification was professional and very thorough. I really liked Patrick, the mask fit specialist. He's very knowledgeable, really personable and fun. The Kingbridge Garden Circle location is also very accessible, clean and ample free parking. I was really pleased with the session.
Rita Ganassini
Rita Ganassini
purna desar
purna desar
Amazing teacher so well done
Samantha Kazanczuk
Samantha Kazanczuk
Mariel Mendoza
Mariel Mendoza
Lisa Pim (Lcp)
Lisa Pim (Lcp)
Tyler Pimentel
Tyler Pimentel
Johnny pimentel
Johnny pimentel
melanie cianci
melanie cianci
Moe Rafid
Moe Rafid
Pamela A
Pamela A
Laurie Gallant
Laurie Gallant
SOS First Aid and Safety Training is a wonderful organization! 🙏Speaking to Velma in many occasions, and meeting the instructor, Peggy, was enlightening as they assured me that my daughter, Mariella would receive accommodations achieving her First Aid and CPR Level C certification with support. 🥰 Being a parent who advocates for their child when in need is so important. ✅ Being heard and supported is truly amazing! 🦋 Every child, teenager, or adult learns is his or her own way. 💕Hopefully, people continue to see, acknowledge, and remember that everyone is special and there must be patience, empathy, and compassion for each person in any life situation! 👏🏼 Being able to obtain this certificate is a milestone for a 14 Year Old who said, “Mom, I could have had a day off on Saturday, and it is a class with adults! —-and we had to study an entire manual full of too many modules!!!” ☺️ Again, much gratitude and thanks to Velma and Peggy at SOS First Aid for the extra time and support given to my daughter. 🦋 Not only did the girls learn how to save lives, they learned how to adapt and persevere! Dream Big! 🙏
Mary Jane Guibao Wheeler
Mary Jane Guibao Wheeler
Purvi Desai
Purvi Desai
Very informative session. Patrick did a good job at making it fun.
Maria Jaramillo
Maria Jaramillo
Rebecca Keane
Rebecca Keane
Kacy Knight
Kacy Knight
Patrick was a great instructor!
Alifiya Al-Harazi
Alifiya Al-Harazi
Courtney Priest-Brown
Courtney Priest-Brown
Blood Orange Beauty
Blood Orange Beauty
Jon
Jon
Michelle k was amazing learned alot of good things, I found she was verry thorough and to the point, realy enjoyed and would recommend the class to my peers
Tevin Taylor
Tevin Taylor
Youngwon Kim
Youngwon Kim
Great course! Loved the instructor Mr.Nagar (I think) he was funny and provided great real life instructions and examples.
Divya Sharma
Divya Sharma
Patrick was a great instructor for N95 mask fitting test. Thanks for the great experience.
ahmad kd
ahmad kd
Patrick was great. Class was easy to understand and they were well prepared with copies of sheets and allowed e transfer payments for those who needed a mask provided which was very helpful.
Marina Naalband
Marina Naalband
Arielle U
Arielle U
It was amazing experience and Patrick was helpful .
Alia Mohamed
Alia Mohamed
Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox
The instructor Patrick was very pleasant and engaging. He explained the content clearly and was very knowledgeable about the topic.
Georgianna Kelly
Georgianna Kelly
Mary Jane Gambito
Mary Jane Gambito
Excellent session. Patrick explained everything clearly.
Rohini Telang
Rohini Telang
Patrick Sacco completed my N95 mask fit test and was very kind and knowledgeable. He explained the procedure and was very informative.
Conida Halley
Conida Halley
Oneisha Donaldson
Oneisha Donaldson
George El Khal
George El Khal
Eubelyn Pagayon
Eubelyn Pagayon
Ai T
Ai T
Instructor Michelle is lovely, knowledgeable, had a wealth of personal experiences to share to make the first aid material relatable and accessible. Velma always has a great team and I'm always happy to update my trainings with SOS every time.
Kim FB
Kim FB
Paul McNeil
Paul McNeil
Good place to do Mask fit test and pcr.Kind and generous instructor specially patrick
harshil patel
harshil patel
Fantastic instructor. Clear, easy to understand instructions. Very friendly.
Lisa Hickey
Lisa Hickey
SHREYA PATEL
SHREYA PATEL
Patrick Sacco was very thorough with the N95 testing!
Krystal Goulbourne
Krystal Goulbourne
Kaleigh Redel
Kaleigh Redel
Instructor is very energetic and have a good energy through out the training. Recommended.
Anthea Katon
Anthea Katon
Great way of educating, clear, good
maggie abrahem
maggie abrahem
Rodica Suciu
Rodica Suciu
Jahnvi patel
Jahnvi patel
Brianna Zuniga
Brianna Zuniga
KHUSHALI PATEL
KHUSHALI PATEL
Patrick was awesome! Great demonstration! He was fun, funny and made the test enjoyable. Totally recommend!!
Gaurav A
Gaurav A
levent sevim
levent sevim
Paul and Elizabeth Gilbert
Paul and Elizabeth Gilbert
The instructor Patrick was super friendly
Dr. Harsh Parikh
Dr. Harsh Parikh
Jackie Ruvalcaba
Jackie Ruvalcaba
Dorothy Murray
Dorothy Murray
E Aquino
E Aquino
Abbey Garant
Abbey Garant
The instructor (Mitchell)was amazing.
vennah tondoya
vennah tondoya
A fast and friendly fit test experience. Patrick Sacco was nice and very informative. Thanks!
Arianna Mailloux
Arianna Mailloux
HARPREET KAUR
HARPREET KAUR
WASIM SASSILA
WASIM SASSILA
Jyoti Syroop
Jyoti Syroop
Dazzel Roco
Dazzel Roco
Jasdeep Bains
Jasdeep Bains
Patrick was great!
Abena Agyeman
Abena Agyeman
Juliana De Oliveira
Juliana De Oliveira
Awesome instructors, the class was so enjoyable and easy to understand!
Arthi Siva
Arthi Siva
De Muffin
De Muffin
Mobs_ Nishikino
Mobs_ Nishikino
9th Oakville Trafalgar Beavers
9th Oakville Trafalgar Beavers
Somanpreet Kaur
Somanpreet Kaur
Fatima Albaiti
Fatima Albaiti
Beep Beep Sheep
Beep Beep Sheep
John Smill
John Smill
Danny Yousif
Danny Yousif
parveen jolly
parveen jolly
Baburajan Sundaram
Baburajan Sundaram
Jeremy Huang
Jeremy Huang
Instructor Jessica was really cool. She explains clearly and effectively. Enjoyed learning with her.
nu mai
nu mai
Mihir Khatri
Mihir Khatri
zia haq
zia haq
Monica R
Monica R
Andrew McCulloch
Andrew McCulloch
Praka is an amazing teacher very easy to follow along with, funny and helpful. As well as the organization is very hands on and nice with customers
shawn nassir
shawn nassir
Manuel Filla
Manuel Filla
Darryl Sinclair
Darryl Sinclair
PakTo Kwok
PakTo Kwok
caroline martyn belchior
caroline martyn belchior
Ian Dawson
Ian Dawson
Instructor Patrick Succo was very helpful and led a great, in-depth N95 mask fit class.
kathleenlindsay97
kathleenlindsay97
Cloey Lymburner
Cloey Lymburner
Vaishali Damor
Vaishali Damor
Tracy
Tracy
Adam Casey
Adam Casey
Maaria A
Maaria A
Very good
Diana Kubi
Diana Kubi
Wonderful and well detailed! Thanks Patrick!
jemila binkola
jemila binkola
Class was well structured and the instructor was well educated and friendly
Sarah Fletcher
Sarah Fletcher
Iulia Roman
Iulia Roman
Patrick was amazing! Super intelligent and helpful. I'll definitely be returning when my mask fit expires and need to renew.
Julia Abbate
Julia Abbate
Patrick Sacco was amazing!!
kiana saquing
kiana saquing
Patrick was an excellent instructor for mask fit testing, he is very knowledgeable and informative. Definitely recommend sos first aid and safety training for mask fit testing.
Patricia Seyffert
Patricia Seyffert
Emily Hsiao
Emily Hsiao
Great experience! Patrick is awesome! Thanks again for helping me with my N95 mask fit test!
Julia Fabro
Julia Fabro
Excellent and very friendly. Really enjoyed the class
Tamika Bramwell
Tamika Bramwell

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