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

Olena Urbanowicz
Olena Urbanowicz
george hany
george hany
Loved Patrick he was the best! Halirious and informative! Highly recommend him
Nidhi Patel
Nidhi Patel
Vanessa Manocha
Vanessa Manocha
Vineeta Lekhram
Vineeta Lekhram
Eva N
Eva N
The Class was really fun and Patrick made it easy..
Elena Tan
Elena Tan
Excellent traning
Jaspreet kaur
Jaspreet kaur
Elizabeth Levy
Elizabeth Levy
Grace Jung
Grace Jung
Janjan Mangitngit
Janjan Mangitngit
Chantal Amankwaah
Chantal Amankwaah
marina elhamy
marina elhamy
JOYCE YEBOAH
JOYCE YEBOAH
Patrick was a great instructor for the mask fit test, very friendly
Dazel Nelmida
Dazel Nelmida
A really great person! Fun to work with :)
sarah ahmed
sarah ahmed
Katelyn Prudencio
Katelyn Prudencio
It was a fun lesson to learn about masks!
kelly Sun
kelly Sun
Patrick was a very friendly instructor for my N95 mask fit testing and funny too
Magdelina Yimesghen
Magdelina Yimesghen
Amazing mask fit session! Patrick was so kind and informative. He made the session a comfortable place for everyone, answering any and every question we had. I highly suggest coming to this session for your mask fit! I'll definitely be coming back again when my 2 year validation expires. Great job Patrick! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Marjorie Tejano
Marjorie Tejano
Cindy Vargas
Cindy Vargas
Nabeeha Tabassum
Nabeeha Tabassum
Lis T
Lis T
Very good and helpful! Very good experience
Priscilla Biju
Priscilla Biju
Ellise Gabrielle Flor
Ellise Gabrielle Flor
Marian Yhane Marcelo
Marian Yhane Marcelo
Diana Jugowiec
Diana Jugowiec
Nya Duarte
Nya Duarte
Patrick is an awesome instructor. Very kind, welcoming and patient. Efficient training done.
Fares Madaoui
Fares Madaoui
Lora Mae Malazarte
Lora Mae Malazarte
Sharmayne MK
Sharmayne MK
Amy Vickramasinghe
Amy Vickramasinghe
Melissa Gray
Melissa Gray
Fox Calamity
Fox Calamity
nelson melo
nelson melo
On August 22nd, 2021 I took my First Aid and Safety Training at the Oak Park Neighborhood Centre and my instructor was amazing. She made the information relevant not just to our everyday life, but to our current situation. She taught in a way that everyone can understand. She answered the questions we had in a words that we understood and in a judgement free environment. Protocols for Covid-19 were in place, we were spaced appropriately and mask were worn, all procedures were done individually with sanitized mannequins. Well done!!
mon olliver
mon olliver
Excellent instructor, very thorough, helpful and friendly
Ranna Manbodh
Ranna Manbodh
Manjit Singh
Manjit Singh
Patrick was courteous, informative and kind. I highly recommend this mask fitting session to anyone who's looking to get their mask certification.
Tu-Anh Nguyen
Tu-Anh Nguyen
Mr. Patrick is understandble regarding instructions.
Frencshield Nuestro
Frencshield Nuestro
Emma Miller
Emma Miller
Renae Campbell
Renae Campbell
Yusra Syeda
Yusra Syeda
Andrea Castro
Andrea Castro
Ellie Burland
Ellie Burland
Arbelyn Marohom
Arbelyn Marohom
Corinna Viscusi
Corinna Viscusi
Lily Kisilevich
Lily Kisilevich
Luzinhel John Marohom
Luzinhel John Marohom
Milly Valdivia
Milly Valdivia
chuks Brian
chuks Brian
Stefano Taglieri
Stefano Taglieri
Super organized and clean.
Sophia M
Sophia M
Julia Romano
Julia Romano
Lily Li
Lily Li
Amazing class! Great instructor!
destiny sight
destiny sight
I had Ally for my CPR course. She was very friendly, professional and made the day long course feel enjoyable. Thanks so much! Would recommend
Austin Paliga
Austin Paliga
Alicia Anderson
Alicia Anderson
Sadika Dougheili
Sadika Dougheili
Brittany F
Brittany F
Had an Amazing Experience!!! Patrick is so informative and helpful, I recommend taking this class👍
Kiran Imran
Kiran Imran
Merry Kamel
Merry Kamel
Julianna Ebarvia
Julianna Ebarvia
Gerbie Nkosi
Gerbie Nkosi
The test was very well explained 👏 👌. Will recommend to others.Excellent instructor !!
Joyous Joy
Joyous Joy
kind guy patrick thank you
likkledianito
likkledianito
Sharalee Solomon
Sharalee Solomon
Amazing fun experience
Arian A
Arian A
Trae Colley
Trae Colley
S Pbailee
S Pbailee
Lee Ann
Lee Ann
Tyson has been a great instructor. He answered questions in detail and made it a comfortable learning environment. 10/10 would recommend!Course was completed at the Mississauga site.
Tiffanie Christopher
Tiffanie Christopher
Tyson was a great instructor!! Very informative and also shared some stories.
Diana “dayana” Hosien
Diana “dayana” Hosien
the training was educational, and the facilitator was knowledgeable and at ease with the group.
Andrea Jantoska
Andrea Jantoska
Tyson was the best instructor one could hope for. He took his time to go through the material and was really hands on. I thought the class was going to be long and boring but I actually ended up having fun and I feel 100% prepared to help in an emergency situation.
Alake Mills
Alake Mills
Had a First Aid/CPR-C course at the living arts centre and it was great. Was very informative and our instructor Tyson really tried to make it an engaging and enjoyable day
Myles Abreo
Myles Abreo
It was nice to met Patrick sacco
Raghad Baraket
Raghad Baraket
I attended a Mask Fit Testing class and my instructor, Patrick, was amazing! He was very outgoing and made everyone feel comfortable and relaxed while telling us about the important information we needed to know. I highly recommend!
Keiyana Campbell
Keiyana Campbell
Amrit Rehsi
Amrit Rehsi
Yuliia Bilous
Yuliia Bilous
Mario Sacco was a very enthusiastic instructor. Very pleasant.
Katrina K
Katrina K
It was a good experience. Partick Sacoo is a good instructor.
amandeep khurana
amandeep khurana
Class was as fun as first aid can be. Tyson was an awesome instructor.
Daniel Tchitchkevitch
Daniel Tchitchkevitch
Awesome teacher, made it light and fun. Great job Tyson.Multiple dates available - easy to flex with personal schedule
Tasha Singh
Tasha Singh
Such a great experience completing my mask fit training with SOS First Aid. Mario was very informative and kept the class entertaining!
Rachel Hunter
Rachel Hunter
I came here for my First Aid and CPR HCP/BLS level. The theory portion was hybrid and the practical was in person at Living Arts Centre. The training was well organized and very informative. They provide everything that you will need for the training. I will definitely come back when I have to renew my certification.
Natalie
Natalie
Well my experience was a bit scary because I was not mentally prepared. At first I thought I was going to pass out but then I was able to withstand the smell of what the instructor was spraying into the mask. I thought I would pass out at first when I had on the N-95 mask but then I realize that it was doable and I can tolerate the test. Good luck.
Avril Jones
Avril Jones
I had an amazing experience . The instructor was respectful and the course is wonderful.
Samantha S
Samantha S
thank you:) i enjoyed it and i met an awesome instructor
Bonu Satimova
Bonu Satimova
Friendly, informative and efficient.
Vinita H.C.
Vinita H.C.
Skirt skirt
Skirt skirt
Lauren Trevors
Lauren Trevors
Sydney
Sydney
Dania
Dania
Krista Pearce
Krista Pearce
Herleen Mudher
Herleen Mudher
Just completed my training with Julie. She was fantastic, knowledgeable and very patient. She has so much experience and she trained us so well. SOS First Aid and Safety Training are true professionals and care so much for us to succeed and that is key. Keep up the great work. Thank you so much Julie:)
Amanuel Sengal
Amanuel Sengal
Well organized, excellent instructors for Remote First Aid Training. I would highly recommend SOS for training.
Kim Macdonald
Kim Macdonald
hannah zanetti
hannah zanetti
H Elbahu
H Elbahu

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Effective Sept 22/2021: In accordance with Ontario Government regulations, SOS First Aid requires proof of vaccination along with valid ID for all participants attending SOS First Aid classes at our public locations. Participants can download proof of vaccination from theOntario Government Portal