What to Expect as Businesses Reopen in Step 1
Written by Comms Team, June 10, 2021
Peterborough Public Health Issues Instructions for COVID-19 Measures for All Workplaces
Residents Encouraged to Dine with Household Members Only
As Ontario prepares to enter Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen tomorrow (June 11), Peterborough Public Health has issued instructions to all employers and persons responsible for local businesses, organizations and workplaces within the City and County of Peterborough to ensure that workers have increased protection against COVID-19.
“Locally and provincially, there has been an increase in the number of workplace-related outbreaks of COVID-19 and these increased public health measures will help to protect our workers, while preventing further spread within our community,” explained Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.
The instructions include critical workplace protection measures such as active COVID-19 screening, non-medical mask use by employees, and the use of personal protective equipment (i.e. medical mask and eye protection) when workers are required to be within two metres of others without a physical barrier. Dr. Salvaterra noted these measures are required by all workplaces regardless if they have a public-facing component to their operations or not. For those operations with public spaces, all patrons are asked to respect the measures workplaces will be implementing and follow general public health measures such as wearing a mask, maintaining two metres physical distance, and staying home when ill.
“Ideally, workplaces should be strategic to ensure that physical distancing is maintained between workers and between workers and the public,” said Dr. Salvaterra. “If this cannot be achieved, workers will be required to wear personal protective equipment to reduce their risk.”
While these instructions are specific to workers, members of the public continue to have a responsibility to protect the broader community. “There are stipulations in the legislation governing Step 1 for individuals to remain physically distanced from anyone outside of their household. We are urging the public to remember this when they resume in-person use of businesses and services,” said Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health. Ms. Ingram further explained that while the legislation does not specifically extend this requirement to outdoor dining in Step 1, the intent is there. While Peterborough Public Health will not require food premises to limit seating to household members only, it strongly recommends residents dine only with those they live with as the safest option. . However, in the event that there is local or provincial evidence of transmission or exposure related to outdoor dining, these instructions will be reissued.
“As we carefully navigate this first step of reopening, these instructions to workplaces and recommendations to the public will help to reduce the risk of acquiring COVID-19 by a worker and multiple households, in the event that there is an exposure,” said Dr. Salvaterra. “The intent is to protect the community and help keep businesses and organizations open for good.”
Since the pandemic began, there were no workplace outbreaks reported in 2020 (excluding long-term care homes and retirement residences), but in 2021, 11 outbreaks have been declared in local workplaces. Of these, 10 outbreaks (91%) have occurred since March 31, 2021 reflecting the increased transmissibility of the variants of concern circulating in the Peterborough area since the spring.
A copy of the Instructions for workplaces can be found here: https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/public-health-orders/. Further information about the public health measures for businesses can be found on Peterborough Public Health’s website or by calling the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
For further information, please contact:
705-743-1000, ext. 391