COVID-19 Risk Guidance

For all risk levels, we strongly recommend:

  • Be vaccinated against COVID-19 with all doses you are eligible for (please view immunization schedule).
  • Monitor for symptoms, seek testing/treatment as you are eligible for and stay home if you are sick.
  • Be respectful of the risk tolerance of those around you. When someone may have a lower risk tolerance due to their personal preference or risk factors for severe COVID-19 we recommend the lower risk tolerance be respected (e.g. asking or by wearing your mask).

Very Low Risk BUTTON

Guidance for General Population

  • Mask: Can wear if you prefer for risk reduction.  May continue to be required in certain settings.
  • Social Gatherings: Gather with people as you feel comfortable.
  • High-risk Settings*: Can enter high-risk settings if you feel comfortable.

Guidance for High Risk Population**

  • Mask: Can wear if you prefer for risk reduction.  May continue to be required in certain settings.
  • Social Gatherings: Gather with people as you feel comfortable.
  • High-risk Settings*: Can enter high-risk settings if you feel comfortable.

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Low Risk BUTTON

Guidance for General Population

  • Mask: Can wear if you prefer for risk reduction.  May continue to be required in certain settings.
  • Social Gatherings: Can gather with people as you feel comfortable.
  • High-risk Settings*: Can enter high-risk settings as you feel comfortable.

Guidance for High Risk Population**

  • Mask: Recommended for high-risk indoor public spaces.  May continue to be required in certain settings.
  • Social Gatherings: Can gather with people as you feel comfortable.
  • High-risk Settings*: Can enter high-risk settings as you feel comfortable.

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Guidance for General Population

  • Mask: Recommended for high-risk indoor public spaces or when interacting with high risk individuals.
  • Social Gatherings: Should limit social gatherings to under 25 people.
  • High-risk Settings*: Limit attending high-risk settings.

Guidance for High-Risk Population**

  • Mask: Recommended for all interactions with people from outside your household.
  • Social Gatherings: Limit social gatherings indoors.
  • High-risk Settings*: Limit attending high-risk settings.

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Guidance for General Population

  • Mask: Recommended for all interactions with people from outside your household.
  • Social Gatherings: Limit social gatherings indoors.
  • High-risk Settings*: Limit attending high-risk settings.

Guidance for High Risk Population**

  • Mask: Strongly Recommended for all interactions with people from outside your household.
  • Social Gatherings: Avoid social gatherings in all settings.
  • High-risk Settings*: Avoid attending high-risk settings.

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Guidance for General Population

  • Mask: Strongly Recommended for all interactions with people from outside your household.
  • Social Gatherings: Avoid social gatherings in all indoor settings.
  • High-risk Settings*: Avoid attending high-risk settings.

Guidance for High Risk Population**

  • Mask: Strongly Recommended for all interactions with people from outside your household.
  • Social Gatherings: Avoid social gatherings in all indoor settings.
  • High-risk Settings*: Avoid attending high-risk settings.

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Guidance for Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

As we’ve come to learn over the past several years, there is not one ‘silver bullet’ that will end the COVID-19 pandemic.  As such, it is imperative that we “use multiple layers of prevention to provide the best protection, especially if you cannot avoid closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact. No single intervention on its own is perfect at preventing COVID-19 spread and protection from each method is complimentary and additive.” (Public Health Ontario, How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19) 

Additionally, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce notes that “during an outbreak or pandemic, staff absences can be expected for many reasons.”  This means that in today’s labour market where unemployment is at historic lows, ensuring that multiple layers of protection are in place at your business or organization will protect both the economy, your business continuity, and the overall health of our community.  

The Community Risk Index shows the risk level of COVID-19 transmission in the Peterborough Public Health (PPH) Region.  It brings together all available indicators on COVID-19 transmission into one easy-to-understand five-point scale.  Each indicator is based on local scientific data, monitored weekly by PPH. 

Video explainer – Dr. Piggott explains how to use the COVID-19 Risk Index to stay safe. 

The Workplace Risk Index (detailed below) offers actions businesses and workplaces can take, that correspond with the Community Risk Index. 

For all risk levels, we strongly recommend workplaces: 

  • Maintain/update a workplace safety plan 
  • Learn how you can create a plan to help protect your workers and others from COVID-19.  
  • Incorporate COVID-19 prevention measures into your ‘day to day’ routines 
  • Incorporate workplace mental health strategies into your COVID-19 safety plan 
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of the safety plan and the actions required of both the employee and employer to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace 
  • Develop a system to confidentially alert staff and volunteers in the event that there was a COVID-19 exposure at the workplace 
  • Ensure you are aware of all of the requirements in the Occupational Health and Safety Act as it relates to COVID-19 
  • Develop/Implement/Maintain a staff vaccination policy for your workplace 
  • Are your staff up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines? 
  • Medical Officer of Health Recommends Masking and Vaccination Policies to Prevent COVID-19  
  • Provide paid sick time for staff who are ill  
  • Benefits of Paid Sick Leave During the COVID-19 Pandemic 
  • Explore flexible scheduling policies allowing people to work remotely, in the event that they need to care for someone that is ill, or self-isolate, etc.  
  • Peterborough Green Up has created an E-Work tool kit’ that can be used to guide your policy development 
  • Increase ventilation and decrease CO2 concentration at your workplace  
  • Poorly ventilated indoor spaces increase your risk of COVID-19 
  • Monitor CO2 Levels or otherwise inspect and ensure adequate ventilation – CO2 and ventilation resources available here 
  • If your CO2 monitor is showing higher levels of CO2, you may consider one or more of the following: 
    • Reducing the number of people in the building; 
    • Avoiding strenuous activities like singing, dancing, and shouting; 
    • Servicing or upgrading your HVAC system; 
    • Consider using HEPA filters in your HVAC system to reduce particles in the air that may contain viruses or bacteria 
    • Increasing the amount of outdoor air being drawn into your HVAC system to decrease the recirculation of ‘stale’ air; 
    • Placing portable air filtration systems throughout the building; 
    • Opening windows and doors where the safety of occupants won’t be jeopardized and functioning of the HVAC system won’t be affected; 
    • Installing screens so that windows and doors can be opened without the risk of pests (e.g. flies or mosquitoes) coming in; and/or 
    • Increasing the humidity of your space. 
  • Indoor Ventilation: Guidance During the COVID-19 Pandemic 
  • Monitor for symptoms, seek testing/treatment as you are eligible for and stay home if you are sick 
  • Promote good hand hygiene!  Make a variety of handwashing and hand sanitizing options accessible to patrons, employees, and volunteers   

The following actions are prevention measures you can take at your workplace or business to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 that correspond with the current risk. 

  1. Visit the PPH Community Risk Index to determine what the current level of risk is for COVID-19 in our community 
  2. Implement the strategies at your workplace for the current risk level  
  3. At ALL risk levels it’s strongly recommended that you:   
  4. For a more detailed list of preventative actions you can take, please visit the PPH COVID-19 Workplace website.

Very Low Risk BUTTON

Low Risk BUTTON

  • Follow above guidance and consider: 
    • Masking: Staff, volunteers, and patrons are encouraged to wear high quality masks (i.e. N95/KN95), except where ventilation is adequate and physical distancing is possible. 
    • Physical Distancing: Consider setting up your business or workplace to allow for the maximum distance between both patrons and employees 

  • Follow above guidance and consider: 
    • Masking: Staff, volunteers, and patrons are strongly encouraged to wear high quality N95/KN95 at worksite, except while eating or drinking if ventilation is adequate & physical distancing is possible (eating should be done in designated areas or at work stations) 
    • Remote/hybrid: Employees and volunteers should work offsite where feasible 
    • Physical distancing:  
      • Workers and volunteers should meet using virtual methods only 
      • Consider setting up your business or workplace to allow for the maximum distance between both patrons and employees (i.e. reduced capacity, outdoor dining, wider aisles, staggered check out lines, etc.) 
    • Staff and volunteer screening:  Encourage staff and volunteers to stay home when sick. Evidence shows availability of paid sick days is critical to this decision, or employees may attend the workplace sick infecting others. 

  • Follow above guidance and consider: 
  • Staff and volunteer screening: Encourage staff and volunteers to stay home when sick. Evidence shows availability of paid sick days is critical to this decision, or employees may attend the workplace sick infecting others. 
  • Remote/hybrid work: Employees and volunteers should work offsite where feasible  
    • All non-essential work should be cancelled/postponed and work from home arrangements should be implemented. 
    • Workers and volunteers should meet using virtual methods only where feasible. 
  • Masking Staff, volunteers, and patrons are strongly encouraged to wear high quality N95/KN95 masks at all times indoors and in community settings (except while eating or drinking). Staff should eat and drink alone in designated areas or offsite. 
    • Consider putting signage up at your workplace or organization, encouraging people to wear a mask before entering your premise 
    • Consider providing N95/KN95 masks for staff, volunteers or patrons that need to be on site or at work in other community settings 
  • Testing: During highest transmission periods, consider making rapid antigen testing programs freely available for staff weekly 
  • Physical Distancing and Airspace: Consider the potential impacts of transmission at your workplace or organization and take all measures to increase physical distancing and improve ventilation. For example: 
    • Consider offering online shopping, curbside pick-up, or take-out dining for your patrons 
  • Ventilation: In addition to the recommendations above, you are encouraged to run your HVAC or ventilation systems even when the building occupancy is low or empty; consider running the system at full capacity for several days prior to staff or volunteers returning to the office 

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NOTES:

*A high-risk setting is a place where transmission levels could be higher due to large capacity limits and limited physical distancing.

**Individuals would be considered high risk if they fit in at least one of the following categories:

  • Residents who are unvaccinated, or not up-to-date with current vaccination recommendations
  • Older Adult (>60)
  • Immunocompromised or medically at-risk

Immunocompromised or immunosuppressed individuals include (Ministry of Health Vaccination Eligibility definition): individuals with active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies, receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive. A full list can be found at People who are at risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19 – Canada.ca

  • Please speak with your health care provider if you have questions about your personal health

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