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Synergy's Bio-safety Protocols

Bio-safety Protocols

What to expect for in person programming


Under current Chief Medical Officer of Health Orders, businesses and entities are required to:

  • implement practices to minimize the risk of transmission of infection among attendees;

  • provide procedures for rapid response if an attendee develops symptoms of illness;

  • ensure that attendees maintain high levels of sanitation and personal hygiene;

  • comply, to the extent possible, with the COVID-19 General Relaunch Guidance

This document has been developed to support Synergy in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among attendees (including staff, volunteers, attendees and the general public)

This document and the guidance within it is subject to change and will be updated as needed

Protocol Guidelines

General Conditions

  • Continued high level of vigilance regarding individual and facility hygiene

  • The most effective way for staff/volunteers to prevent spread of COVID-19 is through consistent hand hygiene practices, respiratory etiquette, continuous masking where possible, physical distancing and environmental cleaning/disinfection measures

  • Staff/Volunteer Self Screening for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, and a general feeling of being unwell

  • Support/Encouragement for staff and volunteers to undergo regular testing and to download the AHS Tracing App

  • Staff/Volunteer travel outside the country must be followed by a 14-day quarantine

  • Support for people who test positive to enable effective isolation and contain spread

  • Staff/Volunteer expectation to follow strict adherence to AHS recommendations outside of work to prevent bringing illness into the workplace

  • Rules and guidance for the use of non-medical masks always when more than one individual is in the same room, inside, at the same time or outside when participants cannot remain a minimum of 2 meters apart

  • Staff feeling uncomfortable with returning to work may speak with the Team Leader to arrange a leave of absence if possible

  • Rapid response, much like accomplished on March 16th, in the event of possible outbreaks of COVID-19


  • All staff/volunteers must conduct daily self-check for symptoms of COVID-19 (listed below) before reporting for work. Please call Synergy supervisors if you are unsure about your symptoms (403-212-0242, ext. 1)

  • Any individual with symptoms of COVID-19 must immediately self-isolate and notify Synergy supervisors immediately

  • Any individual that have symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested as soon as possible, in collaboration with AHS Public Health

  • Symptomatic individuals MUST be isolated and may not work on site until their test results are back and they are advised about further requirements for isolation by public health

  • Should a staff member, volunteer or program participant test positive for COVID – 19, programs will be suspended, and the Centre closed for a minimum of 72 hours or as long as directed by Alberta Health

  • Synergy will follow all instructions given by Alberta Health before reopening

Site Arrival/Departure

  • ALL individuals are required to physically sign in/out of the Centre logbook and must immediately wash their hands, following all instructions on posted signage

  • Staff/volunteers will wash their hands before putting a mask on and before/after touching anything that may be touched by anyone else. They will additionally wash their hands before and after taking a mask off

  • Staff/Volunteers who are required to be in close contact with youth or other adults (first aid, activity instruction, wellness care, etc.) MUST wear a mask and when appropriate, gloves

  • Sanitizing of all workspaces is required before and immediately after use

  • No shared food will be allowed, including condiments, etc.

  • Staff are welcome to bring their own lunch/snacks but must package them well and store them [in the refrigerator] separate from other’s

  • Staff belongings (jackets, shoes etc.) must be stored separate from others

  • Wherever possible, staff should not share small office equipment (each member should gather the items they need and mark their name on them)

  • Large office equipment (photo copier, paper shredder etc.) must be wiped down twice per day.

  • These precautions extend to all office tenants/users

  • Whenever physical distancing is not absolutely guaranteed, everyone must wear masks, even outdoors

Site Maintenance

  • Hand sanitizer is available in every common room within the Centre and antibacterial soap within all three washrooms

  • Sanitation of all washrooms, with AHS approved products, will be completed every hour with a record kept of the time and area cleaned in a cleaning logbook, including when you leave. Sanitation of all program areas will occur twice per day.

  • Staff will be trained on proper techniques and full time/permanent staff will be required to check the cleaning logs at least twice daily

  • The Centre will also be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day by staff and professionally cleaned once per week

  • Physical distancing signage will be posted throughout the Centre, on the deck and in the park

  • All items that cannot be easily cleaned between individual uses, will be stored away

  • Signage is prominent throughout the Centre to remind youth and staff/volunteers to wash their hands regularly

  • Staff will also provide regular prompts for youth to wash their hands before and after they eat, after washroom breaks and between activities

  • Signage to remind participants not to attend if they are unwell and physical distancing signs will also be prominent

  • Staff, Tenants and Volunteers will be required to log in and out at the beginning and end of their shift and at any time they leave and/or return to the premises, providing times and contact information.

  • Visitors who are not required for the operation of the Centre or the programs within, will not be permitted to stay during program times

  • Outside resources, staying more than 10 minutes, (maintenance people, cleaners, caterers, trainers, delivery drivers etc.) will also be required to log in and out

  • This information will be kept on file for a minimum of four weeks for the purposes of providing tracing information to AHS should the need arise


  • All activities will be carefully planned to maximize physical distancing and ensure they do not require sharing objects or frequently touching common surfaces. Items will be sanitized between each individual use

  • Small meetings and trainings (15 people or less) are allowed within our program room, 4 or less within our interview room, 4 or less in our shared work space and no more than one person in individual offices (with the exception of 1-1 counselling sessions with strict adherence to masking and hygiene rules

  • We allow youth programs to operate indoors, as weather dictates, based on the numbers quoted above (a maximum of 12 youth and three adults at a time)

  • Parents will be required to sign all youth, under 14 years of age, in and out of each program session and complete a prescreening questionnaire prior to taking part in activities

  • All administrative work will be completed without contact and only one parent or guardian per youth will be permitted to sign them in or out

  • A designated staff member will be responsible for this process and they will remind youth of the requirements for physical distancing and hygiene

  • Whenever possible, groups will be split into two smaller groups of six or three smaller groups of four with one Facilitator for every four youth. No field trips will be allowed

  • No more than two groups will be allowed on site at any one time (one inside and the other outside)

  • Everyone will wear masks whenever separation of a minimum of 2 meters is not possible

  • Any Synergy supplied snacks will be individually wrapped (i.e. granola bars)

  • Washroom use will be monitored by a staff or volunteer to ensure physical distancing while waiting to enter and to provide reminders to wash hands

  • Avoid close greetings like hugs or handshakes and encourage physically-distant greetings such as “air fives” and waves.

  • Plan for physically distant activities such as shadow tag and avoid activities that require clustering around a particular item or small area.

  • Where a shared outdoor space is used (e.g. green space), cohorts must maintain a distance of 10 metres between groups

Isolation Space

  • The office closest to our accessible washroom has been assigned as a self-isolation space

  • Should a staff, volunteer or participant become ill, they will be asked to remain in isolation there until they are either able to drive themselves home or someone is able to pick them up which will be expected ASAP

  • The isolation room will be thoroughly sanitized after it has been used

Staff Responsibilities

  • Being trained on physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfecting, and any updated policies or procedures related to preventing transmission of COVID-19

  • Have access to hand sanitizer or hand washing stations, as required

  • Posting, following and enforcing all instructions on signage

  • Stagger staff arrival and departure times, lunch times, breaks and meetings to reduce the number of people in one place at a given time

  • Designate storage spaces to individuals (i.e. staff, volunteers and participants)

  • Continue to follow existing occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements

COVID-19 symptoms requiring immediate isolation

Additional symptoms that may indicate a need for testing

  • fever (38°C or higher)

New onset of:

  • cough

  • shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

  • runny nose

New onset of:

  • chills and/or painful swallowing

  • stuffy nose and/or headache

  • muscle/joint ache

  • feeling unwell/fatigue/severe exhaustion

  • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

  • loss of sense of smell or appetite

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