Peterborough Public Health Offers Workplaces COVID-19 Guidance to Protect Staff & Patrons
Written by Comms Team, March 7, 2022
Masking Indoors in Public Still Required, Employee Vaccination Policies Strongly Recommended; PPH Launches Survey to Gather Input from Employers/Businesses
As provincial public health regulations ease, Peterborough Public Health is recommending local workplaces continue with vaccination-related measures to protect their employees, patrons and all vulnerable residents from the spread of COVID-19.
These measures include maintaining workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies and supporting those businesses who wish to continue with proof of vaccination requirements. Masking in public settings remains mandatory in Ontario.
“The loosening of provincial public health measures signals that we have reached a turning point of this pandemic such that our health system is not at risk of being overwhelmed,” said Dr. Thomas Piggott, Medical Officer of Health. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still very much present in our community and transmission is still occurring. It is up to us as individuals and as a community to protect those at greatest risk of severe health outcomes from COVID-19. Luckily, we have the tools available to do this.”
Dr. Piggott noted that high vaccination rates continue to be the most important ways to prevent COVID-19 and is recommending for all workplaces and organizations to have a COVID-19 vaccination policy. The recommendation has been updated here on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca under COVID-19/Public Health Orders/Formal Recommendations.
Emerging evidence which indicates that three doses of an mRNA vaccine is 60% effective at reducing transmission, and 90% effective at reducing mortality from COVID-19, while simultaneously reducing the severity of illness and hospitalization. This is why Peterborough Public Health (PPH) recommends existing workplace vaccination policies should continue, and be updated to require employees to have three doses. Workplaces currently without a vaccination policy are advised to establish one based on this three-doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community healthy and safe which is essential to the economic recovery. As always in considering workplace policies, Peterborough Public Health encourages organizations to seek their own legal advice with respect to their specific workplaces and circumstances as it relates to vaccination policies.
PPH also advised that operators of any public settings wishing to continue to implement Proof of Vaccination requirements for patrons may continue to do so. The Verify Ontario app will continue to be available and the Ontario government will continue to provide access to COVID-19 vaccination certificates with a QR code. Businesses and organizations may choose to implement their own Proof of Vaccination policies, but are encouraged to obtain independent legal advice in doing so. PPH staff will continue to be available to support businesses looking to create Proof of Vaccination policies.
PPH reminds employers and residents that wearing a mask indoors is still required by provincial law, in most public settings. This means that businesses and organizations must incorporate masking requirements into their Safety Plans. Until Ontario regulations change, employees and patrons must wear a mask in public indoor spaces, including:
- public spaces (for example, inside stores, event spaces, entertainment facilities and common areas in hotels)
- workplaces, even those that are not open to the public
- vehicles that operate as part of a business or organization, including taxis and rideshares
“There isn’t a silver bullet or quick fix that will end this pandemic – it will be a series of public health measures implemented over a period time that will reduce the spread of the virus,” explained Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health. “Wearing a tight-fitting mask when you are in indoor public places is one way though, that we can slow the spread of the virus.”
PPH Launches New Survey for Businesses and Organizations!
Local owners/operators of businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate in this five-minute survey to help inform and guide PPH’s work as its role evolves supporting workplaces through the pandemic. Responses to this survey are anonymous and information provided will be kept confidential
“PPH is always striving to work in the best interest of the community we serve, and we have been truly humbled by the vast majority of business owners and operators who have diligently responded to each wave of the pandemic and the subsequent rules that followed,” said Ms. Ingram. “As we enter a new phase of the pandemic, one with less rules related to the COVID-19 response – we want to hear from those same workplaces to learn how PPH can continue to support them in the weeks and months ahead.”
For more information, please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca or Getting the COVID-19 vaccine | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario. The survey for local workplaces can be found at https://chkmkt.com/PPHWorkplacePHMSurvey.
For further information, please contact:
705-743-1000, ext. 391