What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new strain of Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020. The Coronavirus is a large group of viruses common across the world which cause the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
COVID-19 provides symptoms of a cough, difficulty in breathing and fever, which develop within 14 days of exposure. These infections can cause more severe symptoms with older people, people with weak immune systems or long term conditions.
The transmission of COVID-19 is currently unproven but is thought to be passed from person to person through small droplets from the mouth or nose which are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These small droplets are either breathed in or land on surfaces which people then touch and may transfer to themselves if they touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
At this time there is no treatment for COVID-19. The best way to prevent getting it is to follow good hygiene, avoiding touching your face regularly and washing hands regularly.
Is there a risk to me attending a course?
The safety of our candidates, staff and venue hosts is our key priority and we can assure you that we take steps to minimise the risk of passing on the COVID-19 virus. If at any time we believe there is a high risk in running the course, we will take the decision to postpone. We can not eliminate all risks from attending the training, but we are putting in precautions detailed below to make it safer than going for your weekly shopping. We need to consider that risks of dying from an accident as no one was first aid trained, could be greater than catching COVID-19 on a training course.
What should I consider before attending the course?
You should not attend the training and contact us to discuss options, if:
- you are in isolation
- you have had a cough, difficulty in breathing, lost of taste and fever within 14 days of the course
- you have a cough, difficulty in breathing, loss of taste and fever on the day of the course
- you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- you have visited within the last 14 days an area or country on the government's list of areas to avoid
What should I do during the course?
While attending the course, you should:
- wash your hands with soap and water often, including on arrival, before food, after visiting the washroom, after carrying out CPR session
- where water is not available, utilise hand sanitiser gel
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
- bin any dirty tissues immediately
- bin any manikin wipes immediately after use
- keep hold of any personal equipment for the duration of the course and do not mix it up with other candidates e.g. face mask
- do not touch your eyes, nose or face, if your hands are not clean
Should I wear a face mask to the training?
You do not have to wear a face mask to training as we will practise social distancing throughout the course. Where we cannot practice social distancing, for example, to carry out a first aid scenario, you will be provided with a face mask to wear for that time period.
Why are you not requiring people to wear face masks?
Face masks are only effective if worn properly and they can provide a false sense of security. Therefore we will practise social distancing on the course and wear the face mask when we cannot meet this requirement for certain activities. This will ensure masks are worn for short periods of time and we can monitor they are used effectively during these times.
What should I do if I am diagnosed with COVID-19 after the course?
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 after the course and it is suspected that you had COVID-19 on the day of the course, you should get in touch with us and the Welsh track and trace team immediately. We may then inform our team and those who attended the course, depending on our discussions with you.
What precautions do you take with the training?
All of our trainers as a standard follow strict hygiene guidance with our equipment and all staff are informed to follow standard hygiene guidance.
If we suspect someone is unwell with the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, we will ask them if they could potentially have the COVID-19 virus. No one should be offended by us asking as a precaution or to us asking them to leave the course if we believe they may be infected.
Prior to the training, candidates will be asked to complete an online module covering safety on the course they are attending and will have to complete a safety decleration before attending.
All handouts will be prepared in advance of the course, providing time for any virus that should get on to handouts to die.
At the end of each course, we will disinfect equipment before placing it back into storage.
First Aid Training
We will provide candidates with new bandages on each course as part of set equipment which they keep for the duration of the course.
Candidates will have the opportunity to practise their bandaging and burn skills on model arms, to minimise the time practising on one another.
When candidates need to practise a full first aid scenario with another person, they will work to the same pair throughout the course to minimise the number of people they come into contact with.
Our Annies are fitted with lungs with one-way valves. These one-way valves stop expired air from the lung returning to the candidate, but directs the air out the back, behind the face of the Annie.
As part of our resuscitation training we will:
- provide candidates with their own face mask to use for the duration of the course
- instruct candidates to clean the faces of the Annies after each use
- change the faces at the end of each day. The faces will be sterilised and left to air dry
- change the lungs at the end of each course
- wash the Annies with soapy water at the end of each course
- machine wash any clothing after each course
How else can we access training?
We can offer bespoke Continual Professional Development training over Skype or Zoom, allowing candidates to be safe in their own locations.
Source: Gov.uk - COVID-19: guidance for employers accessed 13/03/2020
Source: WHO - Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19) accessed 13/03/2020