From My Bubble To Yours
With the second wave of this pandemic upon us, it's more important than ever to check-in with our family, our physically-distanced friends, and our Bubble, about managing and mitigating the risks of catching and spreading the virus.
I developed these protocols for my family, to facilitate conversation about what keeping each other safe during a pandemic might look like. More importantly though these protocols are about feeling safe with each other and finding a way to have the kinds of conversations we need to make that happen.
I wanted to share them with all of you in the hopes you might also find they help to generate discussion and create a deeper understanding of your needs and the needs of others in these uncertain times.
Contact Risk Assessment
Being within two metres of a known or unknown COVID-19 infected person for periods greater than 15 minutes cumulatively in an enclosed space, without appropriate PPE.
Being within two meters of a known or unknown infected person in an enclosed space while employing appropriate PPE. Contact time limitations apply.
Maintaining physical distancing in a well-ventilated or outdoor space with a person outside your Bubble. Contact time limitations apply.
The movement of air into or out of houses or other indoor spaces.
Adequate ventilation and air exchange are required to decrease the build-up and circulation of aerosolized particles from respiration in an indoor setting. This can be done through natural or mechanical ventilation.
COVID-19 is an obligate parasite and will not multiply on inanimate objects. Usual duct cleaning and maintenance procedures are recommended.
Consider use of a HEPA Filter Air Purifier adequate for your space.
Air flow caused by pressure differences between the inside and the outside through intentional openings in the building envelope. Air moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. An open door or window in a house is a large opening through which air can enter or leave. The amount of air movement from natural ventilation and infiltration is usually hard to predict and is based on pressure gradients within the building.
Air flows intentionally created through the use of fans, ducting, and designed openings in the building envelope. These include devices such as exhaust fans, clothes dryer exhausts, range hoods, and heat or energy recovery ventilators. The quality of air and number of air exchanges from mechanical ventilation is dependent on the system and filters used.
- How many people are in attendance?
- Is the setting indoor?
- Is there adequate ventilation or possibility for air exchange?
- Is the event outdoor?
- How long is the event?
- Do you know these people? Can you trust them?*
- Can you maintain physical distancing throughout the event?
- Will you use PPE (mask) when physical distancing cannot be maintained?
* Trust is a subjective measure that may vary depending on the relationship. The most important aspect of this is that you can feel safe and comfortable. If you do not feel safe or comfortable it may be difficult to explain why and it should not be a requirement at the time. The default should be that you take the actions needed for your own safety and comfort.
- Mask (cloth or medical/procedural)
- At least two in case one becomes wet or soiled.
- Do not use a dusk mask with open vents (see references).
- Hand sanitizer
- Water and/or food (depending on situation)
- Transport to and from event.
- Ensure you are able to leave if the scenario changes and you enter a moderate or high-risk situation.
- It may help if you have the protocols with you to help explain to others why you need to leave, why you are maintaining a physical distance, or why you wear a mask in different situations.
- Self-Assessment: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/r3
- Conduct self assessment prior to attending any event. Can be done on the phone and a record downloaded as a PDF.
- Consider downloading the COVID Alert App: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html
- Mask (cloth or medical/procedural)
Risk And Exposure ACTIONS
Watch for symptoms for 14 days from known exposure. If you develop any symptoms use the MoH Self-Assessment, self-isolate and follow any other guidance from your local public health unit.
Self-isolating means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people, including as much as possible those you live with.
If a person is in quarantine, they are separated from other people for 14 days because they have or may have a disease. Quarantine at home is similar to self-isolation and you should physically distance yourself from other household members. However, it would be pertinent to be living alone during that time. You are not allowed to leave your house, and would have to arrange to have food and other supplies delivered.
** +/- PPE = worn when not able to be physically distanced
References and Resources
Ontario Government – Ministry of Health
Student Self-Assessment: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/r3
Main page for assessment and testing information: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/
Stages of Opening: https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario-stages#gathering-changes
Mitigating the spread of COVID: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spread#section-3
Guide to Reopening Schools: https://www.ontario.ca/page/guide-reopening-ontarios-schools
Government of Canada
Mitigating Risk in Outdoor Spaces: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/guidance-documents/risk-mitigation-tool-outdoor-recreation-spaces-activities-operating-covid-19.html
Personal Protective Equipment Information: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/personal-protective-equipment-medical-supplies.html
Testing and Contact Tracing: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms/testing.html
Information for Health Professionals: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals.html
General Ventilation Information: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/ventilation-indoor-environment.html
Contact Tracing in the Armed Forces: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/maple-leaf/defence/2020/08/contact-tracing-caf-during-covid-19-pandemic.html
Epidemiological Data for COVID-19: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/dashboard/about.html
Prevention and Risk Information: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html
Pandemic Building Operation Guidance: https://www.ashrae.org/file%20library/technical%20resources/ashrae%20journal/2020journaldocuments/72-74_ieq_schoen.pdf
Workplace Health and Safety for Outdoor Spaces: https://www.wsps.ca/WSPS/media/Site/Resources/Downloads/covid-19-outdoor-recreation-health-and-safety-guidance.pdf
Jones NR, Qureshi ZU, Temple RJ, Larwood JPJ, Greenhalgh T, Bourouiba L. Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19? BMJ. 2020 Aug 25;m3223 –.doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3223 (Published 25 August 2020)