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Pegasus’ response to COVID-19

May 19, 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.  The procedures and policies have been broken down below into two categories – Head Office and Shoot Locations.  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.

Shoot Locations

Sanitizing of surfaces:

Photographers are to clean surfaces touched by individuals they are photographing.  This means wiping down the posing stool, (where applicable), between every person photographed.

We have alcohol based solution in spray bottles available to all employees. They are safer than bleach solutions and less likely to damage materials.

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.

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.

Spray bottles with alcohol-based sanitizer is provided to all staff for multiple purposes.

  • Sanitizing hands of staff and subjects
  • Sanitizing props where applicable
  • Sanitizing equipment & surfaces between subjects (ie Posing stool)

We have not made gloves a requirement as proper hand hygiene is more effective.

Mirrors, (where applicable),  are held by the photographers for viewing by the subject instead of being passed around to subjects. If they are handled they must be sanitized immediately

Subjects waiting to be photographed must maintain safe distancing.

Class photographs are not being offered at this time and instead students will be provided with a composite photo as seen below.

 

Grad Photography:

Appointments are arranged for Jr. grads as well as Sr. grads.

Email addresses are collected electronically by the photographer from Grad subjects for online proof delivery.

We screen our clients prior to the session by asking the subject a few simple questions before they enter the building and before dressing them in the gown:

  • Have you travelled outside the province in the past 2 weeks?
  • Have you been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks?
  • Have you experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks?

Subjects must arrive dressed in a white collared shirt. None are offered on site.

Grad gowns will only be used for a single subject at a photoshoot and sanitized overnight before being used again. Used gowns are safely stored while on site.

Grad Sashes are sanitized with a steaming apparatus between subjects.

Subject’s hands are sanitized both before the session and again, once the session is complete.

Handling Order forms and payments:

The collection of forms & payments increases the staff member’s exposure to materials that may be contaminated. Although we have many online options there are still a few situations where this currently unavoidable.

Sr. Grad sitting fees – Grads are asked to either phone in a CC payment or to pay by e-transfer.  Cash payments are accepted in an envelope however exact change is required as photographers will not be able to provide change.

Grad orders are all done online instead of by order form.

Submitted payments are bagged with the exterior of the bag sanitized before it enters the building.

The person handling the submitted bags must practice strict hand hygiene and sanitize their work area afterwards.

Head Office

Employees reporting as ill:

When an employee reports as ill, we will mandate a 2-week self-isolation period.  Their specific symptoms will likely determine if this is necessary on a case-by-case basis. A doctor’s note or a negative Covid test may be required (depending on the overall situation of the health care system) and further guidance from employment standards or state of emergency acts may be applied.

Physical/Visual barriers to promote distancing:

Areas around desks & workstations have defined boundaries to promote physical distancing between workers. Bright coloured tape divides work areas to keep individuals 2 meters apart: I.E. one production table is divided into two work areas at either end with the appropriate area around where the worker stands/sits outlined with floor tape.

Physical barriers have been placed where workstations cannot be moved or distancing is not possible.

Blind spot entry/exits have also been considered and relocation of work stations and task areas have been executed accordingly.

Sanitizing of surfaces:

Frequently touched surfaces are to be sanitized at least on a daily basis. A rotating schedule designates an employee to wipe down switches/doorknobs each day, with a record of who has cleaned and the time it has been completed (such as in public washrooms).

Shared workspaces (ie. printers used by more than one staff member) have adopted a wipe down after use policy. Much like equipment at a gym: If you use it – You clean it.

Handling of incoming materials:

Our shipping and receiving department has adopted policies outlined within the following link:

https://www.ihsa.ca/pdfs/alerts/COVID19/guidance-on-handling-and-receiving-packages-during-covid-19.pdf

Specific drop off areas have been designated in the warehouse and main doors so only those areas might be contaminated by packaging.

Once packages have been opened and unloaded, staff are to wash or sanitize their hands.  The regular sanitizing or washing of hands is the best defense against COVID.

Fortunately, courier companies are waiving the “signature required” option so close-contact is not a necessity.