Blanche Macdonald Centre – COVID-19 Safety Plan

Blanche Macdonald Centre is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, clients and the communities we serve.

In order to return to a “new normal” we have developed a plan to ensure we are minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission appropriately, and that BMC can operate safely.

We will be implementing all standards and protocols required for private training institutions and personal service establishments as directed by WorkSafe BC, the Provincial Health Officer, and the Ministry of Advanced Education.

These enhanced protocols are intended to protect all of us while we are on campus so we can, in turn, protect our families, friends and communities when we return home.

The most important thing we can do to protect each other is to NOT come into the school if we are feeling ill.

Therefore, any staff member, faculty, student and/or client with symptoms of COVID-19 are not to enter the campus.

The provincial health officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control have issued the following guidance around self-isolation, which BMC must follow:

  1. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and painful swallowing, must self-isolate at home ​for a minimum of 10 days
  2. Anyone under the direction of the provincial health officer to self-isolate must follow those instructions
  3. Anyone who has arrived from outside of Canada, or who is a contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, to ​self-isolate for 14 days and monitor​ for symptoms

If a staff member, faculty or student reports any flu-like symptoms, including a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, or other symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19, they will be directed to either not attend or sent home and advised to consult a medical practitioner.

Protocol in the Event of a Confirmed COVID-19 Case at Blanche Macdonald Centre

If a student, faculty or staff member who has been in BMC is a confirmed case of COVID-19 through testing or investigation (i.e. case finding), the local health authority will initiate Contact tracing to determine how they were infected and who else may have been at risk of infection.

If there was a potential exposure at the school (i.e. the confirmed case of COVID-19 attended school when they may have been potentially infectious), the health authority will work with BMC administration to understand who may have been exposed, and to determine what actions should be taken, including identifying if other students or staff are sick (case finding) or have been exposed and should monitor for symptoms or self-isolate.  

If there was no potential exposure at the school, (i.e. the confirmed case did not attend school when they may have been potentially infectious), the health authority will not notify the school administration.

Self Isolation and Additional Measures

Health authority staff will identify and directly notify close contacts of a confirmed case who are required to self-isolate.  Health authorities ensure those required to self-isolate have access to health-care providers and that other appropriate supports are in place.

Students, faculty and staff are only required to self-isolate if directed to do so by health authority staff.  This includes classmates of the confirmed case.

Other people who are not identified as close contacts of a confirmed case, but who may have interacted with the confirmed case while they were infectious, may be advised by health authorities to self-monitor for symptoms. 

If a potential exposure has been communicated with the school, and as an additional precautionary measure, BMC may: 

  • Request students, faculty and/or staff not attend and stay home until contact tracing has been completed.
  • Suggest self-isolation of a class of students.
  • Implement additional cleaning and disinfecting measures

BMC will consider similar measures, as outlined above, in the event of a school cluster.  

In exceptional circumstances the applicable campus could be closed.

In order to move forward and return to the classroom, we have completed a thorough review and analysis to assess the potential risks of viral transmission.

This has informed the four main areas of our plan to implement measures to reduce the risks:

1. How our facilities, classrooms and all workspaces are organized and arranged.

We will:​ observe physical distancing measures when possible, as well as work to reduce the number of people in our campuses.

We have: Reduced the overall number of staff on-site at one time by implementing work-from-home schedules where appropriate.

Limited visitors, models and clients coming to the campuses.

Removed extra furniture to provide more space in classrooms and higher traffic flow areas.

Measured and arranged traffic areas and classrooms to observe physical distancing measures when possible.

Posted signage for traffic management, as well as occupancy limits for the use of elevators and stairwells.

Additional measures we have taken:

Implemented voluntary Temperature checks at the entrance of each campus.

Rearranged class layouts, class schedules, curriculum content and course delivery to observe infection control measures. We are able to lighten the student population at each campus by:

  • Utilizing our Atelier campus and spreading out some of the classes from our City Square and Robson campuses
  • Staggering start times and breaks
  • For certain courses/modules and levels, we are supplementing onsite delivery with online learning and virtual classes

To minimize exposure, we have created “classroom bubbles”, so that students minimize rotation between classes and stay with their same classmates and move through each module/level/course and their program together.

Student lounges have been closed.
Students can have lunch in their designated classroom or take their breaks offsite.

All large scale presentations with featured guest speakers have been suspended.

Graduation ceremonies have been restructured into an intimate, in classroom event which will be made available through virtual access to family and friends via Google Hangout or Zoom.

All reception desks at each campus, salon and store have had plexiglass shields, sneeze guards installed.

All administrative offices and Instructors’ desks have a 3-panel protective acrylic shield.

All Hairstyling, Barbering, Makeup, Esthetics and Nail stations have been separated by a minimum of 2 metres.

All desks in Fashion Marketing classes have been separated by a minimum of 2 metres.

The Sewing Lab and Patternmaking classes have been reconfigured so that all sewing machine stations and patternmaking tables have been separated by a minimum of 2 metres.

2. How some specific activities are carried out.

We will:​ be following all enhanced Personal Service Guidelines and protocols for our Personal Services programs (Hairstyling, Barbering, Esthetics/Spa Therapist, Nail Studio, Makeup).

We have:

Implemented requirements for instructors and students to wear Personal Protective Equipment (non-medical face masks and face shields) when
demonstrating/performing a service.

Instructors and students may wear their own personal masks that must be clean and laundered for each day of class. Disposable masks are available if needed.

Clients for Hairstyling and Barbering services will also be required to wear a mask. BMC will provide a disposable mask in the event a client does not have one.

The number of appointments for Hair clients each day has been reduced.

Additional measures we have taken:

All Makeup Instructors are required to take the PreEmpt Infection Control course, providing them with Certification on the necessary protocols and best practices for sanitation, disinfection, and sterilization.

Esthetics, Nail Studio, Hairstyling and Barbering Instructors have an extensive knowledge of infection control practices. These are a core component of the respective program’s curriculum.

All staff, instructors and students are required to wear non-medical face masks when they are in common areas and in classrooms. In private administrative offices, when the staff member is alone, wearing a non-medical face mask is not required.

All students, faculty and staff in all programs are provided with a Face Shield.

Students and Instructors in programs that provide Personal Services (Makeup, Esthetics, Nails, Hair and Barbering) are also provided with gloves that are reusable, washable and can be easily sanitized.

Students in programs that provide Personal Services (Makeup, Esthetics, Nails, Hair and Barbering) are provided with their own Professional Kits. These kits contain their professional tools, implements and products. There is no sharing of items with other students.

Each Hair and Barbering student is using their own kit contents for any Hair and Barbering services.

For Makeup, Esthetics and Nail Studio students, your classmate will use your own implements (brushes, tweezers, etc.) and products to minimize cross contamination during practical applications.

All Fashion Design students have been provided with their own new Garment bags to store and carry their garments in.

3. How we clean and sanitize.

We will:​ provide adequate hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations on site for all staff, faculty and students and ensure the location is visible and easily accessed.

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways, including through droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, or from touching a contaminated surface before touching the face.

Medical authorities have informed us that hand-washing is the most effective measure to reduce the transmission of this virus.

Require all staff, faculty, students and clients to wash their hands: before beginning/receiving a personal service, before and after breaks, after handling cash or other materials, before and after handling common tools and equipment.

Observe the new normal with personal introductions: no handshakes, no hugs.

Require ongoing sanitizing of all classrooms – before, during and at the end of each class. High level disinfectants will be used for all washable surfaces.
Expand daily/weekly cleaning tasks for janitorial staff to ensure thorough environmental cleaning is completed.

Undertaken a thorough cleaning of all classrooms and common areas for all three campuses.

Removed any unnecessary tools or equipment that may elevate the risk of transmission.

Posted signage with best hygiene/hand washing practices.

Implemented a cleaning protocol for all classrooms and common areas and surfaces, including washrooms, equipment, tools, common tables, desks, light switches, and door handles.

Additional measures we have taken:

Professional cleaners using fogging machines and products that have the ability to eliminate viruses, including Covid-19, have deep cleaned each campus, including offices, common areas, classrooms, computer labs, sewing lab, the salon and store.

A consistent deep cleaning schedule of all campuses, salon, and store has been implemented.

Additional cleaning staff have been hired.

For all Programs and campuses, each classroom and washrooms have been stocked with medical grade disinfectant, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.

For the Hairstyling and Barbering classrooms and salons, Barbicide with medical grade disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer will be used. Barbicide is a recognized EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) disinfectant for cleaning implements and work stations.

4. How these changes and precautions will be communicated to everyone within Blanche Macdonald Centre.

We will:​ require staff, faculty, students and clients to follow the policies and guidelines regarding COVID-19 to reduce the risk of transmission.

These requirements will be posted in the applicable areas within our facilities, emailed to students, instructors and staff before returning to the classroom, and referenced in Handbooks for students about to begin a program.

We will continue to assess the campuses after operations resume to ensure risks are identified and managed.

We will also monitor and update our Safety Plan as new information and updates become available.


Note: This handbook will be continually updated (November 3rd, 2020)

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