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Nature Club FAQ

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Updated December 2, 2021

We are super excited to see some of our friends again in nature! We know that attending in-person programs again will be a re-adjustment. We have been working hard to ensure programs are fun, educational and safe. Please see the questions below. If your question isn’t answered here, please email us at info@highparknaturecentre.com.

How will nature clubs be different due to COVID?

It will be different, but it will certainly be fun and adventurous! Our focus continues to be connecting with local nature through guided exploration, play and structured learning. Our staff are as enthusiastic as ever to explore High Park with you. There are a number of changes we have made behind the scenes to make things safer, but the main differences you will notice from pre-COVID times are:

  • Everyone will do health screening before the program
  • Programs will be mostly outdoors
  • We will make every effort to keep social distance of 2 meters
  • We wear masks when social distancing is challenging or indoors for using washrooms
  • We will use fewer shared materials
  • Using more open outdoor areas
  • Contactless sign-in and sign-out

COVID-19 Vaccination requirements

  • All participants age 12 and up must be fully vaccinated and present proof of vaccination.
  • All participants age 3 and up must wear a mask indoors, and outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible.

To see a chart showing our vaccination policy for each program, click here.

May I use the washroom?

For sure! Programs will be 100% outdoors, but sanitized washrooms will be available at each of our locations.

What if it is raining?

Programs will continue outdoors in the rain. In severely inclement weather such as high winds, lightning or extreme temperatures we will:

  • Take shelter indoors with physical distance (if possible)
  • Reschedule (if possible)
  • Cancel (if absolutely necessary)

What measures is HPNC taking to ensure COVID safety?

We have made adjustments to our programs to make sure that we keep ourselves and our community safe and continue to follow the guidelines of Toronto Public Health. Although we are making efforts to increase health and safety, we cannot guarantee that you or your child will not contract COVID-19 at our programs.

Here are some of the ways we will ensure health and safety:

  • Staff and volunteers are all fully vaccinated
  • Staff health screening: each staff member will be screened every day and will go home if they are unwell
  • Staff are trained on symptoms to look-for, procedures if anyone is ill and how to adjust programs for safety
  • Staff and participants (over 3 years of age) will wear masks when social distancing is challenging or indoors
  • Participants age 12 and up will need to show proof of vaccination
  • Participant health screening: staff will screen each participant before every program
  • Washrooms will be sanitized after each group
  • Programs will happen mostly outdoors with at least 2 m between participants when possible
  • Programs will use far fewer materials and those materials will be sanitized after each use

What will health screening for participants be like?

We want to ensure that health screening is both a thorough and safe experience for kids! We use the screening protocol from Toronto Public Health that is used for students in Toronto.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ONLINE SCREENING

We will have two options for health screening:

1) Caregivers can use the screener prior to arrival and show us the results upon arrival, or

2) The staff member leading the club will go through the screening questions with you in person at arrival before joining the group.

What if HPNC cancels due to COVID?

Because of diligent staff health screening, there is a possibility that some days we may not have staff available to lead the program. In situations where HPNC cancels a program, participants will be eligible for either a make-up visit or a refund for the canceled visit.

What if I cannot attend due to COVID?

Unfortunately, we will not be refunding or able to accomodate make-up visits if you miss visits due to COVID.

When should I stay home?

To ensure the health and well-being of other participants, you will need to stay home if you or your child have any of the following:

  • Fever (temperature over 37.8 degrees celsius)
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Feeling unwell, muscle aches or tired
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat or pain swallowing
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • If anyone in your household has one or more of the above symptoms
  • If anyone in your household traveled outside of Canada in the past 14 days
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who is sick or has confirmed or probable COVID-19 or acute respiratory illness in the past 14 days
  • If anyone in your household has been notified they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19or has been told to stay home and self-isolate

*Children who have an existing health condition identified by a health care provider that gives them the symptoms listed above should not answer YES, unless the symptom is new, different or getting worse. Look for changes from your child’s normal symptoms

What happens if a participant is sick during the program?

If a participant becomes sick during the program, staff would separate them from the group to a supervised “quiet area”. We would take their temperature and track symptoms. If they are showing any of the symptoms listed above more than normal, a parent or family member will be called and will need to pick up the child as soon as possible (maximum 1 hour). A negative COVID-19 test result and being clear of symptoms for 24 hours are required to rejoin the program.

If I am sick, when can I return to the program?

Participants can return to the program once they have received a negative COVID-19 test or a doctor’s note and are free of symptoms.

Will we be wearing masks?

When we are outdoors, we will ask participants to wear masks when keeping a social distance of 2 m is challenging. This happens more often with younger campers who find social distancing challenging. We continue to adapt our programs to make social distance a part of games and activities. We would always wear masks when indoors to use the washrooms. When social distancing is easy, masks are optional but still recommended. Everyone needs to have a mask with them. You are encouraged to bring your own reusable or non-medical mask or face covering. We will also have some disposable non-medical masks available for participants who forgot theirs!

Can I bring a younger sibling along if they are a baby I carry?

While in the grey lockdown framework all participants will need to be registered in the program; we will not be able to accommodate unregistered babes-in-arms during our programs as babies would put us over the limit of 10 people who can gather outdoors.

How many caregivers are allowed to accompany for early years programs?

We need to limit the number of caregivers per child to one. If this limit means you won’t be able to attend please let us know- we may be able to make accommodations if we know in advance.

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