Toronto Public Health Instructions for Workplaces
On January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to all employers in the City of Toronto permitted to be open under the Reopening Ontario Act. Employers permitted to be open are required to take the additional measures set out in this Letter to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To summarize, these measures include:
IMMEDIATE NOTIFICATION TO TORONTO PUBLIC HEALTH: Immediately notify Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 as soon as you become aware of two or more people who test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day interval in connection with your workplace premises.
1) Designate a contact person for the workplace to communicate with Toronto Public Health
2) Provide contact details for all workers within 24 hours of request
3) Notify the Ministry of Labour and/or other relevant government authorities,
4) Cooperate with infection prevention and control personnel
HAND HYGIENE: Ensure hand sanitizer and hand-washing facilities are provided in work and rest areas. Hand sanitizer with 60-90% alcohol content is recommended.
CLEANING PROTOCOLS: Implement rigorous and frequent environmental cleaning in all high-touch areas and those areas accessible to the public, including washrooms, check-out counters, concession stands, and other high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons.
AIR QUALITY: Conduct or have the property owner or landlord conduct a regular review of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to ensure they are functioning well.
WORK VEHICLES AND PASSENGERS: Minimize instances of more than one individual in a vehicle for driving associated with work. If unavoidable, ensure face coverings are worn in the vehicle (preferably medical masks) and drive with the windows open.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING: Ensure that physical distancing of workers takes place by at least two (2) metres throughout the workplace and during eating and rest periods (e.g., lunchrooms, change rooms, washrooms). Install one-way walkways to reduce close physical interactions.
PHYSICAL BARRIERS: Implement physical barriers, such as plexiglass, when physical distancing is not possible. Physical distancing is always preferable to the use of barriers.
SUPPORT FOR WORKERS: In order to encourage forthright reporting of COVID-19 symptoms or contact among employees, ensure that all employees are aware of income replacement and workplace-related benefits they are entitled to if they have to isolate due to symptoms of COVID-19, being tested for COVID-19 or being a close contact of someone with COVID-19.