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!

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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

Prakash is a great instructor! Knowledgable, passionate, engaging, and he made the class fun. He also discussed a lot of different scenarios that were challenging and made me think, and that caused me to really dig into what I learned online to provide the best answer. His teaching reminded me what the priority/most important thing in each scenario was, and that you have to assess each situation with careful consideration. Thank you, Prakash! I feel confident that I'll be able to help someone in any situation, minor or emergency. 😊
Melissa Gunther
Melissa Gunther
This is the First Aid course to be on board with.Ally led today’s instruction! What an amazing instructor who uses her teaching to cater to various learning styles and effectively gets the training done. So appreciative. Very grateful. Thank you!
Primrose Lewis
Primrose Lewis
Melissa
Melissa
Ms Ally, our instructor is so helpful, she lets us participate in the activity, she makes us feel relaxed, can be easily understood and can be easily approached. The place is clean and in order!! Thank you SOS!
Cristina Montefalcon
Cristina Montefalcon
Navreet was amazing! She explained everything in good detail and made the first Aid and CPR training a breeze!
Logic Is a Race
Logic Is a Race
Ally was awesome!!!
alex ibazeta
alex ibazeta
My two instructors today at 10 Kingsbridge Garden Circle reawaken the extreme importance of not just getting certified as a Firstaider but ensuring we left more confident and knowledgeable to help as needed. #nolongerabystander
GABRIELLE SAMUEL
GABRIELLE SAMUEL
This was an amazing course with some excellent teachers. Both Ally and Lydia were so incredibly patient and caring and incredible at giving well thought out answers. Long day but it was so nice to have such nice people teaching you. The test at the end was short but intensive aswell. So pay attention!
Anne marie P
Anne marie P
It was great…Thanks Mr Dennis 🤗
ODUNAYO ADESEWA
ODUNAYO ADESEWA
Great session with Dennis
Sonia A
Sonia A
Training with Daniel was very interactive and fun. I learnt alot.
Kristina Smith
Kristina Smith
Karen Guevarra
Karen Guevarra
Melvyn was awesome!!! Very entertaining, very informative, and had the ability to keep it all very simple to remember.
Adam Ahmed
Adam Ahmed
Maysaa Mueen
Maysaa Mueen
Mario is an excellent instructor.
Veronica Inaibagha
Veronica Inaibagha
I am happy being lucky to have this course with a great instructor Patty Turnbull. She is very knowledgeable and efficient, her accent is very clear , she is talented to educate in a way to keep us attentive without feeling board although it is a long day. Thank you Patty. Thank you SOS
Louris Girgues
Louris Girgues
Patty was a great instructor, very easy to follow and just as easy to talk to about any questions to clarify.
Avocado Ception
Avocado Ception
Benson Amihere
Benson Amihere
Prakash was our trainer who made this training fun and dispensed a lot of information with examples. Prakash converted complex information into easy digestible information without overwhelming us. There was not a single dull moment in the entire training and Prakash covered every aspect of first-aid/CPR in timely manner. He's passionate, well organized, very engaging and humorous. Thank you, Prakash.
Kulwant Singh
Kulwant Singh
Peggy was excellent.
Tristan Wiggins
Tristan Wiggins
Training is good and more hands on with real life examples.
Viralkumar Rathod
Viralkumar Rathod
Peggy was an excellent instructor for the First Aid and CPR training. Her knowledge and teaching style made the course informative and engaging.
Zee Shan
Zee Shan
I completed my BLS and standard first aid training with Julie, and it was an amazing experience. Julie's professionalism, knowledge, and helpfulness created a safe and enjoyable learning environment. Her contagious laughter made the entire experience even more enjoyable. It was a pleasure having her as my instructor.
Soleil Smith
Soleil Smith
Patty Turnbull was a wonderful teacher and took time to help us, and go through the material thank you Patty!
Omar Khan
Omar Khan
Patty was amazing
David Kerrigan
David Kerrigan
Prachir Pasricha
Prachir Pasricha
Sakshi
Sakshi
Had a wonderful great session on First aid with Patty Turnbull. The class was very insightful and blended with great sense of humour to keep the audience active and attentive. Absolutely loved the experience.
Surya Ram
Surya Ram
Patty was very funny and the information provided was clear. She demonstrated every method and gave us tips on how to improve.
Charlin Osei
Charlin Osei
Patty Turnbull did a fantastic job with the course. Thank you
Jesse Dwyer
Jesse Dwyer
Has a great training session. Our instructor Patty was great at explaining the material, what to look out for and how best to help the person. She equipped us well in providing CPR and using AED.Thank you for a great session!!
Smit Chotai
Smit Chotai
Great experience. Instructor Mario Sacco was interactive and made it an enjoyable experience.
Amr Abdalla
Amr Abdalla
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Excellent experience. Instructor Mario is funny and very good Instructor.
Asima Sultana
Asima Sultana
Easy to understand and great humour. Will be back in 2 years!
Mayou Stoddart
Mayou Stoddart
Such a sweet man, funny guy.
Dania
Dania
Prabh Gill
Prabh Gill
I am very happy to be here and study with Mario. He is very nice person and he helped us mask fit very seriously and he was very dedicated. I learned a lot of knowledge about mask knowledge and skills. Thanks Mario, thanks the Red Cross.
Enqi Huang
Enqi Huang
Kamani Sirisena
Kamani Sirisena
Session was delivered professionally.
M Y
M Y
Thank you Prakash for an awesome class. I didnt think I wouldnt learn so much more from the class today, my class was able to get lots of misconceptions clarified. You challenged us with critical scenarios and made us think. From my past experience , I think first aid class would be boring but for the first time at the SOS first aid centre, I’m very happy with the instructor. Highly recommend!
Natalie Le
Natalie Le
I just wanted to say thank you very much to Patty for being a great and wonderful instructor. For making us understand the material thoroughly and clearly. And most of all for being patient with us. If I need to do another course that they offer, I would definitely do it here and highly recommend it for everyone. Thanks again Patty and SOS First Aid and Safety Training
Jake Ilyas Qureshi
Jake Ilyas Qureshi
Patty was great! Very informative and patient
Faisa S
Faisa S
i did bls and first aid training here with patty. she was such a good teacher/instructor. she was very helpful, funny, and engaging she gives a lot of stories which help us remember important details. it was a really fun and informative class. i wish the best for mrs patty!!!
tierra cab
tierra cab
khadija gaouzi
khadija gaouzi
Patty was great!
Leanne
Leanne
Solomon Cusi
Solomon Cusi
I had patty for my instructor and she was so good!! She explained everything in a clear and concise manner. It was overall a fun two days in class with her!!😄
Shakali Martin
Shakali Martin
I am really impressed by the teaching method of Mr. Prakash nagar.
Himanshu
Himanshu
It was an amazing experience! Prakash Nagar is having great knowledge with First Aid & CPR. He clarified clearly when to administer CPR, AED which was a bit confusing for me when I did the reading online.
Dharmesh Patel
Dharmesh Patel
Vineeta Lekhram
Vineeta Lekhram
Thao Nguyen
Thao Nguyen
Every aspect was taken and explains properly
Olga Ezcurra
Olga Ezcurra
The instructors were very nice and informative. They gave great feedback throughout the whole process
Naomi McDonald
Naomi McDonald
Instruction was clear and the instructor ensured that all questions and concerns were addressed appropriately. Highly recommend!
Jacob Waddell (jcwaddell)
Jacob Waddell (jcwaddell)
It was good and entertaining as well.☺️
Nisha 120991
Nisha 120991
Patty is an amazing instructor. She explain all the materials in a very effective manner. I liked her teaching skills.
Raman Kamboj
Raman Kamboj
Patty is a very nice woman and her as an instructor is fantastic! Was such a nice experience.Thanks 😊
Sadaf Raza
Sadaf Raza
Seriously...Patty is such a gem of a woman and her as an instructor is fantastic! Was such a lovely experience! Hopefully I get her for my RE-certification again next time!
Raven Feldman
Raven Feldman
Great instruction and easily accessible location with ample parking.
Sasha M
Sasha M
Katey Hamilton
Katey Hamilton
Catherine G. Dela Cruz
Catherine G. Dela Cruz
Had a great class with Dr. Prakash. He is super knowledgable! I will recert with SOS next year.
Beonca Luk
Beonca Luk
Patty is an amazing instructor. I had a fun & educational experience.
h w
h w
Fantastic lecturer and is very precise about the whole training.
Ray Arnold
Ray Arnold
Patty is an amazing instructor. She explains all the materials thoroughly.
Keerthana Neethirasa
Keerthana Neethirasa
Patty is one of the best instructors I've had, she's super nice and fun and always ensuring everybody is on track and performing well. She made the class fun and go by quick
dema alnakeeb
dema alnakeeb
Ranya Salih
Ranya Salih
It was a great experience
Jemimah Robin
Jemimah Robin
Mario was awesome! Detailed, quick, and friendly instructor.
Julian Salvador
Julian Salvador
Mario is Very knowledgeable!Highly recommend!
Nida Javaid
Nida Javaid
Mario was a pleasant teacher that was patient and humorous.
A_Stumble
A_Stumble
Mario was very knowledgeable, humorous and efficient with the process. Highly recommend him for anyone!
S T
S T
Miranda Ko
Miranda Ko
Instructor Ally, was absolutely phenomenal. The classroom environment was excellent, and Ally made sure everyone understood what was being taught. Thank you for your teachings
Ashley Amaral
Ashley Amaral
Very great teaching by Ally
Omobolanle Adebayo-Oyeyipo
Omobolanle Adebayo-Oyeyipo
Amazing instructor, made the day seamless and interesting with great examples and information. Thank you Ally Sommer
Suzie Catarino
Suzie Catarino
Very nice and interacting session with Prakash, I really dont know about Israel been the only country using the Red Crystal symbol, but today I know.
segun joseph
segun joseph
I was really pleased with learning about the the priority in the impalement and CPR. It was something I didn’t know before and I feel that’s extremely important. Also the instructor was fantastic.
James Proulx
James Proulx
i didn’t know that peeing on a jellyfish sting was actually the right thing to do
Niall Harris
Niall Harris
Absolutely loved both instructorsDr.Prakash and Patty Turnbull.Both instructors showed their passion and dedication through their lectures and teaching. Everyone participated and had fun while learning. I would recommend them both.
Tisha s
Tisha s
The Instructors were very thorough with the course. Really learned a lot.
Ehsan Ahmad
Ehsan Ahmad
Vanessa Tran
Vanessa Tran
Very good information and very helpful
david luu
david luu
Patty was engaging, good at explaining things and open to feedback
amber elley
amber elley
Patty was a great instructor. Pace of the course and hands on instruction were very good.
Jim Koitsopoulos
Jim Koitsopoulos
This is an awesome experience different mask fitting I had before.
PVM PVM
PVM PVM
Alyssa Viozzi
Alyssa Viozzi
Great session!
Latifa Latifa
Latifa Latifa
The teacher was friendly and taught me well, teaching me things from misconceptions about First Aid to vital practices.
Maxwell Thornton
Maxwell Thornton
Really fun and I learned a lot. It was very interactive.Something I would have preferred, as we are learning the ABC’s is give us time to make sure we are doing it properly before asking us to do it quickly. I felt a lot of pressure trying to do it quickly that I was missing proper steps.
Jennifer Lam
Jennifer Lam
I had a great experience. My instructor (Prakash) made sure that we understood all the concepts and we did a lot of hands-on training as well. This session cleared up a lot of confusions in my mind, and left me feeling more confident about how to respond in an emergency.
Mehroo Siddiqui
Mehroo Siddiqui
Debbie was an excellent instructor! She taught the course in a systematic way and made it easy to get through.
Hitesh Sharma Burgus
Hitesh Sharma Burgus
Ajay Ramoutar
Ajay Ramoutar
I have been using SOS First aid and Safety Training for my first aid qualifications. This year, I renewed my BLS. Patty and the team have been professional and knowledgeable, with an emphasis on practical application. I refer all coworkers to SOS and would recommend anyone looking for first aid to come here.
Daniel Tyrrell
Daniel Tyrrell
sharnjeet sandhu
sharnjeet sandhu
Things I learned that I didn't know before- You can get anaphylaxis from a bee sting.- How to apply slings (because previously I got certification during covid there was social distancing, and we only watched on a video).- A lot of things that you see on television may be false or misconceptions. For example, amputated limbs do not go inside ice but it has to be wrapped up in a gauze. It is labeled and then put inside an ice bag.
Teresa Mai
Teresa Mai
Park Great instructor and great class. Learned so many new things
fadi haddad
fadi haddad
Allie was outstanding 👏 Thank you
Liz Grilo
Liz Grilo
It was really good experience
Jagjit Sandhu
Jagjit Sandhu

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