COVID-19 Resources for Workplaces and Employers from Southwestern Public Health SWPH

With the Southwestern Public Health region moving into Orange-Restrict we know that there is confusion around what is required of businesses and customers at this time. We are working with Southwestern Public Health to help provide clarity on what the new restrictions mean for all of us and how to best follow them.

  1. Confusion around whether businesses need to screen customers and/or take their info. What is required?
    The Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework outlines different restrictions in place for different settings depending on the colour level the health unit region is in. The below measures outlined in the Orange-Restrict tier apply to specific businesses, including: bars, restaurants, and food or drink establishments; sports and recreational fitness facilities; meeting and event spaces; retail; personal care services; casinos, bingo halls, and gaming halls; cinemas and performing arts facilities.

    In the orange level, the above facilities must record every patron’s name and contact information and maintain these records for at least one month. This is for contact tracing purposes. These facilities must also screen patrons for symptoms.

    Workplaces can find guidance for screening workers here, including a screening questionnaire that may be helpful. In the absence of specific guidance for screening patrons, at minimum, passive screening by including signage posted on the entry doors and throughout the facility to prompt individuals to self-identify if they feel unwell or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should be conducted.

  2. Are there different requirements for different businesses (i.e. grocery, big box, retail, bars, etc.)?
    All requirements are outlined at this link, and includes a listing of responsibilities grouped by type of business. The new layout appears more user-friendly to clearly outline what is expected.
  3. Does SWPH have to follow restrictions in place by Ontario’s Orange-Restrict? Can health units modify?
    In addition to provincial health measures, municipalities and local Medical Officers of Health are able to add their own regional restrictions or requirements based on local risks.
  4. Has SWPH modified the Orange-Restrict measures to meet local needs?
    We have not modified any of the orange-restrict restrictions outlined in Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework. At this time, the only additional restriction in place for businesses and organizations in the Southwestern Public Health region is the Letter of Instruction regarding face coverings. While the province of Ontario has mandated face coverings in indoor areas of businesses or organizations, our letter of instruction outlines additional requirements regarding face coverings not included in the provincial regulation. This includes the need for businesses and organizations to have a policy regarding face coverings, signage posted stating that face coverings are required, and making hand sanitizer available at entrances and exits. 

For more information visit SWPH’s COVID-19 Resources for Workplaces and Employers

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