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

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
I really enjoyed the class. The lectures were understandable. It was a pleasure to be here today. I have a say personally, our instructor was very nice person.
Farhina Hossain
Farhina Hossain
Kaif Khan
Kaif Khan
Prakash was an amazing instructor! I have taken this course twice before, but felt like I learnt the most this time around. I was a lot more comfortable doing the sling wrappings.
Harini Rajaratnam
Harini Rajaratnam
Great teacher and comfortable place
Marwah alshabeeb
Marwah alshabeeb
Andriecha
Andriecha
i can say i have the knowledge and confidence to give primary care whenever wherever needed if possible. Recognize and prioritize.i appreciate the way Mr. Prakash Nagar provided knowledge in a cool and stress free environment to the students.
Annu Agrawal
Annu Agrawal
It was very educational and I learnt how to save lifes which is very important
Sana Khan
Sana Khan
Prakash Nagar is a great teacher.Breifly teach each nd every concept
Pooja Bhattarai
Pooja Bhattarai
It was very informative session…well structured and conveyed. Thank you
S T
S T
Like this place as they explain everything very well.
marlen flores
marlen flores
Alshaima Sharafaddin
Alshaima Sharafaddin
shivani sharma
shivani sharma
Pleasant
Red Kakarot
Red Kakarot
Very informative and full of knowledge. Knows exactly how to deliver an information and to make you remember it. Thank Mr. pakash.
Noor Taha
Noor Taha
The class was very smooth and you learn alot on basic life support.
Charmaine Ruiz
Charmaine Ruiz
IG T
IG T
Niya xoxo
Niya xoxo
Very good instructor, explains everything in detail with explanations.
Priyanka Manjunath
Priyanka Manjunath
Had a training session with Patty for Standard First Aid and BLS. She was amazing, made the class fun and entertaining definitely hope i get her again.
Crystal
Crystal
cincinnati808
cincinnati808
Patty was an excellent instructor! Very thorough and good knowledge of the material :)
David Vaz
David Vaz
tish doyle
tish doyle
The best class I ever had , Patty is super cool teacher
Manish Khurana
Manish Khurana
Excellent instructor with amazing methodology, knowledge and experience.
NPS LAW
NPS LAW
Adam Khan
Adam Khan
Aleyna D.
Aleyna D.
This instructor is very knowledgeable and made the course fun to learn. He answered all of our questions in ways that was very easy to understand. I feel like I've learned and retained alot of the information based on his teaching style. Thank you so much😊
eshanti singh
eshanti singh
KC B
KC B
The experience was amazing and I really learned a lot from it.
Marianne Rose Guelos
Marianne Rose Guelos
Prakash Nagar sir is amazing! Cleared all the concepts and reduces anxiety and helps build a confidence of saving lives in you!
Sushil Katti
Sushil Katti
Very good demonstration of cpr technique. Instructor very good
Kenna Fay
Kenna Fay
Supportive,knowledgeable and very kind instructor.
Kerstine Banares
Kerstine Banares
The CPR/First aid training was very informative and the day went by smoothly. Instructor Prakash explained everything well and tested our knowledge along the way to make sure we felt comfortable. Thanks to SOS first aid and safety training for the great experience.
Par B
Par B
My Facilitator for the course was Mr. Prakash Nagar, and he made the whole session so interesting that the whole 8hrs passed in a blink of an eye!!It was a wonderful interaction and I’m really glad that I got to learn so much today from him. Thank you!
Parshwati Bhaumik
Parshwati Bhaumik
Filip Pejic
Filip Pejic
Prakash is a very enthusiastic but patient teacher. Excellent hands on assistance with practical portions of class when needed. I now feel more confident in providing CPR as well as applying tourniquets and slings!
Elizabeth M
Elizabeth M
Made the practical learning easy to understand and follow
Alayah E
Alayah E
It’s a great experience to study with today’s instructor. He’s knowledgeable and encouraging. He helped us understanding and remembering the knowledge better.
Grace Cheung
Grace Cheung
10/10 experience teacher was amazing
Zoeceh
Zoeceh
N Malinay
N Malinay
I want to say a big thank you to Ms VIOLA, she was so professional and she made the course understandable and fun.
bee babs
bee babs
nandita sarin
nandita sarin
Very interesting and engaging training. Thank you!
Amy Chen
Amy Chen
Great teacher who explained the whys behind all the procedures and encouraged class participation. Wanted the class to be longer as they seemed to have a lot of knowledge to share.
Shani K.
Shani K.
Interactive , interesting and fun. Great experience
Belinda Shemilt
Belinda Shemilt
Marina Douglas
Marina Douglas
Prakesh was a really great instructor, he’s very entertaining and easy to learn from.
Nikababy TV
Nikababy TV
Vickie Ng
Vickie Ng
Very helpful and knowledgeable teacherGot excellent trainingThank you
Rania Beshay
Rania Beshay
I did my training at the Kingsbridge Garden location and Prakash was the First Aid and CPR instructor for our group.He was so fantastic , friendly and provides knowledge in a fun way. The day breezed by and I learned so much. I highly recommend this location for any first aid/cpr classes or recertification.
CKas 7
CKas 7
I loved my experience with the Red Cross for my First Aid CPR certification! Prakash Nagar was amazing and so knowledgeable. He made things make sense. Thank you!
Melanie Gagnon
Melanie Gagnon
Valeriia Voronina
Valeriia Voronina
Sarah Emnace
Sarah Emnace
Khushi Walia
Khushi Walia
kiran saini
kiran saini
Rupinder Kaur
Rupinder Kaur
Great instructor. Good pacing for the course, it didn’t feel like it was dragging. The instructor keep everyone interested.
Raquel Heayn
Raquel Heayn
Kelly Reid
Kelly Reid
Denis was great… great energy
Emma Frattaroli
Emma Frattaroli
Mina Hanna
Mina Hanna
Instructor made it comprehensive and easy to understand.
Andrew McLean
Andrew McLean
Very informative, and enjoyed the direction from the instructor helped where technique needed to be improved
jonathan posella
jonathan posella
Instructor provided useful real life context to information and skills. Very engaging and easy to listen to.
Dalton Pears
Dalton Pears
Ryan Erskine
Ryan Erskine
Tazeen Siddiqui
Tazeen Siddiqui
Alina Zahid
Alina Zahid
It was a great course with a ver pleasant and knowledgeable teacher. If I could have one complaint, it would be the need for a scheduled break in the morning session.
Nicole Stockill
Nicole Stockill
Great and convenient place to take the course. Instructor was amazing and great mix of learning with fun and laughter . Ready to give first aid and CPR .Highly recommend 😊
Pooja Ghori
Pooja Ghori
Prakash Nagar is the best first aid instructor I have had the pleasure of learning from. His knowledge and intelligence is obvious, his passion to teach is inspiring. I'll be coming back every year for my recertification, and I'm sure I'll learn something new every time
Timothy Votruba
Timothy Votruba
Completed my CPR/BLS blended course with Prakash. He is an amazing instructor. Enjoyed every aspect of the class!
Hafsa Haneef
Hafsa Haneef
The course (BLS / SFA Blended) was well taught and the instructor was charismatic and knowledgeable. Still learned a few things although this is my second recertification of standard first aid!
Alfred Mikhael
Alfred Mikhael
M
M
Vera Akatugba Ikanone
Vera Akatugba Ikanone
The instructor is patient and knowledgeable.
Pearl Lin
Pearl Lin
Rachelle Ho
Rachelle Ho
Lena Skibicki
Lena Skibicki
Ray Chang
Ray Chang
it’s good the course
Eunice Kwon
Eunice Kwon
Great experience and presentation skills that allow for in-depth understanding.
Saifallah Ayyad
Saifallah Ayyad
Before coming to my training, I was very anxious but Michelle & Jessica made the training very personal & interesting! They talk about real life situations with their real life experiences! They also care for your experience during your training and make sure that you are comfortable! Definitely will come back here again and recommend them to my friends who needs First Aid Trainings.
Macy S
Macy S
digna George Antoine
digna George Antoine
Chehal Bangotra
Chehal Bangotra
Von Immanuel Yagong
Von Immanuel Yagong
Daniel Tyrrell
Daniel Tyrrell
Janai Menzies
Janai Menzies
Had a great time learning my standard first Aid with CFR-C and AED. The instructor,A.T Summer was very great with her teachings and practicals.
olumide bezi
olumide bezi
Loubna
Loubna
Very knowledgeable and informative instructor!
Nor Farion
Nor Farion
Rhiannon Dawe
Rhiannon Dawe
Vishwa Bhatt
Vishwa Bhatt
Arizo Hasanzadah
Arizo Hasanzadah
Amandeep Kaur
Amandeep Kaur
Really nice. Provided a temporary certificate needed for my clinical as the real certificate would not arrive in 5-7 business days. :)
Chelsea Cano
Chelsea Cano
Anthony Beilin
Anthony Beilin
Olivia Conway
Olivia Conway
Irma VB
Irma VB
Dennis was a great instructor with great humor to help pass the long time😂Definitely recommend this course for anyone who’s been wanting to get their First Aid Certification.
Kime Hurrichuran
Kime Hurrichuran
Anish Shirodker
Anish Shirodker
BS bagotrash
BS bagotrash

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