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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
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COVID-19 Resources for Businesses, Organizations and Facilities

Last updated: January 5, 2022

Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive, or you are a high risk contact.

Effective January 5, 2022, Ontario will temporarily move to a modified Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen. A summary of current restrictions is available at covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Roadmap to Reopen is a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures.

HPEPH will continue to update hpePublicHealth.ca to include information for local businesses and residents. Local business owners/operators who are unable to find answers to their questions on our web page are invited to complete our online inquiry form.

Proof of Vaccination

Effective 12:01 a.m. on September 22, 2021, Ontario will require patrons to provide proof of identification* and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access certain businesses and settings.

The Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act provides information for businesses and organizations implementing this requirement.

Please refer to the regulations for more information.

*Youth age 12-17 may provide a copy of their proof of identification in place of the original alongside their proof of vaccination to access these businesses and settings.

HPEPH has issued a Letter of Instruction that requires all owners, operators, and individuals responsible for indoor facilities that host organized sports in Hastings and Prince Edward counties to confirm proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all coaches, officials and volunteers aged 12 and older associated with indoor organized sports beginning on October 5, 2021.

Proof of Vaccination Exemptions

There are limited exemptions to provincial proof of vaccination requirements.

Workplace Vaccination Policies

The province has mandated vaccination policies in certain high risk settings. These policies are strongly recommended, but not currently a requirement for local businesses and retailers outside of these high-risk settings. Vaccination policies can help keep workplaces as safe as possible – and benefit employees, employers, and the greater community.
To support the development of a Vaccination Policy for your workplace, please access:

Rapid Antigen Tests

For information about Ontario’s Rapid Antigen Testing program, visit ontario.ca. Organizations using Rapid Antigen Tests should report to their use to HPEPH by filling out this form:


If an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

Conducting a Risk Assessment

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, please conduct a Risk Assessment on each employee that the case worked with, attended meetings with and/or had lunch/break AND any patron that the case interacted with or provided service to during their contagious period. Their contagious period is considered to be 48 hours before symptoms developed (or the individual tests positive) and for 10 days after symptoms start.

To assess each individual’s risk please use the following criteria – employees or patrons that meet this criteria are high risk:

  1. Any face-to-face contact with the case, while both the case and contact were wearing only a mask, and within 2 metres for a cumulative duration of at least 15 minutes or longer.
  2. Any face-to-face contact with the case, while one or both were not wearing a mask and within 2 meters for any length of time.
  3. Received any direct care/service from, or interaction with the case without appropriate and consistent use of PPE (medical mask and eye protection) for any length of time.
  4. Any direct physical contact with the case, regardless of PPE being worn for any length of time.
  5. Full PPE being worn, and 2 meters distance kept, but prolonged exposure to the case (>15 minutes) in small, poorly ventilated area. (ex. Vehicle, small conference room or office)

Notifying High-Risk Contacts

Please provide this Notification of High Risk Exposure to all identified High Risk Contacts to advise them of their next steps: hpepublichealth.ca/notification-of-high-risk-exposure-to-covid-19/

Please note, this information is for workplaces that are not currently identified as high-risk settings. Exposures that occur in high-risk settings have unique notification and isolation requirements. High-risk settings include hospitals and health care settings (complex continuing care facilities and acute care facilities), congregate living settings (long-term care, retirement homes, group homes, shelters, hospices, post-secondary dormitories, temporary foreign worker setting, correctional institutions), schools, child care centres, and camps.

Additional Public Health Advice, Recommendations and Instructions

Businesses or organizations must operate in compliance with the advice, recommendations, and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting, and working remotely.

Physical Distancing and Line Management

Businesses or places must not permit patrons to line up inside the businesses or place, or to line up or congregate outside of the business or place unless they are maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons and wearing a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin unless they are entitled to an exception set out in the regulation.

Screening

Businesses or organizations must operate in compliance with the advice, recommendations instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals. Workplaces must screen any workers or essential visitors entering the work environment.

Personal Protective Equipment including Eye Protection

Personal protective equipment that provides protection of the eyes, nose, and mouth, is required if a worker is required to come within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering and not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

All businesses or facilities must limit capacity so that every member of the public is able to maintain two metres of physical distancing from every other person.

Cleaning and Disinfection

Businesses or places that are open shall ensure that equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers that are accessible to the public are cleaned and disinfected as frequently
as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.

Face Coverings

Businesses or organizations must ensure that masks or face coverings are worn by any person (including members of the public and workers) in the indoor area of the business or organization, with limited exceptions.

Safety Plans

Requirement for all businesses open to prepare and make available a COVID-19 safety plan. A copy of the plan shall be made available to any person for review upon request, and be posted where it would come to the attention of individuals working in or attending the business.

Guidance Documents

Signage and Posters

If you have further questions about what is open or the impacts on your business or employment, call the Province’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659, or visit Reopening Ontario web page. Your role as an employer is to help manage the spread of COVID-19 in our community and is critical to reduce the spread of transmission.

Key Steps for Workplaces

Resources

Business Supports and Training

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Ergonomics for Working from Home

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services has ergonomic safety resources for Temporary Home Offices:

Psychological Health and Safety During COVID-19

As the pandemic continues to evolve, HPEPH is working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Ontario, the Ministry of Health and our community partners to monitor and respond to this situation.

Creating Healthy Workplaces

According to the World Health Organization, a healthy workplace is one in which workers and managers collaborate to continually improve the ways the workplace protects and promotes the health, safety and well-being of all workers and the sustainability of the workplace.

Healthy workplaces provide an environment that is supportive of employees’ mental and physical health, making the healthy choice the easy choice. 

Why Create a Healthy Workplace?

Today’s business environment requires organizations to leverage every possible advantage to in order to thrive, be competitive and be sustainable. Research has shown that organizations with an engaged, healthy workforce are more effective, more productive, and enjoy a better reputation. Such organizations also tend to have reduced absenteeism, fewer health-related expenses, and lower staff turnover.

How Can I Support a Healthy Workplace?

Researchers have shown that, to effectively address health in the workplace, employers need to use a comprehensive approach, acting on a variety of factors. The Ontario Workplace Health Coalition (OWHC) Healthy Workplace Model has four essential elements that work together to create a healthy workplace. It can be used by workplaces of all sizes. 

How Can Public Health Help?

HPEPH can provide information, resources, and support to encourage the creation of a healthy workplace. Have a look at our lending programs, resources available below, email healthycommunities@hpeph.ca or call 613-966-5500 and follow the prompts to reach reception.

Resources to Support a Healthy Workplace

Healthy Eating at Work

The workplace often involves food and meal times. Our Healthy Workplace Nutrition Environment Toolkit and Hosting Healthy Meetings and Events brochure can provide some ideas to encourage healthy eating at work.

Shift Work

Shift work is common in workplaces. It can affect employee health, as well as safety on the job. Organizational approaches can reduce the negative effects of shift work.

Stress and Mental Health

One in five Canadians live with a mental illness. There are many resources available to support employees living with a mental illness and their employers.  

Stress Strategies is a problem-solving approach to addressing stress management. You may wish to share this information about stress-friendly lifestyles with your employees.

Need More Information About COVID-19 Resources for Businesses, Organizations and Facilities?

Call 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 610.

Interested in receiving monthly updates about HPEPH programs and services?

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Effective January 5, Ontario has moved to Modified Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen, and students will temporarily pivot to remote learning.  A summary of current restrictions is available at covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

SYMPTOMS OR EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive, or you are a high risk contact.

COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

All eligible individuals must book an appointment for an immunization clinic at Ontario.ca/book-vaccine, or make an appointment at a participating local pharmacy. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

For information about vaccinations for children and youth, visit  hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines-youth.