COVID-19 Screening Requirements
On September 25, 2020, the Ontario Government announced amendments to O Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 that will enforce tightened public health measures in workplaces, including and especially food and drink establishments.The amendments will apply province-wide as of 12:01am on Saturday, September 26 and will require workplaces to comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening for COVID-19, such as the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces (Business and Organizations), in addition to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The amendments were made to ensure the continued health and safety of Ontarians, reduce the risk of transmission, and limit future outbreaks of COVID-19.
To assist you in preparing your business or organization for compliance with the newly amended order, we offer the following considerations:
- This screening tool must be implemented each day your staff want to enter the workplace.
- Staff include students, contractors, or volunteers that conduct business or related activities. The screening must also include essential visitors (individuals providing a service in the establishment who are not employees or patrons of the establishment i.e. delivery, maintenance, contract workers).
- The screening questions (provided in the link above) are the minimum requirement, additional questions can be included if necessary.
- The screening tool is not required for employees who work at home.
- There is no rule on how these questions should be answered (e.g. phone, paper, electronic) however, it is required to be completed before the employee enters the workplace. Some ideas for implementation can include:
- having staff fill out the survey before they leave their homes;
- having a paper survey at workplace entrances; or
- having staff send an email/text confirmation before they enter the workplace
- Privacy and confidentiality regarding the collection, use, and disposal of personal health information should be top of mind as you administer the screening. Your policy or practice should account for basic privacy measures.
- If an employee answers ‘YES’ to any of the questions from the screening tool, they should not enter the workplace, be advised to go home to self-isolate immediately, and contact their health care provider or Telehealth Ontario to determine if they need a COVID-19 test.
For questions related to the implementation of this new screening tool or any other employer related accommodations or support, please reach out to one of our Human Resources Professionals.