Additional Public Health Measures for All Sectors
Establishments have a responsibility to ensure that their workplaces operate in a way that minimizes risk for workers, volunteers, patrons and the community. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, these businesses should implement the following additional safety measures. These measures are in addition to the ones in the COVID-19 Response Framework.
- Remind everyone (employees, volunteers and patrons) not to enter if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Encourage them to use the online self-assessment tool before entering or set up a screening station away from the entrance to avoid crowding.
- Offer to reschedule appointments or reservations for patrons when they are sick. If applicable, consider eliminating penalties on cancellations to encourage patrons to reschedule if they are feeling unwell.
- Employees, volunteers, guests or patrons who are sick, or who have any COVID-19 symptoms, or who live with someone that has any COVID-19 symptoms, must stay home. Encourage them to seek testing. To know when employees who are sick or who have had any COVID-19 symptoms can return to work, see the recommendations according to how long they must self-isolate. Have a flexible sick leave policy so employees do not come in sick.
Signage, Prominently Displayed
- Practice Physical Distancing (8.5x11 poster)
- Practice Physical Distancing (11x17 poster)
- Visitors Notice (COVID-19 Health Assessment) (8.5x11 poster)
- Mask Required (8.5x11 poster)
- Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
- Temporary signs to ensure that employees and patrons are aware that smoking or vaping are not permitted in settings. Official Smoke Free Ontario Act signs can be ordered by visiting the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s Smoke-Free Ontario Act signage request website.
Physical Distancing and Crowd Control
- Avoid any physical contact. Encourage people to greet each other with a bow or wave.
- Provide plexiglass dividers at cashiers or any other service that requires an employee to be close to the patron, if possible.
- Consider flexible work schedules and staggered lunch and break times to discourage from congregating.
- Limit the amount of time employees spend within two metres/six feet of patrons.
- If applicable, assign employees to monitor the parking lot and entrances for crowd control and to discourage patrons from congregating. Restrict the number of people and stagger their entrance into the premises to respect physical distancing.
- If applicable, design a flow in the whole premises. Remove non-essential furniture to allow ease of movement. Verify to determine if separate entrances and exits are necessary. Throughout, mark the direction of travel with an arrow taped to the floor. If applicable, every aisle in the premises should become a one-way. Discourage movement against the flow of people moving in the space.
- Ensure that patrons seated around one table belong to the same household; otherwise, a 2 meters distance should be maintained at all times.
- When possible, inform patrons that pickups should be done by no more than one person. For appointments, patrons should not bring guests, including children, unless they also have an appointment.
- For appointments, inform patrons to stay in their vehicles until it is their turn to be serviced. Eliminate waiting areas. Ask walk-in patrons to call from outside the premises to make an appointment.
- Consider including online services. Encourage online or telephone appointments, reservations, orders, payment in advance using credit/debit card.
- If applicable, ask patrons to not stop in front of the cash register but to circulate to the end of the conveyor belt. Reduce the lines and grouping at checkout or service counters by having patrons line up behind 6ft tape markings on the floor and have an employee send patrons to cashiers as they become available.
- When possible, for patrons who cannot tolerate a mask, an appointment should be made at the end of the day when there are no other patrons on-site.
- If applicable, limit the number of items per patron for any product in the premises to prevent hoarding.
Proper Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- Encourage handwashing and provide portable hand washing stations for patrons or alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout the premises and at the points of entry.
- Employees dealing directly with patrons should practise adequate hand hygiene after servicing each patron, and each time they handle money, by washing their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds.
- Employees should be reminded to cough or sneeze into the bend of their arm.
Personal Protective Equipment
- If applicable, PPE such as gloves, masks, and eye protection (face shield/goggles) should always be available on-site for employees to use as needed. Personal Service Operators are required to provide adequate PPE for employees.
- Employees should be trained on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including putting on and taking off gloves, masks/face coverings, face shields/goggles, and gowns, if worn. PPE should never be shared amongst employees.
- Masks should be used properly and cleaned or discarded appropriately. If applicable, make disposable masks available to patrons when needed.
- Re-usable face shields/goggles should be assigned to one employee and cleaned and disinfected between each use.
- Employees using gloves should be reminded not to touch their face and head. The use of disposable gloves is not a substitute for proper hand hygiene. If an employee uses gloves, it is important that they change them every hour or more often as necessary such as when changing tasks or after servicing each patron. When gloves are removed, new gloves must be used each time. Clean hands with soap and water or with hand sanitizer before putting on and after taking off gloves.
Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
- Often (twice daily and when visibly dirty) disinfect high traffic areas and frequently-touched items such as door handles, phones, switches, etc. If applicable, sanitize shopping carts and baskets between patrons.
- Frequently clean and disinfect where orders are prepared. Use appropriate cleaner and disinfectant as per manufacturer’s instructions (consult the list of acceptable disinfectants). If you are unable to buy commercial disinfectant, you can make your own homemade disinfectant.
- Washrooms should be monitored to re-stock supplies twice daily and when visibly dirty. Paper towels and toilet paper should only be made available through an adequate dispenser.
- If necessary, ensure seating and furniture are easy to clean and disinfect. Provide disinfecting wipes for visitors to wipe down seating areas prior to use.
- Limit hours of operation to allow for proper cleaning and disinfection of all areas of the facility.
- If applicable, ensure there is enough time between appointments to thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and workstations between servicing each patron.
- Either use tapping when paying by card or establish a protocol to sanitize the keypad. If applicable, ensure patrons use their own pen or disinfect pen between each use. Disinfect the debit/credit card machine between each use.
- Employees should launder their clothing after each shift or wear a protective cover over clothing and launder after each shift.
- Remove all loose items such as magazines, brochures, décor, and self serve items such as stirring sticks, straws and napkins. Where possible, use disposable, single-use supplies. Avoid use of items that are difficult to clean, sanitize or disinfect. If items such as menus cannot be cleaned between uses, consider alternative formats such as single-use paper, online for patron’s mobile devices, menu-boards, or chalkboards. If applicable, tables should not be pre-set, and utensils should be rolled or packaged.
- Limit the number of people sharing equipment or tools. If possible, assign each worker a unique set of tools for their personal use only.
- Consider using only 1 cashier for cash payments. If applicable, do not allow the employees to handle used and multiple use items such as shopping bags.
- If applicable, ensure all water systems (drinking fountains) are safe to use after the prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of diseases associated with water. Encourage everyone to bring their own water bottles. If drinking fountains are available, ensure they are used safely and cleaned and disinfected daily and as necessary.
- Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in the ventilation system. Increase fresh air intake, and open doors and windows where possible.
- Follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1, and its regulations.
Additional Information and Resources
- COVID-19 Self-Assessment – Online screening tool and recommendations from Ontario's Ministry of Health
- COVID-19 Worker and Employee Screening Some exclusions may apply when isolation is not in the best interest of the public (i.e. healthcare workers). These individuals should consult their employer’s occupational health and safety department for instructions.
- COVID-19 Safety Planning Tool for Community Partners, Businesses and Service Providers.
- Order from the Medical Officer of Health for Mandatory Isolation of Certain Individuals
- COVID-19 Customer Log
- Hand Hygiene and Infection Prevention Resources
- Masks (Face Coverings)
- List of Essential Workplaces
- Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace
- Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace: Employers, employees and essential service workers
- Ontario Ministry of Health: Sector-specific guidelines and resources
- Volunteer Checklist – Volunteering During COVID-19 (Volunteer Canada, March 2020)
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: COVID-19 Tip Sheets by sector
- Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) on COVID19
- Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020
- “Stop the Spread” Business Information Telephone Line – Toll-free line for businesses who have questions about how to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic (Government of Ontario)