COVID-19 Safe Policy

Policy Rationale

MakerDojo has a responsibility to protect the health and safety of all individuals at all times. Many of the hygiene habits developed during the CVOID-19 pandemic will continue indefinitely. MakerDojo demonstrates and models to children the hygiene practices which will mitigate the introduction and spread of COVID19.    

The virus presents greater risks to those members of the Community that are classified as “Vulnerable Persons”.                                           

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) identifies the following groups as being at greater risk of more serious illness if they are infected with COVID-19:

  • people aged 70 years and over
  • people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions
  • all people with compromised immune systems, and;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50 with chronic medical conditions.

*The AHPPC states that there is limited evidence at this time regarding the risk in pregnant women.

All members of the MakerDojo Community, including attendees and their family members, who fall within the Vulnerable Persons Category, and have concerns about returning to face-to-face learning are to make contact with the MakerDojo Director for appropriate arrangements to be made. Each situation will be treated with sensitivity and consideration to ensure the best outcome for the individual and the broader MakerDojo community.                                                          

In addition to the below, ongoing reminders to staff and students on the requirements for hygiene and social distancing are communicated to the School Community via the use of:

  • Signage at entrances and within the Mifgash
  • The use of signage as to where parents can wait for drop off and pick up of students

In order to protect those vulnerable members of our School Community, together with the broader group, the following Risk Mitigation strategies have been implemented. All strategies will be updated and align with current Victorian Government regulations.

Procedures

Face masks

All staff must carry a face mask at all times. If social distancing of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained, staff must wear their mask unless providing direct instruction/teaching (i.e. to communicate). 

Staff who have a medical condition such as problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability or a mental health condition will be exempt from wearing a face mask but must provide a medical certificate at least 24 hours prior to their first shift.

If required by the State, parents/carers must wear a face mask when dropping off or picking up their child.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website has advice about face coverings, including:

  • different types that can be used
  • how to make your own
  • how to safely wear and safely remove them.

Children with medical needs

Children with complex medical needs should seek advice before returning to MakerDojo. If your child has complex medical needs (including those with compromised immune systems) you are encouraged to talk to your medical practitioner to find out if your child can attend our on-site holiday programs.

Supporting children with disabilities with personal care needs

Physical distancing is not always possible when providing direct care to a child.

When this happens, school staff will need to wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser before and after performing routine care and when interacting with children in the MakerDojo environment and undertake environmental cleaning where relevant.

MakerDojo will make alcohol-based hand sanitizers available at school entrances and in rooms where personal care needs are provided.

Staff will not need to use extra personal protective equipment (PPE), aside from face masks. This is not required to give routine care for children who are well, unless such precautions are usually adopted in the routine care of an individual child.

Physical distancing

Safety of children mixing with each other

Evidence shows that transmission in a school environment is mainly from adult to adult, and children are less likely to spread the virus. This is why the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) does not believe it is necessary for physical distancing between children, or limiting the number of children in one space, such as a classroom.

Safety of staff and parents mixing with each other

The main risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) is between adults. Staff and parents will need to practise physical distancing and avoid spending a long time in close contact with other adults.

Please see the MakerDojo COVID-19 Protocols for further information.

Hygiene 

Hand washing and the use of hand sanitiser are effective ways of controlling COVID-19 infection and spread in the service. Staff and children must wash their hands and/or use hand sanitiser:  

  • at the beginning and end of a shift  
  • before and after eating  
  • after going or taking a child to the toilet  
  • before and after cleaning up blood and other body substances including wiping noses  

All surfaces will be cleaned and sanitised thoroughly before, during and after each program each day.  

The service will ensure that toilets and hand-washing facilities are easily accessible to children. Children will be reminded to wash their hands with soap after toilet use.   

Staff will use individual tissues if they are required to assist young children to wipe their noses and individual washers for hands/faces. Tissues will be disposed of immediately after wiping a child’s nose. Wash hands or use hand sanitiser after each procedure. Hand sanitiser may be used when outdoors.  

Equipment will be cleaned regularly.   

Children will be reminded to follow good hygiene practices. Staff may discuss these subjects with groups and individual children if needed.   

Staff are expected to act in ways that do not endanger the health and safety of children, parents or other staff, and to encourage healthy and safe behaviour in children by setting a good example. 

Information distribution about health and hygiene  

Employee and employer obligations in regard to OH & S issues are discussed with new staff as part of their induction. 

Staff are encouraged to report incidents which lead to high stress levels to a Master Sensei. Positive steps will be taken to understand and minimise stress suffered by individual staff members.  

When there is a notifiable infectious disease in the service, information will be made available to parents in a manner that is not prejudicial to the rights of staff or children. 

If staff or children show coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms when they arrive

If a member of staff or a child has symptoms matching those of coronavirus (COVID-19) they will be asked to go home and get tested.

If advised to do so by the Victorian Government, all employees and attendees will be required to be temperature-checked upon arrival and prior to entering the premises. If temperature reading is below 37.4 degrees Celsius, it is safe to allow employee or attendee access to premises. If temperature reading is equal to or above 37.4 degrees Celsius, employee or attendee is not permitted to enter the premises

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath
  • Temperature is equal to or above 37.4 degrees Celsuis

The staff member will be replaced to ensure the appropriate teacher to student ratio is maintained.

Isolation and supervision

Staff or children showing any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) during the day will be sent home or isolated in a suitable space with supervision until collected by a parent or carer as soon as possible.

Staff protection and hygiene

If the child cannot remain isolated while waiting to be collected, the staff member looking after them will wear a mask and carry out frequent hand hygiene.

If staff, a child or family member shows signs of an upper respiratory illness

All staff must be tested if they show any signs of an upper respiratory illness and cannot return to MakerDojo until they have received a negative result. Should any member of a household of a staff member or child be showing symptoms and tested, all householders (children and staff) must stay at home until a negative test result is received.

If a staff member or child is unwell

Any staff member or child who is unwell is not to attend MakerDojo.                  

COVID19 Protocols – Communication and Decision Making

These protocols outline processes in the event of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID19 within the MakerDojo Community.

Confirmed case

  1. If MakerDojo becomes aware of an attendee or staff member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a confirmed case, they will immediately inform the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on 1300 651 160 and will notify WorkSafe Victoria on 13 23 60.                                       
  1. DHHS will advise the Department of Education and Training (DET) as appropriate so that DET can liaise with and provide MakerDojo with support.
  2. DHHS will provide additional specific advice based on their assessment of the particular circumstances and will report that advice to the MAkerDojo Directors and to the DET Principal Medical Advisor (PMA).

Close contact

Any staff/attendee who has a member of their household being tested for COVID-19, all members of the household must stay away from MakerDojo until a negative is received.

DHHS defines ‘close contact’ as someone who has either:

  • had at least 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • shared a closed space for more than two hours with someone who is a confirmed case.

DHHS aware of case involving MakerDojo

  1. If DHHS becomes aware of an attendee or staff member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the decision about whether to inform the relevant staff and any members of the community will be made case by case in the interests of public health.
                                                                           
  2. DHHS will advise DET as appropriate so that DET can work with and provide MakerDojo with support if appropriate.
                                                                           
  3. DHHS will provide any additional specific advice based on their assessment of the particular circumstances and will report that advice both to the MakerDojo Directors and to the DET Principal Medical Advisor (PMA).

Overarching protocols Testing

  1. If MakerDojo becomes aware of any testing of staff or attendees due to being a suspected case, the Directors will use their discretion in determining whether to contact DHHS.
                                                                           
  2. Unless advised by DHHS, MakerDojo should not advise their community of any testing being undertaken or reports of suspected cases.       

Self-Isolation

  1. DHHS advice is that attendees or staff members should self-isolate from MakerDojo if the following applies:                                                                                  
    • The person is a confirmed case of novel coronavirus                                                
    • The person is a close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in the past 14 days.                                                                                           
  1. This advice will take the form of a directive to MakerDojo from the Chief Health Officer (CHO).
                                                                           
  2. The attendee or staff member with upper respiratory symptoms must remain isolated until they receive a negative result from their COVID19 test.

MakerDojo Closure

  1. Where an attendee or staff member is confirmed with COVID-19, DHHS may advise that MakerDojo be closed to enable contact tracing to occur.
                                                                           
  2. MakerDojo will determine the length of the closure.
                                                                           
  3. This advice will take the form of a directive to MakerDojo from DHHS.
                                                                           
  4. The Directors will inform attendees, parents and close community through their usual communication channels, including our website.
                                                                           
  5. MakerDojo will make every effort to provide continuity of vacation care.
                                                                           
  6. During the closure, DHHS will conduct contact tracing to identify the closure period.
                                                                           
  7. DHHS will work with MakerDojo regarding the timing of re-opening.
                                                                           
  8. MakerDojo (Bialik College) will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
References
  • ACECQA National Quality Framework Resource Kit (2012)  
  • Quality Area 1 – Educational Program and Practice.  
  • Quality Area 2 – Children’s Health and Safety  
  • Quality Area 7 – Leadership and Service Management (Standard: 7.2; Elements: 7.3.3, 7.3.4, 7.3.5) 
  • Education and Care Services National Law Act (2010), S 168, S 174  
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations (2011), R 173, R 176 
Version control date: March 2021 | To be reviewed: December 2021