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COVID-19: Guidance for Workplaces

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As of May 14th, the Ontario government allowed more businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.  


By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses were permitted to begin operations on Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 as part of the Government of Ontario's Stage 1 - Framework for Reopening Our Province


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. Businesses that continue to operate must comply with the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including physical distancing measures, cleaning and disinfecting. 


On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 30, 2020View the complete list of what the emergency orders include.   



  • wash your hands often and when visibly dirty for 20 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
  • wear a mask (medical or non-medical) if physical distancing is not possible

If you have concerns about your health and safety that your employer is not addressing, you can file a complaint with the Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.  


Learn more about how to put on, wear, and take off a mask safely  

Workplaces (Employers) 


  • post physical distance signs of two metres (six feet) at the entrance or an area of high traffic
  • install floor markings to promote physical distancing both for patrons and employees
  • protect employees by installing screens or barriers in areas where physical distancing is not possible
  • 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
  • consider conducting employee screening and temperature checks at entrances using our screening tool
  • encourage all employees to track instances of close contact during the work day, record name, place, and date/time.
  • perform routine environmental cleaning and clean high touch surfaces often including countertops, handles, light switches, keypads, touchscreens and public areas
  • employees do not require a sick leave note as that will put added pressure on limited health care service:
  • 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
  • consider the use of non-medical masks and if that is obtainable for your business
  • 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:


Download and Print Signage (ENG) (FR

  • Physical Distancing
  • 'Don't Get Too Close'
  • Importance of Contact Tracing
  • Protect our Team. Feeling Sick? Stay home. 

For sector-specific health and safety measures to protect workers and customers, review provincial guidance documents from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and provincial health and safety associations (Government of Ontario). 



Contact Us

If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call or email:     


Algoma Public Health

Healthy Workplaces Information Line: 705-942-4646 ext. 3273 or 1-866-892-0172


Ontario Government

Stop the Spread Business Information Line1-888-444-3659






COVID-19 Employee Screening Questionnaire 

Mask Use for Non-Healthcare Worker 

When and How to Wear a Mask

Guidance for Personal Service Settings 

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services Guidance on Health and Safety for Personal Service Settings During COVID-19

Guidance for Food Premises: Best Practices Summary Sheet 

Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings 

City of Sault Ste. Marie - Reference Guide in the Reopening your Business in light of COVID-19




Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace  

Health and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces during COVID-19 Outbreak