Information on Reopening

Any questions regarding the re-opening of workplaces/organizations/public spaces/etc. can be sent to healthyworkplaces@algomapublichealth.com, or the Healthy Workplaces line at APH can be contacted at 705-942-4646 ext. 3273.

On April 30th, the provincial government released thisHealth and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak”. On this page you will find workplace specific information that will be valuable for operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further to the guidance from the province, it is important to remember and implement these basic infection prevention and control measures:

  • Maintain physical distancing of 2m (make sure workplace is set up to do this as best as possible, and post the signage attached). Continue having staff work from home whenever possible, and minimize crowds.
  • When physical distancing of 2m is not maintained, contact with persons inside the 2m “bubble” should be documented in a diary, both at and away from work.
  • Ensure ability for increased hand hygiene (soap and water for when hands are soiled/when eating/after using the bathroom, approved hand sanitizer readily available elsewhere). Post signs on how to use both methods.
  • Conduct increased environmental cleaning and disinfection. Ensure those conducting cleaning and disinfecting. are armed with knowledge of how to do so properly (click here for fact sheet).
  • Ensure no one presents (either employees or clients) when ill. You can remind them of this when booking appointments (if applicable), or on signage upon entering the facility. Follow provincial guidelines on when it is safe to return to work/appointments.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Ensure that all signage is posted in clear locations upon entering the workplace and in high traffic areas.
  • And lastly, document/log/track visitors/customers/clients in your workplace, especially close contact interactions which can help case/contact management if need arises in the workplace setting.

There is also a Frequently Asked Questions About Essential Businesses document released with more information, and further guidance from the province here.

Key Updates on Workplace Re-Opening for Algoma-Area Businesses

May 7th, 2020

As the province begins to announce the re-opening of specific business sectors, a timeline of updates and workplace resources can be found below. Any questions regarding the re-opening of workplaces/organizations/public spaces/etc. can be sent to healthyworkplaces@algomapublichealth.com, or the Healthy Workplaces line at APH can be contacted at (705)-942-4646 ext. 3273 or at 1-(866)-892-0172.

This email and phone line are answered by APH’s public health inspectors and public health nurses. You can also visit our COVID-19 website page for employers that has additional  information and resources.

Any worker who thinks they are working in unsafe conditions should report their concerns to Ontario’s Health and Safety Contact Centre, at 1-(877)-202-0008.

For Employers & Workplaces

Below are some Ministry documents that may be helpful to review for those businesses that recently been allowed to reopen. This information could also be informative for future planning purposes.

Future Updates for Upcoming Sectors

The ministry has also prepared guidance notes for five key economic sectors.

What has Re-Opened?

As of May 4, 2020 this is the list of businesses that can re-open along with the corresponding dates.

May 4th

  • Lawn care and landscaping
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only
  • Golf courses are allowed to prepare for their upcoming season but must remain closed to the public
  • Marinas can begin preparing for the recreational season by servicing boats and other watercraft. Boats can be placed in the water but must be secured to a dock at all times in the marina until public access is allowed.
  • Essential construction projects, including:
    • Shipping and logistics, broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure, any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services, municipal projects, colleges and universities, child care centres, schools and site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development

May 8th

  • Garden centres and nurseries that offer curbside pick-up and delivery only

May 9th

  • Hardware stores and safety supply stores

May 11th

  • Retail stores with a street entrance can open for curb-side pick-up
  • Below-grade, multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums

Guidance for Businesses who are Re-Opening

These steps can act as a guide for businesses in the process of reopening to ensure safety for their employees, customers and the general public.

Redistributing Responsibilities

  • Continue having staff work from home as much as possible and make sure they are equipped to do so.
  • Use telephone, videoconferencing or other technologies to replace face to face meetings and appointments with clients.

Physical Distancing

  • Maintain physical distancing of 2m (make sure workplace is set up to do this as best as possible, post signage).
  • When physical distancing of 2m cannot be maintained in a workplace, employers may implement the use of face coverings (e.g. non-medical or homemade masks)
  • Encourage workers or clients to stay home is they are sick.
    • For clients, you can remind them of this when booking.
  • Employers should be flexible with requiring health care provider’s notes for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness. Heath care provider’s notes to validate illness or to return to work can put unnecessary strain on health care provider offices and medical facilities during this time. For the general public, it is not recommended that asymptomatic people be tested.
    • Have employees self-monitor for symptoms and complete the online self-assessment tool.
    • They can also contact their health care provider, Telehealth Ontario at 1-(866)-797-0000, or Algoma Public Health at (705)-759-5404.
    • Follow provincial guidelines on when it is safe to return to work/appointments.

Workplace Hygiene

  • Facilitating proper hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and physical distancing can help continue the success in preventing the spread of COVID-19:
    • Reducing overcrowding is an important measure.
  • Ensure ability for increased hand hygiene. Soap and water are the preferred method and should be used when hands are visually unclean. If hand washing facilities are not readily available approved hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) should be readily available.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Commonly used cleaners are effective against COVID-19 when used properly and should be used with increased environmental cleaning and disinfection for high touch surfaces:
    • Doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, keypads, touch screen surfaces, etc.
  • Ensure those conducting cleaning and disinfecting are armed with knowledge of how to do so properly and how to protect themselves.

Resources