As we all continue to deal with the COVID 19 outbreak the Government of Ontario made changes to the Provincial Emergency Orders that are effective 26 September 2020.
Please note: Information regarding COVID 19 changes frequently, sometimes within the same day, including the details of various government assistance programs, regulations and best practices. As such it is extremely important carefully review each update and obtain information from credible government, health service or public health units.
If you have additional questions, please either contact your RMG consultant, or our firm directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with the re line: COVID-19. We’ll respond promptly. For emergency assistance please call 226 972 1539
On Friday, September 25, 2020, the Government of Ontario amended O. Reg 364/20, effective Saturday September 26, 2020. This Regulation sets out the Rules for Areas in Stage 3.
The amendment imposes a requirement that “the person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall operate the business or organization in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals.”
The same day, the Ministry of Health issued its COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces (Business and Organizations). The Tool provides screening questions for any worker or essential visitor (defined in the Tool) seeking to enter the work environment. The Tool does not apply to patrons of a workplace, essential workers who travel outside of Canada for work, or emergency services or other first responders who may enter a workplace for emergency purposes.
Bottom Line: Effective September 26, 2020, each Ontario workplace is now required to pro-actively screen employees for COVID-19-related symptoms and risk factors prior to entry into the work environment, each day the employee seeks to enter the work environment (this would not apply to an employee working at home that day). The screening tool should include, at a minimum, the questions identified in the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces (Businesses and Organizations)
We are also beginning to see a shortage of PPE once more, this is due to the continued outbreak in the USA, school boards ordering large amounts of PPE and supply chain issues. RMG has maintained a 90-day supply of PPE for our clients and we encourage all clients to have at least a 30-day supply on hand. Employers should also have a written response plan and sanitization guidelines in place.
It is our opinion that these guidelines will be in effect one way or another for the next 6-12 months, all levels of governments have stated in no uncertain terms that if cases begin to spike again then they will be prepared to return to the more severe measures contained in past orders. We strongly urge firms to have written, communicated and enforceable plans in place to help ensure proper methods are followed and of course reduce the spread of COVID-19.
We are continually asked about business travel both nationally and internationally, within Canada airlines are operating but at reduced frequency and all travelers must wear suitable face coverings when onboard an aircraft or train. Additionally, some provinces have enacted isolation requirements for travelers arriving from within Canada. Check with the provincial health authority for the province you may have to travel to prior to making any travel arrangements. Carriers have been instructed to deny boarding to any person displaying COVID-19 symptoms. We strongly encourage travel be restricted to essential travel only. International restrictions are set by the destination country and change on a regular basis. A link to these restrictions is found below. Regardless any person returning from international destinations must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to Canada.
Bottom line: There are many issues at play in this serious and evolving situation. If you have any questions about how COVID-19 may impact your workplace, contact your RMG Consultant or a member of the RMG Medical Services Unit team at email@example.com.