COVID-19 Hand Hygiene, Personal Protective Equipment and Mental Health

Regional Learning Centre webinars for Community Staff

The RLC is offering webinars via Zoom to support staff in their changing job duties, taking care of themselves and provide a platform for them to connect with other community staff.  Click on the links below to register. Once you register, you will receive an email from the Regional Learning Centre the day before the webinar with the link for the webinar. You can join by computer, tablet or phone (slides not visible with this option). Over 350 people have attended the webinars and feedback has been very positive.

Mental Wellness during a Pandemic

It is important to stay mentally and physically healthy during this challenging time. Join the Regional Learning Centre and other healthcare providers, to learn holistic self-care and coping strategies to support your mental well-being. How to identify signs that someone is not coping well and available community resources for mental health support will also be discussed.


Supporting Clients and Families during a Pandemic

Clients and families are experiencing anxiety and fear during this time. The Supporting Clients and Families during a Pandemic webinar will explore how you, as a community worker, can support them. We will discuss verbal de-escalation skills you can use with clients and their families during challenging interactions and  resources you can share with them.


Providing Virtual Care to Clients and Families during a Pandemic

Working remotely with clients and families is new challenge for the community worker. Join the Regional Learning Centre to learn strategies for making that transition. We will discuss important points to consider such as privacy and confidentiality, consent, and maintaining the therapeutic relationship in a virtual environment.


If you have any questions, please contact the Regional Learning Centre at or call and leave a message at 905-829-7006.

Hand Hygiene

Finger Nails

  • Nails should be short and polish-free
  • Artificial nails of any sort should not be worn
  • If nail polish is worn, it must be freshly applied (within 4 days) and in good condition (no chips!)
  • Wearing rings and other hand/wrist jewelry should also be kept to a minimum


Public Health Ontario, Ask Yourself: Is the glam worth the grime?

Hand Washing Review

Hand Rub Review

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

To be used according to your agency policies

Contact: Gown and gloves while providing direct care

Droplet: Mask and goggles when standing within 2 meters of a client


  • Not a substitute for hand hygiene
  • Use whenever hands may be in contact with blood, body fluids or contaminated surfaces
  • Put on gloves just before doing a task and remove them immediately after
  • MUST perform hand hygiene before and after using gloves
  • Single-use only
  • Used to protect the client and yourself


Public Health Ontario, Taking off Gloves

Putting on (donning) PPE


  1. Perform hand hygiene.
  2. Put on gown and secure ties.
  3. Put on mask. Wear coloured side out. Make sure the mask covers your nose and nose piece fits firmly. Pull the mask down below your chin to fit it firmly around your face
  4. Put on eye protection.
  5. Put on gloves, placing them over the wrist of the gown.


Public Health Ontario, Putting on full PPE

Taking off (doffing) PPE

To prevent contamination, never touch the front of the PPE equipment


  1. Remove gloves using glove to glove and skin to skin method.
  2. Remove the gown turning it inside out and rolling it up to discard.
  3. Perform hand hygiene.
  4. Remove eye protection by taking it from the back of your head.
  5. Remove mask by using ear loops or ties.
  6. Perform hand hygiene.

Public Health Ontario Lanyard card to print

As a reminder, you can print the following and keep with you. The Public Health Ontario link to below:

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

During this time of rapid change and unprecedented circumstances, stress and anxiety are high. It is important for everyone to take care of their mental health as things progress. Below are some points to consider to help you cope with the constantly changing situation:

Practice self-care

  • Get sleep
    • keep to your regular schedule as much as possible
  • Eat well
    • If fresh fruit and vegetables are not available, use frozen or canned foods
    • Eat foods low in sugar, fat and salt
  • Do things you enjoy
    • Spend time doing activities you enjoy indoors
    • Explore new activities
  • Exercise and stay active
    • Walk around your house (up and down stairs, in hallways etc.)
    • Try new exercises but stay within your limits (e.g. yoga for beginners; Tai Chi for beginners etc.)

Connect with family and friends

  • call them and have a conversation
  • connect on social media
  • video call

Focus on what you can do to protect yourself and your family

  • Perform hand washing for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Sing:
    • Happy Birthday (twice)
    • ABC’s
    • He’s a Jolly Good Fellow (2 verses)
  • Stay home
    • Do not travel unless absolutely necessary
  • Get outside, if you are not in self-isolation
    • Practice social distancing (e.g. stay 2 metres or 6 feet apart)
    • Sit on your balcony, porch or in the back yard
  • Disinfect surfaces regularly, including:
    • Door handles
    • Light switches
    • Banisters handrails
    • Refrigerator handles
    • Microwave touch pads
    • Remote controls etc.
  • Disinfect cell phones, tablets, keyboards and mouse
  • Keep your hands away from your face

  • If you or a family member develops symptoms
    • Keep the person with the illness away from everyone else and disinfect surfaces in the area as much as possible
    • Have the person use a separate bathroom is possible
    • Do not share food, drinks or utensils
    • Practice good hand washing
    • Practice cough and sneeze etiquette (e.g. cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue or elbow)
  • Limit how much time you spend checking the news
    • Briefly check the news once or twice a day to stay informed but turn it off in between those times
    • Read positive webpages online
  • Check in with yourself – do you need help coping?
  • Check in with family, friends and neighbours
    • Check in with family, friends and neighbours It makes us feel better when we are able to help others, Chat and provide them with resources as needed
    • It makes us feel better when we are able to help others

It is important to take care of yourself, your family, friends and neighbours during these trying times.


Centres for Disease Control, Manage Anxiety & Stress

Links to information for parents, children, communities and first responders

Canadian Mental Health Association, 5 mental health tips amid COVID-19 concerns