Safety Protocols and Volunteer Resources
Thank you for your willingness to volunteer during these complex and challenging times. Your health and safety as a volunteer in the community is our number one priority. As such, we have put together the following guidelines to keep volunteers, community members, clients and staff safe and healthy while volunteering:
- Your safety and stopping the spread of COVID-19 is the priority. If you are unwell or you have been in contact with someone who is unwell, DO NOT VOLUNTEER.
- Clean your hands often. Whether you’re creating something at home like a care package, or volunteering outside of the home, it is important that you protect yourself and others. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. For visual instructions, here is a hand washing video for your information.
- If you are volunteering out in the community, make sure you continue to exercise proper physical distancing by staying at least 2 meters/6 feet apart from others.
- For high-touch volunteering (such as passenger transportation to appointments & supporting essential services), be prepared with your own supply of food and drink to prevent having to share food with others.
- Practices and protocols to protect volunteers, including directives regarding personal protective equipment, may vary based on the organization’s mission, clients, and geography. Check with the volunteer manager at the organization where you volunteer and follow their specific guidelines, which will evolve based on directives from Ottawa Public Health.
- If someone asks you to do something you are unable to do, let that person know that you cannot help and inform the volunteer manager at the organization where you volunteer, who may find a solution.
- It is essential for volunteers to balance the willingness to help others with proper care of their physical, mental and social well-being. Take care of yourself!
Here are some additional resources you may want to consult for further health and safety guidance:
- Video on Volunteering Hygiene Recommendation from #StudentsAgainstCorona.
- World Health Organization Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public.
- Public Health Agency of Canada Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Awareness resources
- Public Health of Ontario Fact Sheets:
a) Take Care of Yourself and Each Other
b) Physical Distancingc) How and When to Wear a Maskd) How to Wash Your Hands
- City of Ottawa COVID-19 in Ottawa
- Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 resources for community partners
Resources for Volunteers
Volunteer Ottawa Training Webinar:
- How to Stay Connected While Practicing Social Distancing – Experience Life
- Take care of your mental health too!
- Counselling Connect
- Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health
Other helpful webinars