ELTO Covid-19 Compliance Checklist

October 20, 2020

The government’s Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19 , combined with the Return to Work Safely Protocols , a collaborative effort by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Services Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health, and ongoing Public Health advice, provide the overarching framework for all sectors of society to reopen facilities and premises. 

For further and higher education, the government has also published Guidance for Further and Higher Education for returning to on site activity in 2020: Roadmap and COVID-19 Adaptation Framework accompanied by Implementation Guidelines for Public Health Measures in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). 

In addition, the ELE sector here has developed a comprehensive ELTO Covid-19 compliance checklist which details a list of specific best-practice protocols that all ELTOs are asked to follow. The guidance provides robust advice to English Language Teaching Organisations (ELTOs) on COVID- 19 prevention measures, implementation of which will minimise the risk of infection for all students and staff. ELTOs should adapt and customise these recommendations for their own particular settings, adhering at all times to the overarching Public Health principles on which the guidance is predicated. 

This document clearly outlines the steps to be taken should there be a suspected case of COVID-19 on site and subsequent procedures to facilitate HSE Public Health management of confirmed cases or outbreaks as required. 

The objectives of this guidance are: 

  • To put in place protocols and structures to facilitate timely assistance of HSE Public Health in case of confirmed cases and to provide for a rapid response to outbreaks aligned with best public health practice.. NB : A Public Health Risk Assessment is not required for all confirmed cases of COVID-19 with links to an ELE setting. If information gathered by the HSE during a case investigation suggests a need for HSE Public Health input, then HSE Public 

  • Health will contact the institution directly to discuss further action, including Public Health Risk Assessment. 

  • To be sector led, so that the complexity of ELTOs on the ground is reflected in the approach. 

  • To ensure consistency of approaches across all ELTOs. 

  • To ensure that the systems developed are shared across all ELTOs. 

  • To provide a coherent national approach, based on overarching Public Health principles, that can facilitate further action by ELTOs where appropriate. 

  • All communications, including protocols, must be used as an opportunity to reinforce public health advice regarding prevention e.g. through making practices such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, environmental hygiene and face covering the norm on site. Communications must continually reinforce the message that students and staff should not attend school if symptomatic for COVID-19. Students and staff should be empowered to rapidly disclose if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 on site and there should be procedures/protocols in place for immediate isolation of such individuals, and advice on further actions. 

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