How to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace
The below information is copied from PHAC: Coronavirus disease: Being prepared: For workplaces
Employers and employees need to work together to protect their own health and their clients’ health, as well as deliver essential services.
- Increase awareness about COVID-19 through communication with staff.
- Evaluate the workplace for areas where people have frequent contact with each other and shared objects.
- Increase the distance between desks and workstations as well as employees and customers (ideally 2 metres).
- A physical barrier like a cubicle or Plexiglas window also works to increase distance between people.
- Encourage frequent hand-washing, sneeze and cough etiquette, and staying home when ill.
- Where feasible, adjust policies to reduce social contact, such as:
- flexible hours
- staggering start times
- teleworking arrangements
- using email and teleconferencing
- Relax sick leave policies to support employees in staying home when ill or monitoring symptoms.
- This includes suspending the need for medical notes to reduce the burden on an already stressed health care system.
- Prepare for increases in absenteeism due to illness among employees and their families or possibly school closures.
- Access your business continuity plan for how to maintain key business functions if faced with high absenteeism.
- Consider the need for cross-training personnel to function in key positions.
More information available in the Government of Canada document Preventing COVID-19 in the workplace: Empoyers, employees and essential service workers fact sheet.
Employers should use the risk-informed decision-making guidelines for workplaces and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If employers have questions, WDG Public Health can assist by informing current policies.
Should my workplace be using social (physical) distancing practices?
- Everyone needs to practice social (physical) distancing (keeping a distance of at least two metres from others at all times), even if you have:
- no symptoms of COVID-19
- no known risk of exposure
- not travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days.
More information on Physical distancing: Actions for reducing the spread of COVID-19
- General social distancing guidelines
- Social distancing guidelines for the workplace
What do food premises need to know during COVID-19?
- Restaurants and bars are not allowed to have dine-in service.
- Where possible, remove or make seating areas inaccessible.
- Take-out and delivery options are allowed at the current time.
- Increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing of frequency touched surfaces, such as door handles, cash registers, and railings.
Resources and guidelines for Food Premises and Food Delivery Services Providing Delivery and/or Takeout:
- COVID-19 Guidelines: Food Premises and Food Delivery Services Providing Delivery and/or Takeout (March 26, 2020)
- COVID-19 Guidance for Food Premises - Best Practices Summary Sheet
- COVID-19 Sign for businesses
Resources for other business sectors:
Resources and guidelines for trailer park/campgroup owners and operators: