Covid-19 Infection Control Policies & Procedures

Covid-19 Health Screening (Updated 12/1/2021)

1. Are you currently experiencing one or more of the symptoms below that are new or worsening? Symptoms should not be chronic or related to other known causes or conditions.

Fever/Chills  - temperature 37.8'C or greater

Cough or barking cough

Shortness of breath

Decrease or loss of smell/taste

Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea -  (for children <18)

Muscle aches, joint pain  - (for adults >18)

Fatigue, lethargy  - (for adults >18)

*If you have any of the above symptoms you should isolate and seek testing.
*Rapid antigen testing is not to be used for those with symptoms of Covid-19 or for contacts of known Covid-19 cases

2. In the last 14 days, have you travelled outside of Canada AND been advised to quarantine as per the federal quarantine requirements?

3. Has a doctor, health care provider, or public health unit told you that you should currently be isolating (staying at home)? (Due to contact tracing or outbreak)

4. In the last 10 days, have you been identified as a "close contact" of someone who currently has Covid-19? (If public health has told you that you do not need to isolate answer "no").

5. In the last 10 days, have you tested positive on a rapid antigen test or a home-based self-testing kit? (If you have since tested negative on a lab-based PCR test answer "no").


You may skip questions 6-9 if you are 12 years of age or older AND one of the following applies:

  • Fully vaccinated (14 days or more since final dose)
  • Positive test for Covid-19 in last 90 days (and has since been cleared by local public health unit)

6. In the last 10 days, have you received a Covid Alert exposure notification on your cell phone?  (If you have since tested negative on a lab-based PCR test, answer "no").

7. In the last 14 days, has someone in your household (someone you live with) travelled outside of Canada AND been advised to quarantine per the federal quarantine requirements?

8. In the last 10 days, has someone in your household (someone you live with) been identified as a "close contact" of someone who currently has Covid-19 AND advised by a doctor, healthcare provider or public health unit to self-isolate?

9. Is anyone you live with currently experiencing any new Covid-19 symptoms and/or waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms?



If  YES to any question from 1 through 8:  Return home immediately and contact your health care provider or Telehealth Ontario to get advice or an assessment, including if they need a Covid-19 test. 

If YES to question 9: Advised to stay home, along with the rest of the household, until the sick individual gets a negative Covid-19 test result, is cleared by public health, or is diagnosed with another illness. *Rapid antigen testing can not be used to test those with symptoms of Covid-19 or for contacts of known Covid-19 cases.


General Policies

  • All individuals entering Hope Haven facilities (staff, volunteers, participants, guardians and worker/trades) must show proof of vaccination or exemption as per the Hope Haven Vaccination Policy.
  • All Participants, Volunteers, and Staff are required to have a signed COVID-19 Acknowledgement of Risk waiver (included in 2021 applications).
  • All guests are required to have a signed COVID-19 Acknowledgement of Risk waiver prior to entering facilities.
  • Upon arrival, everyone must wash/sanitize their hands.
  • Only 1 individual per rider to attend lesson (guardian) unless permission obtained.
  • Riding participants and their guardian as well as volunteers may access the arena barn, arena washroom and outdoor riding rings only, all other buildings and outdoor spaces are for Therapeutic Recreation and Camp Hope programs only.
  • 10 people maximum within any given indoor area while maintaining physical distancing. 
  • Abide by physical distancing guidelines at all times when possible (6 feet or 2 metres apart).
  • Volunteers, staff, participants as well as guardians assisting with lessons must wear a mask within the cross-tie area. Once mounted, horse leader and sidewalker must continue to wear mask, instructor may remove for better communication as long as significant distancing is maintained and rider may remove once mounted. Horse leaders when appropriately distanced  from and facing away from fully vaccinated rider, may pull down mask for improved ventilation in well ventilated arena and outdoors.
  • Masks must completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of face without gaps. Double masking with a disposable mask under a cloth mask provides even further protection and is recommended.
  • Refrain from touching “Red” the cat if he happens to find you, he will try!
  • All individuals to bring their own water bottle, drinking sources will not be provided by Hope Haven.
  • If any individual who has been on the property has a probable case or tests positive for Covid-19, they must inform Hope Haven immediately and programs will be placed on hold until further direction is obtained by our local Public Health unit. Every individual that was on site at or following the time of the infected individual will be contacted immediately and advised to contact public health for further direction.

Entry to Programs

  • The Program Manager and Instructors will together determine whether individual participants will fall into stage 1, 2 or 3 of resuming lessons. Factors for determination include; their level of independence when mounted, assistance required to mount and dismount, any risk associated with immune system or respiratory issues as well as their cognitive ability to follow instructions. These stages may be redefined as public health recommendations and government imposed restrictions fluctuate. There are no predetermined timelines or dates as to when stages will be initiated or modified.
  • Stage 1  - Individuals who are independent in saddle therefore no sidewalkers needed, cognitively able to follow basic instructions, immune and respiratory systems healthy (or aware of risks) and independent with mounting and dismounting (may have guardian assist in this process).
  • Stage 2  - Individuals that may require a sidewalker but still not a lot of close contact holds, also requiring 1 person assistance to mount or dismount. Consistent parent/guardian will be trained to be the sidewalker role in order to maintain physical distancing to the best of our abilities for volunteers and staff 
  • Stage 3  - Individuals that require a lot of close contact by multiple people for mounting, dismounting as well as on horse.

Saddle Up For Success Program

  • All participants and supporting staff must abide by Hope Haven's Covid-19 Infection control policies as well as Vaccination Mandate.
  • Each individual must have successfully passed HH's Health Screening prior to entering the facilities. This will be done verbally on arrival however should also be completed prior to leaving the school premises.
  • Only 1 school group will be attenting the program per day having sole access to the activity centre and will not have any interaction throughout the day with participants from other programs.
  • Participants must bring their own lunch and filled water bottle as these will not be provided by Hope Haven.
  • Helmets are mandatory for when interacting with horses. These helmets are designated for the students in the Saddle Up For Success program only and are fully sanitized between each use. If a student has their own equestrain helmet, it is recommended for them to use their own.


  • Designated parking area across from paddocks, please do not park on house side.
  • If early for lesson arrival time, stay in vehicle until previous participant has left or instructor/volunteer indicates you may come out.
  • Immediately upon leaving vehicle, go directly to arena barn and use hand washing/sanitizing station that is outside doors.
  • Please stay outside until the instructor completes the verbal Covid-19 Health Screening and invites you into the barn.
  • Participants must arrive with their own helmet. 
  • As an extra precaution, participants may come with their own set of clean reins.
  • Guardians may watch lessons from a designated area in the arena, our viewing room will be closed for staff use only.
  • We ask that you promptly leave property when untacking procedure is complete in order to minimize cross over with the next participants.


  • Volunteers to be trained in proper mask use, hand washing techniques and signs and symptoms of Covid-19 - training documented by Volunteer Coordinator.
  • At all times within indoor spaces all volunteers must wear a mask. Horse leaders must wear a mask at all times both within the arena as well as outdoors during lesson time. Horse leaders when appropriately distanced  from and facing away from rider when mounted, may pull down mask with consent from the instructor for improved ventilation in well ventilated arena or outdoors. Hope Haven will provide masks if volunteers do not have their own.
  • Protective gloves are optional and will be provided for use however diligent hand washing and sanitizing has proven to be more effective at limiting transmission.
  • In cold weather, please arrive with a set of clean riding gloves that may still be sprayed with sanitizer throughout the session and should be immediately laundered after the session.


  • Instructors will be trained in proper mask use, hand washing techniques and signs and symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Mask use is mandatory within the cross-tie area but may be removed once the rider is mounted in order for better communication. Glove wearing is optional unless following emergency procedures.
  • Instructors to carry on them at all times a hip pouch containing an unused mask and set of gloves each in their own Ziploc bag, hand sanitizer, and cell phone.


  • Boarders and select staff only in Bank Barn.
  • To be given a weekly schedule of available indoor arena riding times - must contact Program Manager when planning to come onto property for appropriate tracing.
  • When weather is appropriate, use the large garage door for access to arena which will remain open in order to avoid unnecessary traffic inside.
  • All horse droppings in arena to be cleaned by staff after use.
  • No communal equipment will be available (lunge lines, whips, crops).
  • Access to the washroom in arena barn only.
  • Boarders to provide their own cleaning products (hand sanitizers, wipes, etc).
  • Mandatory masking when in cross-tie area with others as well as in tack room.


  • Washrooms as well as frequently touched surfaces such as door handles and light switches to be cleaned 3x per day.
  • Tack room has limited access to designated staff and will only contain clean equipment.
  • All tack and grooming items will be cleaned and sanitized after every use, saddle pads laundered.
  • Hand sanitizing stations located at strategic areas, masks and gloves available.


Last Modified 08/27/2021


545747 Sideroad 4A, RR #2
Markdale, ON N0C 1H0

(t) 519-986-1247


Located on Sideroad 4a between
7th Line and 9th Line.

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Benoit Dube - Executive Director

Barb Sheperd - Development Officer

Robyn Allen - Program Manager & Physiotherapist

Michelle Lemire - Volunteer Coordinator (Interim)

Emma Houser - Volunteer Coordinator & Instructor (PATH Int. CTRI, EC Instructor of Beginners)

Danielle Rose - Equine Manager & Instructor (PATH Int. CTRI, EC Competition Coach)

Ann-Ida Beck - Instructor (CanTRA CTRSI, PATH Int. CTRI, EC Instructor of Beginners)

Gillian MacNeill - Instructor (CanTRA CTRII, PATH Int. CTRI)

Shannon Speer - Recreation Therapist

Gretel Stanish - Property & Barn Manager