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:
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose.
- Muscle ache.
- 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
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
Things to consider when you and/or your employees travel.
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.
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.
- Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada – Public Health Agency of Canada