Research indicates that COVID-19 transmission is predominantly associated with large droplets. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is most commonly spread from an infected person through:
Understanding how COVID-19 spreads means that workplaces can take measures known to reduce spread to help protect staff and patrons. The information below can help businesses and employers to identify the infection prevention and control measures to put in place.
For more information on Public Health Guidance for Workplaces, click here.
When developing plans for your workplace, it is helpful to think of the hierarchy of controls, where the most important way to reduce exposure to COVID-19 is through physical distancing. Check the information below to see how you can eliminate and/or manage exposure in your workplace.
This information has been adapted from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institution for Occupational Health and Safety for the purposes of COVID-19.
Develop policies and practices that increase the physical distance among employees and clients as much as possible.
Adjusting the Workplace
All workplaces are required to actively screen staff. Active screening means employers use information gathered to decide who can enter the workplace. Passive screening is when people decide their own risk and make the decision themselves.
Workplaces must screen all individuals (workers, volunteers, suppliers and contractors) daily prior to entering the workplace. Screening may be done in-person, online or verbally.
Workplaces must be able to demonstrate that they have implemented a screening system and that it is working as intended. An inspector will need to be able to determine compliance with the law. Workplaces can consider various ways of demonstrating that they are compliant with the screening requirements, including keeping a record of individuals who were screened.
Organizations and businesses required to screen patrons must use or ask questions similar to those found in Hamilton’s COVID-19 screening tool. Customers who do not pass screening should be advised that they cannot enter and advised to self-isolate and get tested. Records of screening do not need to be maintained.
The risk of COVID-19 increases in enclosed and crowded spaces. Having proper ventilation in place is an important public health measure since properly ventilated spaces are less likely to be linked to virus spread.
For more information, see Public Health Ontario’s COVID-19: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems in Buildings and Use of Portable Air Cleaners and Transmission of COVID-19