virus

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) –
Reopening Safely – Guidance for Workplaces & Retail

Last updated: 9:56 a.m., May 15, 2020

The Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.  Additional seasonal, retail and household businesses will be allowed to be open, HOWEVER, they must follow the public health guidelines associated with their workplace or sector.

How to Shop Safely During COVID-19

The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. Visit the Stop the Spread  website for more information.  

A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario’s website 

In addition to the links below, please refer to the general COVID-19 information webpage. 


Click to learn more about…

Resources
Self-Assessment
List of workplaces allowed to be open?
Business Recovery Framework
Amended Legislation:  The Employment Standards Amendment Act (March 19, 2020)
If you are an Employer
What can a workplace do?
What if an employee is sick or MIGHT be sick?
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:  Support for Canadians and Businesses
Employment Insurance and COVID-19
What do I find more information?


Resources:

We ask you to support the guidance your employees have received from any health authority.

If you receive questions from your employees, please encourage them to visit our COVID-19 webpage.

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Self-Assessment:

If you think you have symptoms related to COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care.  Self Assessment Tool

Employers should be aware that returning international travellers are being asked by public health authorities to Self-isolate for 14 days from return of travel.

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List of workplaces allowed to be open?

A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario’s website. 

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Business Recovery Framework 

Learn about the next phase of the government’s response to COVID-19:

Learn how the Province is planning to reopen businesses, services and public spaces.

Get sector-specific-resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace

The 3 stages that the province will follow to safely and gradually reopen

The 6 principles that the province will use to guide decisions

Learn how to request a temporary rule or regulation change to help your business respond to COVID-19 – request a temporary rule or regulation change

Provide input on the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on your business.  Survey closes June 12.

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If you are an Employer

It is recommended that all employers in Ontario facilitate virtual work arrangements to enable employees to work from home where possible to enable workers to limit their activities, care for children and to self-isolate.   

For workplaces that are permitted to remain open, please review the guidance documents specific to your sector, to ensure protection for your staff and clients. 

 It is asked that those employers use their judgement to sustain operations in a manner that maintains physical distancing and public health guidance.  

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What can a workplace do?

Monitor the situation by visiting Peterborough Public Health: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage 

Workplaces can help by having an infection control plan which may include details such as: 

  • Providing clean hand washing facilities. 
  • Encouraging good hygiene, including hand washing and providing hand sanitation stations. 
  • Offering alcohol-based hand sanitizers when regular facilities are not available (or to people on the road). 
  • Cleaning objects that are touched frequently, such as doorknobs, handles, railings, kettles, etc. more often with regular disinfectants or soap and water. 
  • Ensuring regular cleaning of high traffic areas and high touch surfaces where the virus may reside (door handles, elevator buttons, shared telephones, etc.) 
  • Providing boxes of tissues and encourage their use. 
  • Reminding staff to not share cups, glasses, dishes and cutlery. Be sure dishes are washed in soap and water after use. 
  • Removing magazines and papers from waiting areas or common rooms. 
  • Making sure ventilation systems are working properly. 
  • Using physical distancing techniques, such as using telephone, video conferencing, or the internet to conduct as much business as possible (including within the same building), allow employees to work from home, have staggered shifts or to work flexible hours to avoid peak public transportation times or crowding the workplace. 
  • Encouraging employees to stay home when they are sick, or when they think they MIGHT be. 

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What if an employee is sick or MIGHT be sick?

If an employee thinks they have 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or has been in close contact with someone who has it, please call the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre at 705-876-5086.

You may also use this self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care.

2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) self-assessment tool

As required by the Quarantine Act, employers should be aware that returning travelers arerequired to Self-isolate for 14 days from return of travel.

There are a variety of new measures in place to protect both the employee and employer which are detailed on the Ministry’s COVID-19 website for workers

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Amended Legislation:  The Employment Standards Amendment Act (March 19, 2020)

The Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 provides job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures or to care for other relatives. These measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020, the date the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Ontario. The legislation will also make it clear employees cannot be required to show sick notes.

Click here for more information.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:  Support for Canadians and Businesses

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses. 

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Employment Insurance and COVID-19

For up-to-date information regarding Employment Insurance visit Employment and Social Development Canada.

Contact the new dedicated toll-free phone number if you are in quarantine and seeking to waive the one-week EI sickness benefits waiting period so you can be paid for the first week of your claim:

  • Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free) 
  • Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742 

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What do I find more information?

If you have other questions about your workplace, please visit: 

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