Pegasus’ response to COVID-19
Updated August 25, 2020
We are following the recommendations and guidelines provided by the Government of Ontario. These guidelines are changing and being updated as new best practices are determined. You can find the most current guidelines here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/government-ontario
The following outlines some specific changes that apply to our company/industry. These considerations range from general umbrella policies for the entire company to procedural adjustments in specific photoshoot situations.
As the COVID-19 pandemic constantly evolves Pegasus will continue to update our policies and procedures as conditions and best practice guidelines change.
We ask all employees and customers to keep in mind that there is no better protection against COVID-19 than hand washing and/or sanitizing hands, maintaining a six foot distance, and wearing a face-covering where distancing is not possible.
How we will ensure all workers know how and are able to keep themselves safe from exposure to COVID-19:
- Constant review of the Ministry of Health guidance to ensure our procedures are up to date
- Provide updates and notices in common areas
- Post signage listing possible symtoms
- Post proper hand and respitory hygiene signage throughout the workplace
- Post screening checklist and mandatory masking signage (for visitors) at front and back entrance
- Signage placed in hallway leading to the restrooms to ensure one way traffic
- Encourage staff to stay home if they are experiencing any COVID-19 related symptons. We may need to accommodate a 2-week self-isolation period. Their specific symptoms will determine if this is necessary on a case-by-case basis.
How we will screen for COVID-19:
- All staff must do a daily screening at home with the checklist provided. If they do not pass the screening then they are required to stay home and seek medical attention if necessary. If they pass the test upon arrival they must sign off that they have performed and passed the screening.
- Limit visitors as much as possible. All visitors must complete a self screening and sign in and out.
- In the event that we require a service call, the technician must complete the screening checklist prior to arriving and sign off that they have completed and passed the test.
- Staff are encouraged to monitor their own symptoms at all times.
- If concerned, staff should take the self assessment tool found at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
- If a worker shows symptoms of a respiratory illness, they should remain at home and contact their health care provider, Telehealth Ontario or their local public health unit.
- If an employee calls in sick they must report if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
How we will control the risk of transmission:
- To ensure staff maintain a physical distance of at least 2 meters, physical distancing floor signs have been placed throughout the production floor. Physical barriers will be placed where workstations cannot be moved or distancing is not possible.
- Certain workstations on the production floor space have been rearranged to ensure distancing of 2 metres.
- In smaller work spaces where proper distancing is not possible staff been instructed to wear masks that have been provided.
- A daily cleaning schedule has been created to disinfect high touch surfaces and objects along with common areas. Responsible staff must sign off when their sanitizing is complete.
- All staff are responsible for disinfecting their own work area upon completion of their shift.
- Shared work spaces (ie. cutters, chairs, time clock, production/lunch table, Xerox) must be wiped down after each use.
- Hand sanitizer has been placed in all common work areas.
- When a shipment is delivered the receiver must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
- Meetings are held on our production floor to allow for proper physical distancing.
- Allow staff to work at home when possible to limit the amount of people in at one time.
- Reduce the amount of order forms/payments collected and switch to an online ordering method as much as possible.
- Any submitted paperwork/payments should be bagged with the exterior of the bag sanitized before it enters the building.
- If possible submitted bags should be left for a specific time before opening. If this is not feasible the person handling the bags must practice strict hand hygiene and sanitize their work area afterwards.
- If a worker shows symptoms of a respiratory illness, like a cough or difficulty breathing, they should stay home.
- If a worker has concerns that a co-worker has respiratory symptoms, the worker should raise their concerns with a supervisor.
- Inform staff returning from abroad that they must self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms, even if mild.
Onsite: General Photography
As front facing staff, the photography teams are dealing with greater exposure to risk factors. As well, they are our biggest asset in keeping our customers safe.
We have created isolated teams (cohorts) of photographers: Groups of 2-3 staff that only work together. If a staff member were to test positive for COVID-19 it would minimize the impact on customers and co-workers required to self-isolate and get tested. This will make scheduling more difficult but with all of us working together it will minimize any potential spread of the virus.
All photography staff must complete the online COVID-19 self-assessment prior to leaving their residence. https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
All photography staff must properly wear a face mask before they exit their vehicle on location until they are back inside their vehicle for departure.
Photography staff would only remove masks on location to eat/drink during a break with the condition they continuously maintain a safe physical distance from any other individual – including co-workers. If possible, breaks and lunches should be taken outside.
Prior to entering the building photography staff will adhere to the school’s screening procedure. If the school has not implemented a screening questionnaire we will provide one for both school and company records. https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/pdf/screening-tool-colour.pdf
Photographers are to take a photo of their completed screening questionnaire and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for our records. The school would keep the hard copy.
Photography staff will maintain safe distancing at all times where possible.
Subjects waiting to be photographed should maintain safe distancing as much as possible.
Photographers are to work with school staff on the flow of students. Maintaining flow of students with safety distance measures being upheld will be a combined effort between photographers and school staff. Ultimately, we must let school staff enforce distancing measures put in place by the school.
It is highly encouraged for the school administration to pre-plan how students will be directed to the photography studios. In order to maintain the integrity of student cohorts, we strongly suggest calling down cohorts based on their location within the school building. As a result, the classes can be directed towards the photography area in a manner that minimizes foot traffic that could result in separate cohorts mingling.
It is highly recommended that the photography area has designated entrances and exits to help maintain safe physical distancing.
To reduce possible close contact between our photography staff and the school population we have eliminated the use of scan cards. In order to verify the correct personal information is matched to the individual being photographed we ask every secondary school student have an identifying document. An old student ID card or a current timetable (hard copy or on a phone) can be shown to our photographers before the photos are taken. It is recommended the classroom teacher confirm the students have said identification before they leave the room to have their photo taken. If this cannot be done our photographer may ask a school staff member to verify the name being verbally provided by the student.
Subjects required to wear a mask should only remove their mask once they are seated in front of the camera and the mask should be put back on before they stand.
Mirrors, (where applicable), are held by the photographers for viewing instead of being passed around to subjects. If they are handled they must be sanitized immediately.
Spray bottles with alcohol-based sanitizer are provided to all staff for multiple purposes:
- Sanitizing hands of staff and subjects
- Sanitizing props where applicable
- Sanitizing equipment & surfaces between subjects photographed (i.e. posing stool)
Class photographs are not being offered at this time and instead students will be provided with a composite photo.
Onsite: Graduation Photography:
Appointments are arranged for both junior and senior graduates.
Email addresses are collected electronically by the photographer from Grad subjects for online proof delivery.
Subjects must arrive dressed in a white collared shirt (& tie for men). None are offered on site.
Pegasus has invested in over 1000 graduation gowns so that grad gowns will only be used for a single subject during a photo shoot and sanitized overnight before being used again. Used gowns are to be safely stored while on site. Grad sashes are sanitized with a steaming apparatus between subjects.
Subject’s hands are sanitized both before the portrait session begins and again after the portrait session ends.
What we will do if there is a potential case, or suspected exposure to, COVID-19:
- Exclude symptomatic workers from the workplace:
- If a worker calls in sick or informs of symptoms, or close contact with someone with symptoms, they must take the self-assessment test. They must then follow any recommendations given by the tool, including being tested and self-isolating. They should contact their doctor or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for further directions about testing and self-isolation.
- If the employee is very ill, call 911 and let the operator know that the person may have COVID-19.
- If a staff member shows symptoms in the workplace, they must return home and self-isolate immediately. If the employee cannot leave immediately, they will be given a mask to wear and will be isolated in a room with a closed door until they are able to leave.
2. Contact Public Health
- Immediately contact local public health unit for guidance on next steps.
- To support contact tracing, a visitors log will list anyone who may have had close interactions with an infected worker including their name, date, contact number, name of visitor’s business and time in and out.
- Follow Public Health Guidance
Support local public health requirements that may include any of the following:
- other employees who were exposed are notified and sent home to self-isolate, self-monitor and report any possible COVID-19 symptoms
- the workplace may be shut down while the affected workplace or area and equipment are disinfected
- disinfect surfaces that may have been touched by the ill worker as soon as possible
- self-isolation for a minimum of 14 days for employees with symptoms and for those who have had close contact with an individual with symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis
- symptomatic workers may need to self-isolate for longer based on the advice of public health or their health care provider
How we will assist in contact tracing:
- Maintain attendance records
- Maintain a visitors log tracking date and time of visit
- Maintain current records of where our photographers have traveled while working for us, which co-workers they have recently worked with and which individuals they have recently photographed.
- If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, any employees that have been identified as having close contact with that person will be notified.
There are 3 outbreak scenarios we have prepared a response for:
Outbreak reported at a school:
All photography staff who have entered the building in the past 14 days will be required to immediately self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19.
Outbreak reported by photography staff:
All schools the infected staff member has entered in the past 14 days will be immediately notified. Pegasus can provide a list of students that were photographed directly by the infected staff member.
The infected individual, as well as any staff they have worked with in the past 14 days, will be required to immediately self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19.
Outbreak reported by staff at our head office:
Although we have gone to great lengths to implement safety measures at our production facility an outbreak is possible. In the event of an outbreak our facility will temporarily close, a professional deep clean will take place and any staff who may have come in contact with the infected staff member will be asked to self-isolate and be tested.
How we will make sure our safety plan is working:
- Assign a select group of managers to ensure there is compliance with all protocols within their department
- Communicate any procedure changes to staff via email and signage
- Will continue to update our policies and procedures as conditions and best practice guidelines change