A coffee mug with best boss ever printed on it. - stock photo

This Version Posted: October 26, 2021

Current Reopening Situation
On This Page:
Key messages
  • Reinforce physical distancing whenever and wherever possible:
    • Allow staff to work from home if possible.
    • Avoid face-to-face meetings.
    • Avoid sharing work stations, tools or equipment.
    • Alter shifts and stagger breaks.
    • In lunch rooms and other common areas, use floor markings to show 2-metre distance between chairs. Ensure 2 metre distance is also maintained between co-workers when they remove masks to eat or drink.
  • Offer delivery or curbside pick up for customers and clients.
  • Practise good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette always. Remind everyone at work to wash hands frequently with soap and water. Provide hand sanitizer and ensure access to handwashing facilities and soap.
  • Clean and disinfect work stations, and all commonly touched surfaces often.
  • Ontario is now requiring that non-medical masks or face coverings be worn inside public places. Employees who work with the public are covered by this. Ensure everyone at work knows about proper mask fit and when a mask can temporarily be removed.
  • Recommend safe carpooling among employees. Ensure physical distancing on the drive to work. Stick to two people per vehicle. The second person should sit in the back, passenger-side seat to ensure proper distance from the driver. Masks should be worn on the trip. The only exception to this two-person limit is if travelling in the same vehicle with people from your own household.
  • Develop a plan to effectively manage employee absence and ensure that everyone stays home if they are sick.
  • Use these workplace videos to promote public health measures at work.
  • Regularly communicate and share credible and evidenced based information with employees and customers. Provide ongoing updates and let them know what you are doing to keep them healthy during the pandemic.
  • Support mental health at work. Put in place policies that support employees who need to be absent from work due to illness or being in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. Remind staff of their Employee and Family Assistance Program if your workplace has one. You can also share these Mental Health supports.
  • Know your rights as a worker during the pandemic. Click here for information on Employee Health and Safety during COVID-19.
  • Develop a plan on what to do if a person who is sick visits or comes to work at your business.
  • Support any COVID-19 instructions employees have received from a health care provider. This protects the health of your workers and customers.
Workplace health and safety resources

Visit the Ontario government website for a full list of sector-specific guidelines for reopening. You can also go to these Ontario health and safety associations for specific COVID-19 health and safety advice tailored to your workplace:

Additional Resources
What if There is a Case of COVID-19 in My Workplace?
Employees/Co-workers
  • Get employees to screen themselves for COVID-19 each day before coming to work. The Ministry of Health has an online COVID-19 Screening Tool for Employees that may be of use.
  • Anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 must NOT go to work and should self-isolate at home. Employees should not return to work until the required self-isolation period is over. Further direction on this will be provided by the Health Unit. A person’s COVID-19 vaccination status may also determine the length of any isolation.
  • Employees are responsible to report COVID-19 illness to their employer if it is likely to cause illness to another person in the workplace. If an employee discloses they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with the virus, confirm they are self-isolating.
  • Physical distancing rules at work mean employees should not be in close contact with each other. If an employee is identified as being a close contact of a co-worker who is confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19, the person should immediately take Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to see what further care is needed. They can also call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. The employee may also be contacted by public health with further directions on what to do, including self-isolating or self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Employers are strongly urged to support the COVID-19 instructions your employees have received from any health care provider. This protects the health of your workers and customers.
  • Employers should also put in place policies that support employees who need to be absent from work due to illness or being a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • The Health Unit does not recommend that employers require clearance testing or doctor’s notes for employees to return to work.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may have been touched by an employee with COVID-19 as soon as possible. Continue to frequently clean and disinfect commonly touched or shared surfaces at work, including tools, equipment and workstations.
  • Encourage everyone at work to continue following physical distancing rules (staying 2 metres or 6 feet apart from others) and regularly wash hands with soap and water
  • Toronto Public Health has developed Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace. The Guide is included here for your information.
Customers/Clients
  • Follow direction from public health about any extra precautions that are needed to reduce the risk of illness. These directives can include: getting employees/staff who were in close contact with the customer/client to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, increasing cleaning and disinfecting at your workplace, and other measures
  • Continue to keep everyone at work and customers safe:
    • Follow provincial rules that specify how your business/workplace can operate (for example, only offer curbside pickup, limit number of people in store, etc.).
    • Ensure a 2-metre (6-foot) distance is kept between people.
    • Reduce overcrowding.
    • Increase your online or phone services
    • Offer curb-side delivery
    • Make hand sanitizer available for customers at entry and exit points.
    • Encourage everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccine, and provide time off for staff to get a dose.
Related Topics
Searching information data on internet networking concept. Hand of male typing text on laptop keyboard - stock photo
Searching information data on internet networking concept. Hand of male typing text on laptop keyboard – stock photo

View all articles by topic

closeup of someone carrying a bucket full of cleaning equipment
Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Follow this guidance on cleaning and disinfecting in public spaces and workplaces in Ontario. On This Page: What You Should KnowCleaning and Disinfect Frequently Touched SurfacesSelecting Products: Cleaners, Disinfectants, Disinfectant WipesPrepare Products for UseHow to Clean/Disinfect a ...
Read More
Know your rights as an employee when it comes to health and safety during COVID-19. Resources/Legislation All levels of governments are providing support and protection for people affected by coronavirus. The following resources can help you understand your rights. (Information is current at the time of this posting; please check ...
Read More
A coffee mug with best boss ever printed on it. - stock photo
Current Reopening Situation On This Page: Key messagesWorkplace health and safety resourcesLatest UpdatesWhat if There is a Case of COVID-19 in My Workplace?Employees/Co-workersCustomers/Clients Key messages Develop and implement a workplace vaccination policy to help protect your employees and the public from COVID-19. Also provide time and encouragement for people in ...
Read More
Health is in your hands! Protect yourself, your staff and customers from COVID-19. Here's what to do: Provide hand sanitizer and tissues at all entrances and work stations Encourage employees to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based ...
Read More
Handmade patterned and cat patterned fabric face masks for virus contagion protection - stock photo
On This Page: Medical MasksHome-made (Cloth) MasksDouble-MaskingHow to Properly Use a Homemade Mask/Face CoveringSummary Do's and Dont's For Mask Use Wearing masks/face coverings is an important way to reduce the risk of COVID-19. That's why it’s important to know when and how to properly wear a mask. NOTE: The Ontario ...
Read More
Masked co-workers practise physical distancing at work
Keep your distance at work to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here's how to practise physical distancing at work: Staff and customers MUST maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) wherever possible. Offer alternatives to customers such as delivery or pick up services. Consider partnering with a non-profit ...
Read More
Printer Start, Finger pressing the start button on a multifunction printer or copier
Download and print these COVID-19 resources below: Protect Yourself and OthersPoster Wear a Mask or Face CoveringPoster COVID-19 Screening Survey For CustomersPoster (Legal size) Tips for choosing a non-medical maskPoster How to keep safe non-medical maskPoster Physical DistancingPoster How to Wash Your HandsPoster Public Health Guidelines for Use of Public ...
Read More
Close up image of a person using their cell phone to watch a YouTube video
Watch these videos for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace. From the HKPR Youtube Channel Visit us on Youtube for more videos, or click here for general COVID-19 prevention videos. COVID-19 Vaccines A Dose of Protection: Facts on COVID-19 Vaccine Developing an Employee COVID-19 ...
Read More

Stay Connected

You can find and follow updates on COVID-19 in your local community via the following HKPR resources:

If you have questions about COVID-19, you can contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, or email at info@hkpr.on.ca