Covid-19: First Aid Programming Guidelines

All training agencies that provide first aid training is required by the Government of Alberta to implement a process to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. All Lifesaving Society Affiliate Delivery Partners must follow public health advice regarding workplaces and mass gatherings when planning to resume in-person training courses.

Guidance may change as new information becomes available and this position statement will be updated. In the event of a conflict between information provided in this position statement and current public health guidance the current public health guidance will prevail.

Covid-19 is generally thought to be transmitted through person-to-person spread by larger droplets, like from a cough or sneeze, or touching contaminated objects or surfaces, then touching someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth. Covid-19 can survive on surfaces for hours to days.

Affiliate Delivery Partners must be aware that guidance may change and that courses may still need to be canceled after it has been scheduled if directed by public health authorities or by Occupational Health and Safety. If the request is made to cancel a course Affiliate Delivery Partners must comply.

General Direction:

  • Anyone (instructors or candidates) who is sick with cold-like symptoms such as cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, even if minor, MUST NOT attend the course. The Affiliate Delivery Partner must ensure course candidates are informed they will be turned away if they exhibit these symptoms. Instructors must be made aware they must cancel the course if they exhibit symptoms and no alternate instructor is available.
  • Persons (including the instructor) who meet the criteria for self-isolation as outlined by the Public Health MUST NOT attend the course.
  • Delivery Partners must set clear rules with students on COVID-19 controls and communicate these at the beginning of in-person training sessions. Instructors and registration staff must make sure students understand that anyone not following rules will be asked to leave the course.
  • All instructors and students must be familiar with proper hand hygiene
  • The Delivery Partner must develop a plan of action in case an individual who is ill or who meets the criteria for self-isolation is present at a training course, if this information does not come to light until after the training course has begun. If a student or instructor presents to a course sick or becomes ill during the course, refer to guidance from the Government of Alberta Workplace Health and Safety under “Sick staff and volunteers”
  • The Delivery Partner must keep a record of who attended the course and their contact information, and maintain these records for a six-week rolling period. This must be available to provide to public health authorities on demand. Delivery Partners must be aware of and adhere to all relevant information and privacy legislation in the collection and storage of these records.

Additional Guidance For Specific Activities

Public Health Principle Controls
General public health measures

Encourage participants with signs and symptoms of illness to cancel their course and rebook. Institute flexible rebooking policies.

Post signage outside the classroom asking participants not to attend if experiencing signs and symptoms. Ensure this is also provided with electronic communications.

Provide instruction on respiratory etiquette (e.g., coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow, promptly disposing of used tissues in the trash).

Disinfect equipment brought into the facility (including cellular phones).

Review precautions with all students, including social distancing – staying 2m away from others, avoid handshakes, frequent handwashing or hand sanitizer, don’t touch face, etc.

Hand hygiene

Provide a means to sanitize hands at points of entry/exit, and next to shared equipment. Have participants clean their hands before entering and before exiting the classroom.

Ensure participants are aware of the locations of sinks with running water and soap in the facility.
Advise instructors and attendees to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (greater than 60% alcohol content).

Maintain an adequate supply of soap, paper towel, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other supplies in washrooms and kitchens.

Enhanced cleaning of shared and
high touch surfaces

Follow Alberta Health Services Public Health guidelines for cleaning and disinfection.

Use a “wipe-twice” method to clean and disinfect. Wipe surfaces with a cleaning agent to clean off soiled surfaces and wipe again with a disinfectant.

Use a disinfectant that has a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and a virucidal claim (efficacy against viruses). Alternatively, use a bleach water solution with 100 ml of bleach to 900 ml water.

Health Canada has approved several hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizer for use against COVID-19. Use these lists to look up the DIN number of the product you are using or to find an approved product. Make sure to follow instructions on the product label to disinfect effectively.

Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch/shared surfaces such as:

  • Doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, faucets and taps, elevator buttons, railings;
  • Phones, computers, remote controls, keyboards, desktops, conference room
  • Equipment handles, hand tools, machinery control panels, seat belt buckles, joysticks,
    steering wheels and controls on powered mobile equipment; and
  • Staff rooms, kitchens, washrooms.

Provide disinfectant wipes for attendees to use on equipment and hands (if possible). Make disposable towels and spray cleaners, or disposable wipes, available to instructors and students to regularly clean commonly used surfaces.

A complete clean of the classroom must be conducted the day prior to a training session with frequently touched surfaces cleaned and disinfected.

Social Distancing

Ensure students have enough space to adhere to the requirement for social distancing. Adhere to public health guidance regarding maximum number of people in a gathering.

Use signage to remind participants to socially distance. Government of Alberta resources

Limit the number of classroom candidates, and place tape on the floor indicating 2 meters separation when group activities would have historically required candidates to be clustered close together.

If there is a separate lunch space, the space must also allow for physical distancing.

Avoid use of shared equipment
when possible. Disinfect shared
equipment if single-use equipment
is not feasible

Encourage participants to bring their own equipment where feasible.

Give students their own units for practice where feasible.

Disinfect units used by one student for practice prior to allowing another student to use.

In multi-day courses, if there is not enough equipment for students to each have their own practice unit, consider re-arranging teaching to allow students to practice in smaller groups so that each student has their own unit (e.g. half the students practice on day 1, the other half practice on day 2, and the practice units are disinfected in between).


Use appropriate barrier device to ensure students are not breathing directly into mannequins (e.g. face shield-lung bag combination).

Scenario practice (skill

Maintain a distance of at least 2 meters between all students during scenarios.

Modify any scenario that requires less than 2 meters between students to ensure students and instructors are maintaining social distance (e.g. use manikins).

Consider scenarios involving bandaging or splinting lower extremities (where students can practice on themselves) rather than upper extremities (where students need to practice on each other).

Modify two person CPR practice with candidates remaining in their own designated area, with their own manikin, and have them paired with a candidate across the room. They can perform the two person CPR sequence on their own manikin while maintaining physical distancing.

Cleaning bandaging material

Give students their own set of bandages for practice and demonstration.

At the end of each class, dispose of any bandage material that cannot be laundered.

Have students place bandage material that can be laundered directly into a dedicated linen bag.

Launder bandages as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.

Covid-19: First Aid Programming Guidelines