Last updated: May 20, 2022
HPEPH will continue to update this website to align with current provincial guidance. For the most up to date information on current public health measures, please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures. Ontario’s longer term plan to live with COVID-19 is available at ontario.ca/page/living-and-managing-covid-19-march-9-2022. Local business owners/operators who are unable to find answers to their questions on the provincial site or this web page, are invited to complete our online inquiry form.
Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive, or you are a high risk contact.
As of March 1 Ontario is under Schedule 4 and 5 “Roadmap Exit Step” of O. Reg 364/20 . Additional information about current restrictions and upcoming changes to guidance is available at covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.
Summary of Current Public Health Measures for Workplaces
|Face coverings/masks||A mask or a face covering that covers the mouth, nose and chin is required for certain individuals/in certain settings, which include:|
• Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 and who are contacts of someone with COVID-19
• Public transit, including indoor areas and vehicles. This does not include businesses or organizations that provide sightseeing or touring services.
• Health care settings including:
• Psychiatric facilities
• Doctors’ offices
• Immunization clinics
• Specimen collection centres
• Home and community care provider locations (only for employees or contractors)
• Long term care and retirement homes
• Shelters and other congregate care settings that provide care and services to medically and socially vulnerable individuals
For a complete list of settings and exceptions to masking requirements that may apply, please refer to O. Reg. 364/20.
Regardless of where they are, individuals are encouraged to wear a tight-fitting, well constructed mask if they feel it is the right choice for them.
Businesses and organizations may also choose to implement their own rules related to masking.
|Proof of vaccination||Proof of vaccination requirements have been lifted, effective March 1. Businesses and organizations may choose to require proof of vaccination upon entry. The Verify Ontario app will continue to be made available for businesses and other settings that wish to continue using it. Additional information is available at ontario.ca.|
On March 9, 2022 the province announced the following changes will come into effect as outlined below:
|Date||What is Changing|
|June 11||• All remaining measures, directives, and orders end|
• Masking requirements end in all other settings
• Any remaining emergency orders under ROA expire
• Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to provide guidance and recommendations on IPAC, including use of PPE
• Province to continue to provide rapid antigen tests and PPE
Workplace Vaccination Policies
Vaccination policies are strongly recommended but not required for local businesses and retailers outside of high-risk settings. Provincial vaccination and testing policy requirements for high risk settings will be revoked on March 14, 2022, however vaccination remains the cornerstone of COVID-19 prevention, and organizations are strongly encouraged to incorporate vaccination policies into their procedures. 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:
As of March 21, passive screening of individuals prior to entering a business will no longer be required. Workplaces may choose to continue the voluntary screening of workers and employees.
- Staff Screening – Updated March 9, 2022
- Employee/Visitor/Patron Screening Poster – HPEPH – Updated March 2022
If an Employee is a Confirmed or Presumed Case of COVID-19
- Conduct a Risk Assessment
- on each employee the case interacted with (work, meetings, lunch, break), and any patron that the case interacted with/provided service to during their contagious period*
- Risk Assessment Criteria: High Risk/Close contact includes the following
- Any face-to-face contact (2 metres or closer) for a total of 15 minutes or longer (even if there were several shorter interactions that added up to 15 minutes, and even if wearing a mask).
- Any face-to-face or physical contact while one or both people were not wearing a mask and within 2 metres for any length of time.
- Received or provided any service or interaction without appropriate and consistent use of PPE (medical mask and eye protection) for any length of time.
- Notify High-Risk Contacts, by sharing HPEPH’s Notification of High Risk Exposure**
*Contagious period is considered to be 48 hrs before symptoms/test date and up to the end of your isolation period.
**This process is for general workplaces that are not currently identified as highest-risk settings. Highest risk settings have separate notification requirements. High risk contact includes: Face to face contact within 2m or closer for 15 minutes or longer (cumulative) even if wearing a mask; Any face to face or physical contact while one or both people are not wearing a mask and within 2m for ANY length of time; Provided/received any service/interaction without appropriate use of PPE (mask and eye protection) for any length of time.
Rapid Antigen Tests for the Workplace
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:
Additional COVID-19 Guidance Documents for Workplaces
- Resources to Prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace
- Where to Source Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Face Covering Requirements in businesses/establishments – FAQ
- COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Use of Public Washrooms
- COVID-19 Guidance for the Health Sector
- COVID-19 Guidance: Workplace Outbreaks
- Public Services Health and Safety Association Healthy & Safety Guidance During COVID-19
- Pandemic Recovery: Return to Business Checklist – Workplace Safety and Prevention Services has developed this high-level tool to assist your re-opening plans
Signage and Posters
- Employee/Visitor/Patron Screening Poster – HPEPH
- Mandatory Mask Sign with Exemptions – HPEPH
- Wash Your Hands – Public Health Agency of Canada
- Physical Distancing Poster – Ministry of Health
- What You Need to Stay Healthy – Ministry of Health
- How to Wear a Mask Safely – HPEPH
- Break Poster – Ministry of Labour
- Lunch Poster – Ministry of Labour
- Keep It To Yourself Poster – Ministry of Labour
Psychological Health and Safety Resources
- Managing Through COVID-19: How to Support Your Employees’ Mental Health
- COVID-19 Crisis Response Training Resources – Mental Health Commission of Canada
- Supporting Workplace Mental Health During COVID-19 – Workplace Strategies for Mental Health
- Supports available for health care workers whose mental wellness has been impacted by the pandemic, and a digital toolkit to help raise awareness – Ontario Health’s Centre for Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.