The information in this technical bulletin replaces the guidance issued in TB 2021-01 on July 26, 2021, regarding first aid and CPR training and COVID-19 transmission.
Instructors should ensure safe practices are in place before each classroom training. The following processes will differ depending on each location; all instructors should take time to develop these processes for their specific locations.
• Develop a sign-in process that assures physical distancing.
• Check COVID community levels. Face coverings are encouraged during classes but will not be required in areas of low and medium COVID community levels as determined by the CDC. If community levels are high, face coverings should be required.
• Sanitization should be available and instructors should encourage use throughout the duration of the class.
Facility Preparation: Instructors should work with facility staff to ensure building preparation and sanitization of the facility and equipment prior to class.
• Install hand sanitizer stations or provide hand sanitizer bottles in convenient common areas.
• Thoroughly disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects. Make sure to follow the necessary contact time for the selected disinfectant. Surfaces include:
All other communal use surfaces/objects
Hygiene & Infection Control: Instructors are responsible for ensuring all students maintain proper hygiene and the classrooms are managed properly to decrease transmission.
Physical distancing should be maintained whenever possible. Arrange furniture to allow for required maximum distance between students.
Instructors are responsible for disinfecting common use items in the classrooms before and after every class. Disinfecting wipes should be made available to course participants upon request.
Instructors should encourage frequent hand washing or hand sanitization, especially upon return to the classroom. Hand sanitizer should be made available to course participants upon request.
Student Communication: Students should be notified in advance (such as in a class confirmation email) of class expectations. Be sure to leverage multiple communication channels to reach the audience before class including phone, video, posters, email and postal mail. The notification should confirm students have been made aware of and must follow all health and safety guidance.
• Instructors must follow any additional directives from local government or health officials that are relevant to classroom-based training.
• Prior to the class, and immediately before beginning class, instructors should communicate with course participants and encourage them not to attend training if they have any known medical condition or illness, or signs or symptoms consistent with an illness. Instructors should offer students the opportunity to speak discreetly prior to the start of class, should they have any questions or concerns about their health status as it relates to class participation.
• Instructors and course participants may not participate in classroom-based training if they are sick or have a fever.
• Instructors should ensure that there are proper hand-washing facilities available during class. At a minimum, hand sanitizer must be available to students during class.
• Proper handwashing must occur before and after breaks, and after glove removal.
• Lined trash receptacles should be available for glove disposal. Trash receptacles should either be lid-less or have a hands-free means of opening the lid (such as a foot pedal).
• Instructors should resume teaching first aid, CPR, and AED courses without modification if permitted by federal, state, and local health directives.
• Effective immediately, instructors should resume normal skills practice and testing. Course participants should practice and be tested on all required skills.
• Students should have their own CPR manikin whenever possible (1:1 student to manikin ratio).
• In situations where it is not possible to maintain a 1:1 student-to-manikin ratio:
A barrier device must be used when administering rescue breaths to a manikin.
Course participants should use hand sanitizer before and after performing CPR on a manikin.
The manikin surface should be wiped down with a disinfectant wipe before and after taking turns using the manikin.
• Hand sanitizer should be used before and after practicing first aid skills with a partner. Medical exam gloves should be used when appropriate.
• All training equipment, including CPR manikins, AED training units, and other first aid and resuscitation devices, should be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated after each use in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. All classroom surfaces must be decontaminated /disinfected immediately after training.
• Reminder: Skills practice and testing are required if completion cards are to be issued.
Chapters, training centers and instructors who have additional questions or concerns about teaching first aid courses with regard to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the NSC First Aid Department at [email protected].