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Visit WECHU’s Provincial Pandemic Status page for updates on Windsor-Essex’s status level and a summary of current provincial requirements and local enhanced measures.

Enhanced Local Measures & Instructions

The Medical Officer of Health’s Workplace Letter of Instruction provides additional measures that employers can implement to keep employees and customers safe, such as:

  • Taking any and all measures to comply with all requirements in the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 and associated regulations and all local Section 22 Orders;
  • Providing workers with appropriate personal protective equipment if the work environment cannot be altered to allow the required 2 metres (6 feet) of physical distancing at all times;
  • In the circumstance that employees are within a 2 metres (6 feet) distance of each other or a customer that isn’t masked (e.g., a server in a restaurant tending to those eating without masks), a face shield or eye protection is also required.

Three-Step Roadmap

Essential retail at 25% capacity, such as:

  • Supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets and other stores that primarily sell food
  • Pharmacies
  • Discount and big box retailers selling groceries
  • Safety supply stores
  • Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies
  • Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public:
  • Retail stores operated by telecommunications providers
  • Stores that sell liquor, including beer, wine and spirits
  • Outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries.
  • Indoor greenhouses.
  • Non-essential retail at 15% capacity, including businesses located within an indoor farmer’s market
  • Retail stores in malls closed unless the stores have a street facing entrance. Members of the public must only be permitted to enter the shopping mall for the purpose of:
    • accessing a business or place that is permitted to be open
    • accessing a designated location
    • delivering or supporting the delivery of court services
    • operations by or on behalf of a government
    • delivering or supporting the delivery of government services
  • Music at a place of business must not be played at a decibel level that exceeds the level at which normal conversation is possible

Essential retail and other select retail stores are open at 50% capacity, such as:

  • Supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets and other stores that primarily sell food, other than establishments described in section 1.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Discount and big box retailers that sell groceries to the public.
  • Safety supply stores.
  • Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies.
  • Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public.
  • Retail stores operated by telecommunications providers.
  • Stores, other than establishments described in section 1, that sell liquor, including beer, wine and spirits.
  • Outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries.
  • Indoor greenhouses.

Non-essential retail open at 25% capacity

Shopping malls (including stores) may open if they ensure that any interior dining spaces inside the shopping mall, including any tables and seating in food courts, are closed and shall ensure that the following conditions are complied with:

  • Members of the public who enter the shopping mall must not be permitted to loiter in any area of the shopping mall.
  • The person must ensure that music is not played at the shopping mall at a decibel level that exceeds the level at which normal conversation is possible.
  • The number of members of the public in the shopping mall at any one time must not exceed the total capacity determined by taking the sum of the capacities of every business in the mall.
  • No member of the public may be permitted to line up or congregate outside of the mall unless they are maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons inside or outside the mall.
  • No member of the public may be permitted to line up or congregate inside the mall unless they are,
    • maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons inside or outside the mall, and
    • wearing a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless they are entitled to any of the relevant exceptions.

Essential and non-essential retail open with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres

Shopping malls may open if the person responsible for the shopping mall ensures that:

  • Members of the public who enter the shopping mall must not be permitted to loiter in any area of the shopping mall
  • The number of members of the public in the shopping mall at any one time must not exceed the total capacity determined by taking the sum of the capacities of every business in the mall

Capacity Limits

The person responsible for a place of business or facility that is open to the public shall limit the number of persons in the place of business or facility so that:

  • Members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the business or facility; and
  • The total number of members of the public in the business or facility at any one time does not exceed the allowable capacity limit.

All businesses or facilities that engage in retail sales to the public must post a sign in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity under which they are permitted to operate.

Determining Capacity Limits:

  • To calculate 75% capacity of an outdoor setting, divide the total square metres of area accessible to the public (not including shelving and store fixtures) by 1.33 and round the result down to the nearest whole number.
  • To calculate 50% capacity of an indoor setting, take 50% of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • To calculate 25% capacity of an indoor setting, take 25% of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.

Curbside Pick-Up & Delivery

All retail business are encouraged to use remote interactions by:

  • Providing pre-pay options for the customers either online or over the phone (i.e., accept cashless no touch methods of payment).
  • Establishing a process to minimize the amount of time needed to complete the curbside transaction by:
    • Pre-scheduling pick-up times
    • Having customers notify you when they arrive by phone, text, or other methods
  • Loading the product into the car if possible, while asking the customer to remain inside their vehicles to limit contact. The identity of the driver may be verified by asking them to display it through the window of their vehicle.
  • Ensuring employees sanitize hands and surfaces in between each customer interaction.
  • Advising customers not to use their own containers, reusable bags, or boxes.
  • Ensuring customers and staff know to stay home if they are sick.
  • Provide training to employees on effective hand hygiene practices and if required, the proper way to put on and remove PPE such as masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves.
  • Prohibiting customers from entering your store to select goods, try on or sample goods, or return or exchange goods.
  • Note: Curbside pick-up does not include sidewalk sales or other displays of goods for sale on the sidewalk at this time.

Businesses allowing patrons to pick up items, must:

  • Have a public entrance that opens onto a street or exterior sidewalk; or
  • In the case of a business in a shopping mall, permit patrons to pick up the items at a designated location established by the shopping mall.

Businesses providing delivery services should:

  • Ensure delivery drivers are not reporting to work when sick. Use the Workplace Screening Tools available on the WECHU website.
  • Increase the frequency and cleaning and disinfecting of the delivery vehicle, focusing on high touch points such as door handles, shifters, steering wheels, and controls.
  • Ensure delivery drivers practice proper hand hygiene, whether or not they wear gloves.
  • Make arrangements to drop off the products at the customer’s home and avoid having direct in-person interaction with the person receiving the delivery.
  • Avoid close contact with customers during the delivery process by arranging for pre-payment on the phone or online.

COVID-19 Safety Plan

The person responsible for a business that is open must prepare and make available a safety plan. The plan must:

  • Describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19.
  • Include measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning, disinfecting and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Be in writing and made available to any person for review, on request.
  • Be posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working in or attending the location.

Non-Medical Face Masks, Face Coverings, and Eye Protection

Ontario Regulation 82/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 1 mandates the wearing of face coverings in indoor public places and workplaces.

In addition to wearing a non-medical face mask or face covering, staff must wear eye protection when they are:

  • Within 2 metres of patrons who are not wearing a non-medical mask or face covering, and/or
  • In an indoor area and are not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barriers.

Train staff on the proper use, removal and disposal of non-medical masks.

Non-medical masks do not replace other important public health measures, such as physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or sleeve and staying home when feeling ill.

More information about face coverings and eye protection is available by visiting the Face Coverings & Eye Protection webpage.


Signage and Screening

  • Every patron/customer/staff member that enters the facility/workplace must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors. There are two different types of screening:
    • Passive screening: people assess their own risk factors and make the decision themselves. Post clear signage at all entrances with screening questions and instructions. If active screening of patrons entering a facility is not possible (for example, public transit, grocery stores), post signage instructing people with symptoms not to enter.
    • Active screening: an employer ensures that the information is collected and reviewed to determine whether a person may enter the workplace. Actively screen staff using the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces. This includes workers, volunteers, suppliers, and contractors.
  • Post signage at entrances and throughout the retail establishment that clearly communicate procedures for physical distancing between staff and customers.  This include posters and floor markings such as instructional tape/stickers that direct the flow of people waiting for services, including any waiting areas. Examples of signage can be found in the Resources & Signage section of the WECHU website.
  • Post signage to communicate entry procedures such as hand sanitizing, sneeze and cough etiquettewearing of cloth masks, and/or screening for symptoms.
  • Ensure employees are aware of common COVID-19 symptoms and in addition to active screening upon arrival, instruct them to complete a daily provincial screening tool for workplaces before reporting to work.
  • Provide training to employees on effective hand hygiene practices and if required, the proper way to put on and remove PPE such as masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves.

Physical Distancing

Complete any needed modifications in areas where there will be staff and/or customers, to assist with physical distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection. For example:

  • Monitor entrances to control staff and customers entering the store.
  • Rearrange store layout and remove non-essential furniture/items, to allow ease of movement for physical distancing.
  • Establish directional aisles to manage customer flow and place visual markers (e.g. tape on the floor, pylons, signs) spaced 2 metres apart for customers lining up when waiting to enter the store and cash-out.
  • Staff should remind customers to stay 2 metres apart, as much as possible while shopping.
  • Use every other check out station if less than 2 metres apart.
  • If possible, install barriers (e.g. Plexiglas) between workers who must work in close proximity to each other.
  • Install barriers (e.g. Plexiglas) in areas where customers must come within 2 metres of employees (such as at check-in area or check-out areas) or within 2 metres of people from other groups (self check-out).
    • For barriers in areas where people are standing, ensure the top of the barrier is 15 cm above the top of the head of the tallest patron or employee, which would be at least 2 metres (79 inches) from the ground.
    • For barriers in areas where people are sitting, ensure the top of the barrier is 15 cm above the top of the head of the tallest seated patron or employee, which would be at least 1.46 metres (58 inches) from the ground.

To maintain physical distancing while offering curbside pick-up services, consider:

  • Posting signage near entrances and parking area that clearly communicate procedures for physical distancing and what steps customers should follow. If possible, also have someone in place to direct customers.
  • Set up queue lines at entrances (e.g., using cones or ropes) and ensure that pedestrians are still able to use the sidewalk safely.
  • Maintaining a minimum pedestrian clearway of 2.1 metres is essential to ensuring that all pedestrians can move safely along an unobstructed sidewalk, especially those using mobility devices, strollers, or other similar apparatus. In order to ensure room is available for passengers to ensure physical distancing from those waiting in line, consider the following:
    • Using private property (i.e., parking lots) to queue customers wherever possible. If public sidewalks must be used, do not allow customers to block the pedestrian clearway.
    • Spacing customers in the furnishing zone of the sidewalk (i.e. between trees, bike rings, benches) and actively monitor your line-up to ensure a pedestrian clearway of 2.1 metres is maintained at all times.
  • Displaying “Stand Here” signage or placing markers (e.g., tape, cones) every two metres can serve as distance cue reminders.
  • For in-person payments, having cashiers step back from customers if the card reader cannot be relocated two metres away from the cashier or if a physical barrier cannot be installed.
  • If the queue outside your store gets too long to manage, consider ways to have customers queue up digitally and leave their contact information.
  • Avoid offering sales or promotions designed to attract big crowds. Ensure that you adhere to other relevant public health guidance.

General Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Ensure hand washing facilities are available and in good working order.
  • Ensure there is always sufficient supply of approved disinfecting solution or wipes, and an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitizer) with a minimum of 60% alcohol content, liquid hand soap, and paper towels. These should be easily accessible to employees.
  • Provide additional garbage bins for safe disposal of used masks, tissues, and paper towels and wipes.
  • Shopping carts and baskets must be sanitized between each customer. Items that cannot be easily sanitized should not be provided (e.g. cloth bags).
  • Do not distribute coupons, samples, testers, or flyers by hand directly to customers. These items can be provided on a table for customers to take if interested.
  • Encourage the use of contactless payments whenever possible. If handling cash, use alcohol-based hand rub after each transaction and avoid touching your face.
  • Clean debit/credit terminals after each customer or as frequently as possible.
  • Encourage the use of contactless payments whenever possible. If handling cash, use alcohol-based hand rub after each transaction and avoid touching your face.

Resources

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Last modified: 
Friday, September 10, 2021 - 3:48pm