Employers COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (November 10, 2020)
Dear Owners and Operators of Businesses and Organizations within the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area:
On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, the Ontario Government announced the COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open. This document examines the risk factors by public health unit jurisdiction and classifies each area into one of five levels:
- Green—Prevent (standard measures)
- Yellow—Protect, (strengthened measures)
- Orange—Restrict (intermediate measures)
- Red—Control (stringent measures)
- Lockdown (a measure of last and urgent resort)
The Ontario Government will be reexamining each area regularly to see if the risk is increasing or decreasing, resulting in a change to the level.
On Saturday, November 7, 2020, the Ontario Government announced which category each public health unit jurisdiction is in. The list can be seen at https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open. Currently, Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area is in the Green—Prevent category.
Additionally, changes were made to regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17. These changes were also enacted on November 7, 2020.
Local owners and operators are expected to be familiar with, and ensure that their business or organization is operating in compliance with:
- O.Reg.364/20 https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200364; and
- O.Reg.642/20 https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r20642.
While the published Regulation has not yet been consolidated, Public Health Sudbury & Districts recommends that owners and operators carefully review this and other important information within the related table at https://www.ontario.ca/page/emergency-information. Once consolidated, the regulation will be posting on this site.
Please note that the restrictions listed at each level are cumulative. Therefore, the restrictions at Green are in place in the Yellow, Orange, Red, and Lockdown categories unless a more restrictive rule is introduced at the higher level. Similarly, Orange category restrictions apply to Red and Lockdown unless there is a more restrictive rule.
As mentioned, Ontario Regulation 364/20 applies to levels Green, Yellow, and Orange. The points below highlight some of the changes in the revised Regulation, as well as information to help you interpret the Regulation – note that this is not a comprehensive list:
- Many types of businesses will require a safety plan which will be required to be available to the public, at their request, as well as posting the plan where the public can easily see it. Although the plan is normally required at the Yellow—Protect level, Public Health Sudbury & Districts strongly recommends completing it before the area is placed into the yellow level. Provincial guidance for the safety plan, Develop Your COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan, can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/develop-your-covid-19-workplace-safety-plan.
- In general, the mask use requirement has not changed significantly from the previous version of the regulation. As in the past, mask use is required within indoor establishments; however, the requirement has been added that if a person provides services, within 2 metres, to another person who is not wearing a mask and is not separated by plexiglass, then the person providing services must wear a mask as well as eye protection.This will affect staff in bars and restaurants and personal service settings. Some specific businesses have additional requirements.
- If food or drink is served in the premises, you are required to follow the same restrictions as restaurants and bars plus your own setting restrictions. Based on Regulation 364/20, the following types of business fall under this requirement: meeting or event spaces, food courts, cinemas, performing arts facilities, drive ins, casinos, bingo halls, gaming establishments, nightclubs, museums, strip clubs, bathhouses, and sex clubs.
- Hours of operation and alcohol service are restricted at the Yellow level and above. Owners and operators should check the regulation to see if the restrictions apply to their setting.
- Requirements have been added to define an outdoor dining area.
- Various types of premises are responsible to ensure that patrons lining up or congregating outside the establishment maintain 2 metre separation and wear face coverings.
- At the Green—Prevent level, any premises which are required to follow the restaurant and bar restrictions, must record one person’s name and contact information from each group and the information must be kept and made available to Public Health if requested. At the Yellow—Protect level, these facilities and others are required to record of all patrons who enter the establishment’s names and contact information which must be kept and made available to Public Health if requested. Although not required under Regulation 364/20, Public Health Sudbury & Districts strongly recommends that any facility type that is required to record all patron names and contact information at the Yellow—Protect level, do so at the Green—Prevent level as well.
Note again that these points do not cover all of the changes in the legislation, and we strong urge you to carefully review the regulations to determine how your premises is affected. If you have any questions, please contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 748 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).
This item was last modified on November 14, 2020