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COVID-19 Information for Workplaces

If you receive questions from your employees, we invite you to point them to our novel coronavirus COVID-19 webpage. 

Signs and Symptoms

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause illness ranging from a very mild, cold-like illness to a severe lung infection. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny nose.
  • Muscle ache.
  • Headache.
  • Difficulty breathing (shortness of breath).

For more information on COVID-19, visit our novel coronavirus COVID-19 webpage. 


To prevent the spread of COVID-19, workplaces should consider:

  • Posting signage to alert workers of any signs and symptoms of acute respiratory illness.
  • Display posters promoting hand-washing and respiratory hygiene.
  • Ensure tissues and alcohol-based hand rubs are available.
  • Evaluating if staff can work remotely from home.

In order to reduce employee absenteeism and reduce the spread of germs, including the flu and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we recommend your employees:

  • Wash their hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth unless they have just washed their hands.
  • Cover their cough and sneeze with a tissue or into their arm, not their hand.
  • Stay home if they are sick – see sick note.
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if they are sick. 
  • It is still recommended that they get a flu shot if they haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community.
  • Keep workplaces clean and hygienic – increase frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces such as door knobs, elevator buttons, key boards, mouse, phones, desks, computers, seating areas, lunch tables, kitchens, washrooms, etc.
  • There may be benefit to increasing the spatial separation between desks and workstations as well as individuals (e.g., employees, customers) from each other, ideally a 2-metre separation should be maintained, unless there is a physical barrier (e.g., cubicle, Plexiglas window).
  • Increased awareness about and communication to staff about COVID-19.
  • Advise employees and contractors to consult national travel advice before going on business trips (cancel all non-essential travel).
  • Take precautions for social events

Mass Gatherings

Please take the time to review any programs, services and/or events that you offer, in order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

RCDHU recommends following a containment strategy in regards to mass gatherings which, includes social distancing measures such as:

  • Any gatherings over 5 individuals be cancelled or postponed.
  • Maintaining a two-metre distance between yourself and others if possible.

RCDHU recommends the following measures to reduce the spread of germs including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then clean your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve and then clean your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • If you are ill, stay home.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Get your flu shot.

Risk Assessment Tool for Mass Gatherings

Travel Considerations

Things to consider when you and/or your employees travel.

Before travelling:

Please note: the Government of Canada has issued a Global Travel Advisory. They are advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Learn more here.

Returning to work after travel

Please be aware: ALL returning travellers from anywhere outside of Canada (including the United States of America) are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to Canada

Employers/healthcare institutions may implement requirements for their staff beyond what is being recommended for returning travellers and can consult with Renfrew County and District Health Unit. 

Preparing for COVID-19

To prepare your workplace for COVID-19, consider the following actions:

  • Identify possible work-related exposure and health risks to your employees and how to reduce these risks.
  • Prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and their family members and/or dismissals of early childhood programs and schools.
  • Explore the flexibility of policies and practices, such as teleworking arrangements, flexible hours, staggering start times, use of email and teleconferencing. 
  • Establish a process for ongoing communication with employees and business partners.
  • Develop a contingency and business continuity plan.

Additional Information

Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow recommendations on how to reduce the spread of infection.


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Pembroke Office

TEL: 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097

Renfrew Office

TEL: 613-432-5853 or 1-800-465-5000