Workplaces, Organizations & Facilities
Guidance for employers, owners and operators of businesses, and workplaces in Windsor-Essex County to assist with COVID-19 prevention in places of work.
Updates to Requirements
Businesses and organizations may choose to develop a COVID-19 workplace safety plan. A guide to developing your COVID-19 workplace safety plan is available online.
Businesses and organizations may choose to implement their own rules pertaining to face masks or screening. Screening tools are available online for workers and customers. The Verify Ontario app will remain accessible for those workplaces that choose to continue requiring proof of vaccination. Posters are also available from WECHU.
The StaySafe Rapid COVID-19 Testing Program is now available for Windsor and Essex County. Visit the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce website to order your free COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self Screening kits.
Have over 150 employees? Find out if your organization is eligible to access free rapid tests from the Provincial Antigen Screening Program (PASP). Find out the details and apply online.
To learn about eligibility for PCR testing, using rapid antigen tests, and what to do if you test positive, visit the Individuals with Symptoms, Positive Cases, and Close Contacts webpage.
If An Employee Tests Positive
- Determine if they need to self-isolate by completing a self-assessment.
- Follow the steps provided from self-assessment tool. For more information, please visit Ontario’s Public Health Measures and Advice.
- The employee should only return to work once their symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (48 if gastrointestinal). For ten days after symptoms started, it is advised to wear a well-fitting mask in public settings and avoid non-essential visits to high risk settings, or visiting anyone who is immunocompromised.
Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Measures
Even though the province has gradually eased public health and workplace safety measures, each business and workplace can continue with the measures below to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in our community. It is important that workplaces continue to communicate the latest guidance and public health advice with employees and customers.
Promote Physical Distancing
While a minimum physical distancing of two metres or more is no longer a requirement, it remains highly recommended to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19. To promote physical distancing, the WECHU recommends the following:
- Use signs and visual markers to remind people where to stand and to keep 2 metre distance from others.
- Continue to use physical barriers (e.g., plexiglass) when physical distancing is not possible.
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
Businesses and workplaces should promote and support enhanced hand hygiene practices as well as cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:
- Ensuring there are enough supplies available for proper hand hygiene, including pump soap, warm running water and paper towels and alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations.
- Reminding employees and customers to practice cough and sneeze etiquette by covering their mouth and nose with a tissue, upper sleeve, or elbow when coughing or sneezing, place the tissue directly into the garbage, and wash hands properly.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- While no longer required in most settings, masks/face coverings provide an additional layer of protection and help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Encouraging employees and customers to wear masks/face coverings can help keep your facility safe.
- If PPE is provided by the employer, employees must be trained on safe use, care, and limitations, including putting on and taking off equipment and proper disposal.
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection
Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are part of a broad approach to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Health Canada has created list of approved hard surface disinfectants that prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Frequently touched surfaces are more likely to be contaminated and it is therefore important to ensure thorough cleaning at least once per day and when visibly dirty. Some of the more common high-touch surfaces are:
- Handles/door knobs/railings/grab bars
- Desk tops
- Telephones/cell phones
- Taps/toilet handles/hand sanitizer and soap dispensers
- Kitchen appliances and surfaces, and water fountains
- Computers keyboards and mouse
- Light switches/elevator buttons
- Cash registers/touchpad surfaces
Wherever possible, use a pre-mixed solution of cleaner and disinfectant. Ensure that you check the expiry date when using any cleaning or disinfectant products or mixtures and:
- Wear gloves and any other PPE as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparing the solution and allow adequate contact time for disinfectant to kill germs.
- Ensure adequate ventilation when using products (e.g., open windows, doors, use fans).
Case and Contact Management in the Workplace
Guidance for individuals who have been exposed, are experiencing symptoms, or have tested positive can be found at Ontario.ca.
Return to Work Timelines
In general, employees are able to return to work once their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (48 hours for gastrointestinal symptoms), they have no fever, and they do not develop any additional symptoms. For ten days after symptoms started, it is advised to wear a well-fitting mask in public settings and avoid non-essential visits to high risk settings, or visiting anyone who is immunocompromised. To read the latest guidelines, visit Ontario.ca.
COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Support
Employers play an important role in building vaccine confidence among employees in the workplace. If you have employees that have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccine, giving employees the opportunity to share their concerns about vaccines can help increase vaccine literacy, identify barriers to vaccination, and help employees know what to expect before and after getting their vaccine.
The WECHU has created a COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Support Package for Employers to provide guidance on how to establish a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, including a sample policy and procedure.
For additional resources and information on the COVID-19 vaccines, visit the vaccines webpage. Employers can also support employees find a vaccine clinic or access supports such as translation services and childcare while getting vaccinated.
Have Questions? The Government of Ontario has a toll-free information line to support businesses during COVID-19. Business owners and operators can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. For more information visit Ontario’s website.