EYA’s COVID-19 Policy

Updated August 2021

In alignment with Step 3 of the Provincial Government’s Restart Plan, EYA will continue to support the health & safety of our youth through the following communicable disease prevention measures. These will be reviewed and updated as new information becomes available to us.

1) Sickness, Possible COVID-19 Exposure & Screening Procedures

EYA staff, youth participants, and guest facilitators who are sick or were identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case or outbreak will not be permitted to visit EYA’s garden and programming sites or EYA’s office. 

Our team will screen youth participants and guest facilitators when they arrive at the program site by asking if they feel sick/have COVID-19 related symptoms.

If a youth participant or guest facilitator answers “yes”, they will be asked to return home and not be allowed to participate in the program session.  Participants can return after their symptoms subside or they have a negative COVID-19 test.

2) Physical Distancing & Face Masks

During programs, EYA Program Staff will ensure youth maintain two metre physical distancing OR mask wearing when distancing is challenging due to the nature of an activity. 

EYA Staff, youth and guests are responsible for bringing the face mask to each program session and washing in between each use. Disposable masks will be available as back-up. 

3) Hand Washing & Sanitizing

EYA staff, youth, and guest facilitators must regularly wash their hands with soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water is unavailable at our remote locations and when water is shut off in the winter, hands will be sanitized with an alcohol-based hand rub with 60% alcohol. At a minimum, hands will be washed or sanitized:

  • When entering and leaving the garden
  • After coughing or sneezing
  • Before and after eating
  • After using the washroom

4) Coughing, Sneezing, Touching the Face

EYA staff, youth, and guest facilitators must cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue at all times. Used tissues must be thrown away and hands sanitized immediately. Further, all individuals must avoid touching their face with unwashed hands.

4) Group Size

The maximum group size is 15 people, including EYA staff, youth, and guest facilitators. Exceptions may be made only if physical distancing can be ensured. 

5) Gardening Gloves

EYA staff, youth, and guest facilitators will be assigned a personal pair of gloves and must not share. Gloves must be washed before being re-assigned to someone new . EYA staff will wash their personal gloves on a regular basis.

6) Gardening Tools & Program Materials

EYA staff and youth will not be allowed to share tools or materials during the session. Gardening tools and program materials will be cleaned and disinfected following each program/work session using sanitizing spray. 

7) Food Sharing

Lunches provided to youth participants will either be a)  prepared and served by volunteers wearing gloves and masks who are overseen by a) Foodsafe-trained employee or b) ordered from a local catering company and served pre-packaged in individual portions.

8) Disinfecting Common Surfaces & Touch Points

EYA staff will clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces, including door handles, water spigots, hoses, chairs, and tables prior to use and before each program (with additional cleaning at lunch time for full-day programs).

9) Indoor / Outdoor Gatherings

EYA youth programs will primarily take place outdoors. When gathering indoors, group size will be limited to support physical distancing, with windows and doors opened to maximize air flow. 

10) Bathrooms

The onsite garden bathroom will be cleaned and sanitized daily before programs start. Disinfecting wipes will also be available in the bathroom for all to use.