Guidance for workplaces (COVID-19)
State of emergency and stay-at-home order
The Provincewide Shutdown (Government of Ontario) remains in effect.
On January 12, 2021, Ontario declared a province-wide state of emergency (Government of Ontario). A stay-at-home order is in effect requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise, or for essential work.
Enhanced public health and workplace safety measures (Government of Ontario) are also in effect and are anticipated to be in place until at least February 11, 2021. Owners and operators of businesses and organizations are strongly encouraged to carefully review the regulation (Government of Ontario) and determine which sections apply to their sector (Government of Ontario).
What’s on this page
- Expectations for all businesses
- Information for employees
- Information for employers
- Workplace resources
Expectations for all businesses
Businesses must take measures to protect employees and patrons and operate in accordance with all applicable laws including the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the regulations made under it. Business owners and leaders must lead by example and support:
- physical distancing
- face covering and mask-wearing
- symptom screening
All persons responsible for a business or organization permitted to open in Stage 3 must follow instructions (PDF, 322 KB) issued by Public Health Sudbury & Districts. The Public Health instructions to business and organization owners and operators provide you with clear direction so you can continue to be part of the solution in keeping our communities safe.
Ontario COVID-19 response framework
In addition to ongoing public health measures, there are some new and specific measures that come with the provincial Grey – Lockdown category (Government of Ontario). All measures are listed in Ontario Regulation 364/20 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act. Owners and operators of businesses and organizations are strongly encouraged to carefully review the regulation and determine which sections apply to their sector.
Learn more about health and safety measures for employees and employers and sector specific guidance from local public health and provincial associations.
Face coverings and Public Health Sudbury & Districts instructions
Currently in effect: All persons responsible for a business or an organization that is currently open in the area served by Public Health Sudbury & Districts must have a policy in place to ensure that no one is permitted to enter or remain in an enclosed public space (public indoor spaces) unless they are wearing a face covering. This includes public transit. They must also have a policy in place for enclosed employee spaces to ensure physical distancing or face coverings, where physical distancing is not possible, among other responsibilities. Exemptions to wearing a face covering apply, for example due to medical conditions or age. No proof is required for exemption. For more information about face coverings and exemptions read our frequently asked questions. Learn more about these instructions in our letter to employers (322 KB, PDF).
- Workplaces: what you need to know (PDF)
- Community members: what you need to know (PDF)
- Frequently asked questions
- Face covering signage, 8.5 x 11″ (PDF)
- wash your hands often and when visibly dirty for 15 seconds
- cover your cough or sneeze with your arm or a tissue, throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- stay two metres (six feet) apart from others
- avoid contact with people who are sick
- stay home if you are sick
Employers must take precautions to protect the health of the workforce and support measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to following Public Health Sudbury & Districts instructions for Stage 3 reopenings, employers should:
- post physical distance requirements of two metres (six feet) at the entrance of the establishment and throughout
- install floor markings to promote physical distancing
- protect employees from patrons by using screens or barriers
- emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene by all employees
- provide hand sanitizing stations at entrances where possible and promote good hand hygiene
- use passive and active screening measures such as posting signage or asking questions about exposure and symptoms
- consider conducting employee screening and temperature checks at entrances
- learn more about screening and guidance for essential workplaces (Ministry of Health)
- perform routine environmental cleaning and clean high touch surfaces often including countertops, handles, light switches, keypads, touchscreens and public areas
- not require a sick leave note as that will put added pressure on limited health care service:
- an employee is not required to provide a medical note if they need to take a leave due to COVID-19 (per the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020).
- reduce the number of employees working at the same time
- limit the number of patrons in the store
- discourage workers from sharing phones, desks, offices, tools and equipment
- use of non-medical masks or face coverings
- take advantage of virtual options and advise employees to work from home, if possible
- have plans for business continuity in the event of prolonged staff absences
- advise employees to avoid all non-essential travel:
If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1.888.444.3659 (Government of Ontario).
The following resources help support COVID-19 protocols in the workplace.
- face covering signage for businesses 8.5 x 11″ (PDF, 214 KB)
- physical distancing in the workplace (COVID-19) factsheet (PDF, 531KB)
- managing through COVID-19: How to support your employees mental health (PDF, 531 KB)
- workplace guidelines (Government of Ontario)
- creating a COVID-19 workplace safety plan (Government of Ontario)
- Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce resources, toolkits, and information-sources
For additional resources for businesses during COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 resources page. For reopening information from local public health and provincial associations, visit our sector specific guidance page.
This item was last modified on January 14, 2021