COVID-19 Protocols – TRCA Camps
Posted April 5, 2021.
This webpage provides supplemental guidance to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) led day programs and should be used in conjunction with the most up-to-date guidance provided by the local public health unit area that the program is operating in, Provincial guidelines, Ministry of Health, and Chief Medical Officer of Health directives.
This guidance is subject to change. In the event of conflict between this guidance document and any other orders or directives issued by the Minister of Health or Chief Medical Officer of Health, the order or directive prevails. Please visit the Ministry of Health COVID-19 website and Directives, Memorandums and Other Resources pages regularly for the most up to date information.
Regularly consult the local public health unit website where the program is being offered, for updates and additional guidance for the region you are operating in:
- York Region Public Health COVID-19 webpage
- Toronto Public Health COVID-19 webpage
- Durham Public Health COVID-19 webpage
- Peel Region Public Health COVID-19 webpage
Complete summer camp guidance is provided in the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance: Summer Day Camps, along with the local public health unit information and this document.
COVID-19 Operational Guidance for TRCA Programs Including Day Camps
There are several strategies to enhance program participant and staff health and safety as it relates to operating programing and COVID-19. These include: self-screening mechanisms in place, proper hand hygiene, wearing face masks or coverings where appropriate, and adapted programing and program environments such as cohorting, physical distancing and limiting visitor access to indoor spaces.
Relationships between program providers, program participant guardians, and local public health units will continue to be crucial to navigate the complex and evolving COVID-19 environment.
There may be regional differences in these protocols, but given the varying impacts of COVID-19 in different communities it is important to follow the advice of local public health officials to reduce the risk of introducing and spreading COVID-19 to program participants and families in their respective communities.
COVID-19 Pandemic Procedures
Outbreak – The local public health unit (PHU) is responsible for determining if an outbreak exists, declaring an outbreak, and providing direction on outbreak control measures to be implemented, such as isolation and/or ceasing or modifying program delivery.
An outbreak is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in participants and/or staff in a program with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the program.
However, even though an outbreak may be declared at that location or in that program, the public health unit will assist in determining which cohort(s) may be sent home or if a partial or full location or program closure is required based on the scope of the outbreak.
Please note: There may be variability in scenarios based on local context and epidemiology. The local PHU will determine which cohorts are high risk contacts requiring isolation.
The local public health unit is responsible for conducting case and contact management activities and measures will be taken to ensure privacy and avoid disclosure of details to the wider community that would lead to identification of a COVID-19 laboratory confirmed case.
Cohort – A cohort is defined as a group of program participants who stay together throughout the duration of the day and the entire length of the program (often five days for summer camp).
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Engineering Controls are specialized clothing or equipment worn or installed for protection against health and safety hazards.
Personal protective equipment and engineering controls are designed to protect many parts of the body, (i.e., eyes, head, face, hands, feet, and ears. PPE and engineering controls may include gloves, clothing, face mask, goggles or face shield, plexiglass dividers or sneeze guards).
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever (temperature of 37.8°C / 100.04°F, or greater)
- New or worsening cough
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Altered smell or taste
- Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
- Runny nose or nasal congestion (unrelated to seasonal allergies, post-nasal drip)
Other less common symptoms of COVID-19 can include but are not limited to:
- A general feeling of being unwell
- Tiredness or muscle aches
- Worsening of chronic conditions
- Pink eye
- Red/purple discolouration to hands, fingers, feet and/or toes, and skin may peel (COVID toes)
- Difficulty feeding infants
- Falling down often
General Transmission Reduction Strategies
- All individuals, including staff, families, children and caregivers are to be screened for symptoms, travel within 14 days, or close contact with a probable case prior to or upon arrival using the Screening Tool recommended by your local public health department (York, Peel, Durham, Toronto) or Ministry of Health.
- Staff conducting the screening should take appropriate precautions when screening including maintaining a distance of two meters (six feet) from those being screened and wearing appropriate PPE.
- Staff are to record each participant result and retain the screening results and attendance records for documentation and contact tracing.
- Please refer to the Screening and Contact Tracing section of this document for the detailed procedures.
- Programs requiring licensing under the Child Care and Early Years Act have a duty to report confirmed cases under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. The Health and Safety Specialist must contact the local public health to report a child, or staff member suspected of having COVID-19.
Parent Drop-off and Pick-up Routines
- Parents are to plan for drop-off and pick-up to take more time than usual to allow for the COVID-19 screening process (for them and their child/children). Screening will occur outside, unless in the event of inclement weather upon which it will happen at an alternate safe location on site. Please refer to onsite signage indicating alternate screening area on extreme weather days.
- As much as possible, have one designated adult drop-off and pick-up each participant. This will reduce the number of adults who come in contact with staff members and program participants.
- Where possible, signage/markings will be used to guide families through the entry process and assist with physical distancing. This will be particularly important the first day of a session.
- If (or when) a site has the drop-off/pick-up area where funneling of people might occur, or limited space exists, they may implement strategies such as separate entrance areas for each cohort, staggering of entry/exit times or limiting the total number of people in the area at any one point.
- Hand sanitizer and/or a hand washing station will be located in the participant drop-off/pick-up area and following screening participants will be required to wash or sanitize their hands.
- As much as possible, parents/guardians will not go past the screening area during drop-off/pick-up and should leave the area promptly following the screening and promptly after arriving to pick up their child to promote physical distancing.
- In the event of indoor programming due to inclement weather, signage will be used to direct parents to the indoor public drop-off/pick-up area. Program participants will be escorted by a staff member into the student learning area at the beginning of the day and to the designated pick-up area at the end of the day.
- All entrances should have hand sanitizer, and if physical distancing of two meters cannot be maintained, parents/guardians and staff will require the use of face coverings.
- Personal items should be minimized and if brought should be labelled (including water bottles) and kept in the space designated for your child’s belongings.
- Children will remain in a daily cohort of a maximum of 10 children per grouping. If a participant requires a personal support worker, they are counted in this ratio but TRCA staff are not included in the count.
- Each cohort must stay together throughout the day and are not permitted to mix with other cohorts during the program. Staff are not included in this number but, whenever possible, will be considered part of the cohort that stays together. Maximum capacity rules do not apply to staff or students with special needs who require a Special Needs Resource staff on site. Where possible, staff are assigned to a specific group.
- If cohorts need to come together, for instance in the case of extended care sessions, the children will have designated locations that ensures social distancing.
- Non-essential visitors will not be permitted access to indoor learning areas during program operating hours during the pandemic.
- Students on field placement or volunteers should be assigned to a specific group to limit interaction with multiple groups of children and adhere to the cohort concept.
- Cohorts will be assigned to specific indoor locations and/or outdoor spaces for the duration of the program (typically five days for summer camp) should the need arise for indoor access.
- Where possible, staff will be assigned consistently to one homeroom and will not move between other rooms or groups of children/cohorts.
- Where possible casual/replacement staff will be assigned to support a single cohort group.
Staff should wash their hands frequently with soap and warm water and must wash their hands in the following situations:
- When they arrive and before they go home
- Before and after break times
- Before preparing, handling or serving food
- Before and after eating and drinking
- Before and after handling items from a student’s home
- Before and after touching their own or someone else’s face
- After sneezing or coughing into hands. It is recommended to sneeze or cough into your elbow
- Before and after giving or applying medication or ointment to a child or self
- Before and after assisting a child to use the toilet, and using the toilet themselves
- Before and after contact with bodily fluids (i.e. runny noses, spit, vomit, blood)
- After cleaning and disinfecting
- After handling garbage
- Before/after glove use
- Before/after handling animals
- When coming inside
- Whenever in doubt
When handwashing is not possible, a hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol content must be used.
Children should wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently, and must wash their hands in the following situations:
- When they arrive and before they go home
- Before and after eating and drinking
- Before and after handling animals
- Before and after sensory play activities or items that may have had communal use
- After using the toilet
- Before coming inside the facility
- After handling shared toys/items
- After sneezing or coughing into hands
- After wiping their nose independently
- Whenever in doubt
When handwashing is not possible, a hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol content must be used.
Staff should be promoting and practicing frequent handwashing with program participants, scheduling time in their program to do so, and must provide instruction to children on proper handwashing procedures, supervise children while handwashing and provide assistance where necessary. Refer to Public Health Ontario’s hand hygiene fact sheet for instructions on hand cleaning with soap or hand sanitizer.
Steps for Proper Handwashing — to be shown to all children individually
- Wet hands.
- Apply soap, lather for at least 20 seconds.
- Rub up to wrists, between and around fingers, palms, back of hands, fingertips, under nails, including thumbs.
- Rinse well under running water.
- Dry hands well with paper towel.
- Turn taps off with paper towel, if available.
Steps for Using Hand Sanitizer
When hands are not visibly soiled, the following steps must be used for cleaning hands using hand sanitizer:
- Apply hand sanitizer (at least 60 –90% alcohol-based).
- Rub hands together for at least 15 seconds.
- Work sanitizer between and around fingers, palms, back of hands, fingertips, under nails, including thumbs.
- Rub hands until dry.
Hand sanitizer must only be used on children who are over two (2) years of age and must always be used under staff supervision. Staff must ensure that the product has completely evaporated from the child’s hands before the child can continue their activity.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
- Remove any items that cannot easily be cleaned or sanitized per the local public health guidelines. These items include, but are not limited to, plush toys, porous toys (toys that retain water like rubber ducks, etc.), puppets and dress-up clothes.
- Minimize the sharing and frequency of touching objects, toys, equipment and surfaces, and other personal items.
- Increase the frequency (minimum twice daily) of cleaning and disinfecting objects, toys, equipmentk and frequently touched surfaces.
- Where possible, assign dedicated equipment to individual cohorts or clean and disinfect equipment between cohort uses.
- Where possible, assign dedicated rooms to individual cohorts. Programs that utilize a space that is shared by cohorts or has other user groups (ie. third party groups) must ensure the room is cleaned and sanitized before and after using the space. This is to be documented and tracked on a cleaning log posted in the room that was cleaned.
- High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily and is to be documented per Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings document. High-touch surfaces include but are not limited to door handles, pay terminals, washroom stall doors, faucets, toilet handles, etc.
- TRCA site staff are responsible for the cleaning and disinfecting these areas, except when a contracted third-party provider rents or leases the space for a program/event/function. In these cases, TRCA will hand over the space clean and the third party will be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing following the completion of their function. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures, including locations, frequencies, and PPE requirements, are detailed in the sites Re-Open Playbook.
- Step-by-step instructions for cleaning and disinfecting the restrooms are posted in the same general location as the chemicals are stored.
- Levels in soap dispensers and hand sanitizing stations are checked daily and refilled as required.
- Only one cohort should access the washroom at a time. Washroom facilities will be cleaned in accordance with the Public Health Ontario cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for public settings.
- Staff are to wear the appropriate PPE when cleaning and sanitizing including gloves, eye protection (goggles, or shield) and face mask. PPE for cleaning and sanitizing procedures is kept in a secure location on site.
- Deep cleaning and disinfectant protocols in the event of an outbreak are detailed in the site Re-Open Playbook.
Six Steps for Cleaning and Sanitizing:
Cleaning involves agitating and removing dirt with soap and water. Sanitizing removes germs. Sanitizing is only effective if surfaces are cleaned first.
- Clean with soap and water. Dish soap, cleaning cloths, and buckets are kept in a secure location on site. Soiled rags should be deposited in the appropriate receptacle for laundering.
- Rinse with clean water.
- Apply the sanitizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. Sanitizer must include a Drug Identification Number (DIN).
- Allow the surface or object to soak in the sanitizer for the required contact time as noted on the product label.
- Rinse with clean water if required according to manufacturer’s instruction on the label.
- Allow to air dry.
Visitor Centre/Field Centre/On-site Indoor spaces (aka “Centre”)
- The Centre learning areas will be closed to the general public and day use groups with the exception of the washroom and reception area.
- Centre washrooms at select sites will be open to the public. All washrooms will be cleaned a minimum of two times daily with a deep clean once per week.
- There will be hand sanitizer stations available for use outside entry doors.
- Water fountains will remain closed except for bottle re-filling stations at select locations.
- Stanchions or other physical barrier will prevent access to dedicated program areas of the Centre outside of the washroom and main entrance reception area.
- Program and event participants will have access to areas of the Centre under the direction, guidance and supervision of TRCA staff or third-party provider staff for select programs/events, under strict physical distancing protocols, compliance with current gathering guidelines and in the event of severe weather where there is no vehicle available for refuge such as programs where participants are in TRCA’s direct care.
- No food will be available for purchase from TRCA at this time.
- On-site retail stores (where available) will remain closed until further notice or will operate following local public health guidelines.
- Records of cleaning and sanitizing will be kept.
- Floor directional arrows will direct visitors in one direction in areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained when passing.
- Hand washing and respiratory etiquette signage has been placed in all washrooms.
- All staff, and participants in grades 1 and up, will be required to wear face coverings while indoors, and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be practiced.
- Children in grade SK and under will be encouraged to wear face coverings.
- Face coverings should be changed if visibly soiled, damp or damaged.
- Staff must provide education to participants about the safe use, limitations and proper care (e.g. cleaning) of face coverings. See Ontario’s COVID-19 website and Public Health Ontario’s website for additional information.
While close contact may be unavoidable between members of a cohort, physical distancing and general infection prevention and control practices should be encouraged.
Some strategies to promote physical distancing should include:
- Placing items that spark children’s curiosity during exploratory learning time in different areas to support physical distancing practices. Ideally a minimum of two meters apart.
- Using visual cues such as markings on floors, benches, tabletops, and signs on walls to promote physical distancing.
- Ensuring that the children are distanced from each other during mealtime, table work, carpet activities, and story time as much as possible. Times for these should be staggered to limit the number of children at each activity.
- Spreading children out in gathering areas such as drop -off and pick-up area or in reception area, or classrooms when inside.
- Attempting to avoid activities involving direct contact between children as much as possible, as well as toy sharing. If a toy has been mouthed or soiled (i.e. sneezed or coughed on) it is to be placed aside immediately for cleaning and sanitizing.
- Eliminating large group activities and instead incorporating more individual activities that encourage more space between participants.
- Avoiding singing songs and doing singing activities indoors. Singing can be done outdoors where there is more physical space for distancing.
- Avoid sensory touch tables, animal petting, or other activities that require frequent touching by different program participants.
- If sensory materials (e.g., playdough, clay, etc.) are offered, they should be provided for single use (i.e. available to the child for the day) and labelled with child’s name, if applicable.
- Spending time outdoors as much as possible. When indoors, maintain separation between the groups and/or programs.
- Staggering or alternating lunch/break times for staff and different groups. Cohorts cannot mix with other cohorts. They can occupy the same space at the same time when they can guarantee there will be no interaction/mixing between the cohorts at any point. This includes during pick-up, drop-off, mealtime, extended care, outdoor activities, and playtime.
- Re-arranging/increasing spatial distance of chairs and tables in staff room to ensure physical distancing. Eating outdoors when able.
- Children should bring their own sunscreen or insect repellant where possible and it is not to be shared. The items are to be labeled with the child’s name. Staff may help apply sunscreen/repellant to any child requiring it and should exercise proper hand hygiene (for example, washing hands before and after each application) and wearing a face covering when doing so.
Use food safety strategies such as:
- Reinforce “no food sharing” practices.
- Ensure each child has their own individual meal or snack.
- Do not share utensils or food items (e.g. serving spoon, salt shaker, etc.).
- Multi-use utensils must be cleaned and sanitized between uses.
- Where possible, staff should maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from children. When providing direct care to children and distance cannot be maintained, staff should wear a face covering. For example, when assisting with first aid, sunscreen, consoling, or assisting a child in any other way that requires closer than two metre contact.
- Staff will wear a non-medical face covering during any indoor activities.
- Use telephone or video conferencing when possible for meetings between staff and parents/guardians or third-party providers.
- Participants with special needs, communication issues or behavioural challenges may be more difficult to physically distance from. Consider staffing ratios and expertise when planning for supporting these individuals and appropriate PPE requirements.
Laundry and Unclaimed Articles of Clothing
- Lost and found items will be placed spread out on spaced out tables at the end of each program session. Unclaimed items are to be picked up with a gloved hand and placed in a tied plastic bag and stored in a designated area for a minimum of two weeks prior to being donated. They are not to be left in the normal lost and found area that is accessible to the public.
- Contaminated items (e.g. fecal, urine) belonging to a child (including soiled clothing) are to be sent home for cleaning. Place the item in a securely tied plastic bag and send home with the child’s parents/guardians. Soiled items must be rinsed or laundered at home only.
Suspected Cases, Confirmed Cases, or Symptoms of COVID-19
Participants should be made aware, in age-appropriate and non-stigmatizing language, how to identify symptoms of COVID-19 and should be instructed to speak to a staff member immediately if they feel ill.
- If a participant reports feeling or is exhibiting signs of COVID-19, they are to be immediately separated from the group (without stigmatizing/centering them out) in a designated isolation space or supervised area outdoors until they can be picked up by an authorized family member (as per the authorized pick up list). A distance of six feet or two metres should be maintained as much as possible between the supervising staff and ill child. In the event of inclement weather, the ill child will be brought inside to a separate designated area for such purposes.
- If the child suspected of developing symptoms of COVID-19 has a sibling in the program, the sibling is also to be isolated and picked up by the parent/guardian at the same time as the ill child.
- The parent/guardian of the child will be contacted and will need to pick up their child(ren) as soon as possible but not in a time that would exceed one hour.
- Advise the parent/guardian that the ill individual should be referred for testing in alignment with current local public health unit direction.
- Surgical/procedural mask and eye protection should be worn by the staff member supervising the ill child. When wearing a mask, staff should wash their hands before putting on the mask and before and after removing the mask.
- A face mask should also be worn by the child (if the child is isolated indoors) until their parent/guardian picks them up. Face coverings should not be placed on anyone who has trouble breathing.
- The child should be provided with tissues and reminded of hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and proper disposal of tissues. The staff member is to avoid to their best ability the respiratory secretions of the sick child.
- Sanitize the isolation space immediately after the sick person leaves. All items used by the sick person are to be cleaned and disinfected. All items that cannot be cleaned (paper, books, cardboard puzzles) should be removed and stored in a sealed container for a minimum of seven days.
- Record symptoms of the child’s illness noting the date/time and symptoms observed, as well as actions taken in a TRCA Incident Report Form to be handed into your supervisor. A list of participants and staff in the program who were in contact with/in the same cohort as the ill individual should be prepared.
- The TRCA Health and Safety Specialist or designate will contact their local public health unit for further steps and direction regarding contacting, testing and isolation of close contacts.
- The local public health unit will provide further direction on testing and isolation of these contacts, if necessary. In most instances testing and isolation would only be recommended for contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Regular program functions can continue unless directed otherwise by the local public health unit.
- If a staff member becomes ill during work they should put on a mask and are to be sent home immediately, inform their supervisor and asked to contact public health for direction.
- If a staff member is identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must report this to their supervisor. The staff member should obtain a COVID-19 test and be excluded from work for 14 days or upon receiving a negative COVID-19 test result.
What To Do Next
- Children and staff who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 must be excluded from program and should contact their local public health unit or consult the current Ministry of Health Screening tool to determine their next steps.
- While an individual suspected to have COVID-19 is waiting for test results they must be in isolation and cannot attend program in person.
- Individuals who have travelled outside of Canada should isolate for 14 days.
- Those who test positive for COVID-19 must be excluded from the program for 14 days after the onset of symptoms and the local public health unit, doctor, or other health care practitioner has cleared the child to return to the program.
- Those who test negative for COVID-19 can return to program after being symptom-free for 24 hours.
Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
This section applies to a program participant, staff member, or a member of the social circle who is regularly at the site, who informs the site that they have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 should not attend the site until they are cleared by their local public health unit or health care provider.
- Any individuals who test positive must remain in isolation for 14 days. Retesting is not recommended and will not alter this 14-day isolation requirement.
- Every individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 is contacted by their local public health unit for further follow-up.
- The local public health unit will notify the site of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. In some cases, the local PHU may not be the same local PHU as the site; and in these circumstances, coordination between the PHUs and TRCA is required for further direction. TRCA designated public health unit points of contact are the Health and Safety Specialists. This will assist with consistent and clear communication between the public health unit, the site the incident occurred, and TRCA.
- Where the local public health unit determines there was a transmission risk to others in the program, participants and staff will be assessed to determine if they were at high risk of exposure (requiring isolation) or if they were at low risk of exposure (can self-monitor for symptoms and return to program).
- Program cohorts (students and staff affiliated with the cohort) will generally be considered at high risk of exposure.
- All participants and staff determined to be at high risk of exposure will be directed to isolate and recommended to be tested (voluntary testing) within their isolation period.
- Negative test results do not change the requirement for isolation, nor do they shorten the isolation period for a close contact.
- Household members and others who live with the individual who has tested positive should isolate for 14 days.
COVID-19 Cases Outside of the Site
This section applies to individuals closely related to the site community, such as parents or members of a participant or staff member’s household, who test positive for COVID-19 outside of the program.
Situations will arise where participants or staff may be exposed to COVID-19 outside of the program environment (for example, to family members that don’t attend the program, social contacts outside of program).
- Household members and others who live with the individual who has tested positive should isolate for 14 days.
- The public health unit would provide direction to the site supervisor/manager on the actions to be taken with the site programming, depending on the circumstances of the positive COVID-19 case.
- Testing recommendation are made by an individual’s health care provider and public health unit.
Parents, program participants, and staff have an understandable interest in knowing when a COVID-19 positive case has been identified in their program.
- A COVID-19 advisory section has been created on the TRCA Camps webpage.
- If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 that involves a participant or a staff member in a program, information regarding next steps will be emailed to the parent/guardian. In the case of a student confirmed case at a school, it will be listed on the school website.
- In the interest of privacy, information provided to guardians about a positive case in a program will not identify the participant or staff member that has received a positive COVID-19 test.
- If public health advises that a cohort, program or site should be closed for a period, parents, program participants and staff will be notified immediately.
Screening and Contact Tracing
- Program staff will screen their cohort participants at the start of the program each day and will be recorded on the daily attendance list by the designated staff at the screening check-in area.
- On the daily attendance form included in the binder for each cohort group, staff will clearly mark with a letter “C” when all COVID-19 screening questions have been asked and each question was answered “NO”. Hand sanitizer should be made available at the area where screening is taking place. The screener will be the only person to touch the documentation to prevent the spread of any germs. All program participants must be screened daily.
- If an individual in the family answers YES to ANY of the COVID-19 screening questions the child will not be permitted to enter the program and be asked to leave with their caregiver and seek medical advice. Written approval from a doctor or other appropriate medical care practitioner will be required prior to returning to the program.
- When severe weather requires a screening to occur indoors, ensure signage is used to indicate path of travel and only use ONE entrance to access the location to ensure that each person is screened and follows social distancing guidelines. All other entrances to the building are to be locked.
- Staff are to sign in daily using the site contact tracing spreadsheet or TRCA online form prior to starting their shift, marking arrival time, answering “NO” to the COVID-19 screening questions and marking its completion on the form, and marking departure time at the end of their shift. All staff must complete the screening and contact tracing form daily.
- Any third-party vendor, contractor, guest or tenant who is granted entry into the centre must also be screened using the contact tracing spreadsheet inside the centre or TRCA online version prior to entry past the public area.
- Anyone entering the centre must use the contact tracing spreadsheet which will include each person’s full name, contact information and time of their arrival and departure. These visitors could include but are not limited to: cleaners, maintenance workers, persons providing support for children with special needs, food deliveries, public health staff and Ministry of Education Program Advisors. Records are to be stored in secure location at the end of each month and kept for a period of at least one year.