Businesses and Workplaces


Last updated: November 23, 2020. Please check back for updates.

Employers and employees both have roles to play to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Whether open, or planning to reopen, there are public health measures that need to in place to protect employees, clients, and the public. This page has information to support employers and employees regarding COVID-19. Please check the Health Unit and government websites often for updates.

NEWThe COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open takes a gradual approach to help avoid broader closures. It categorizes public health unit regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Grey-Lockdown being a measure of last and urgent resort.

Corresponding changes and updates have been made to O. Reg. 364/20: Rules For Areas in Stage 3. For a summary of these changes, please see changes to Regulation 364/20: Message for operators.


Infection Prevention and Control Measures for Employers

*This does not substitute legal advice. These are general infection protection and control measures. It is important to note, some of these practices may not be feasible in all workplaces and/or there may be additional workplace policies, Ministry guidelines, or legislation for specific jobs or sectors. 

  • Post signage (e.g., physical distancing, hand washing, face covering);
  • Provide access to hand washing stations and/or hand sanitizer;
  • Sanitize high-touch surfaces often (e.g., counters, door knobs, equipment, tools, vehicles);
  • Examine ventilation (e.g., improve fresh air intake and air circulation, open windows);   
  • Review physical space to support physical distancing (e.g., space between desks, space chairs in lunch room, use of entrances/exits, floor decals to direct flow and encourage physical distancing, number of customers allowed inside, barriers between employee and customers);
  • Do not allow customers to bring reusable cups, bags, and containers;
  • Review and consider various options for:
    • work schedule (e.g., work from home, staggered hours, breaks, lunches);
    • payment (e.g., encourage use of credit/debit);
    • meetings (e.g., by phone, virtually, outdoors, scheduled vs. drop-in);
    • non-essential tasks (e.g., delay, stop);
    • review, update, and communicate/post policies (e.g., Face Covering policy, reporting illness, sick time, infection prevention and control, sanitization, tracking). When you review and create new policies, consider all workplace hazards, not just COVID-19 and consult with your Joint Health and Safety Committees/Health and Safety representatives.

Employers should review relevant guidance documents provided by:

Employers are also encouraged to review:

Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

In addition to mandated face coverings in the North Bay Parry Sound district, the use of PPE (e.g., gloves, goggles, shields) depends on the sector and tasks performed by employees. Please review the recommendations made in relevant documents, such as the sector specific guidance documents provided by the Government of Ontario. If employees require PPE, the employer must provide it. They also need to ensure their employees are appropriately trained in its use and properly fitted (i.e. N95s). If employees have questions or concerns, they should consult with their supervisor, a Joint Health and Safety Committee member or Occupational Health and Safety representative, or their industry-specific health and safety association. Complaints for non-compliance should be directed to the Ministry of Labour.

Access a directory of PPE suppliers on the Government of Ontario website.

For more information

Government of Ontario

Government of Canada

North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit

  • Call 1-800-563-2808 for questions around infection prevention and control measures for your workplace and COVID-19 (e.g., contact tracing, testing, self-isolation, return to work). 


Infection Protection and Control Measures for Employees

*These measures may not be possible in all workplaces and/or you may have other policies and laws to follow for your specific job or sector. 

  • Practice physical distancing (2 metres or 6 feet);
  • Wear a face covering or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required;
  • Wash hands often (soap and water for 20 seconds or with hand sanitizer);
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose;
  • Avoid using contact greetings (e.g., shaking hands);
  • Avoid or minimize sharing tools, equipment, supplies;
  • Sanitize high-touch surfaces often (e.g., counters, door knobs, equipment, tools, vehicles);
  • Stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, immediately isolate yourself, notify your supervisor or occupational health department, and arrange to be tested.

For concerns about your workplace’s health and safety practices related to COVID-19

If you have any health and safety concerns at work, talk to your supervisor, Joint Health and Safety Committee or Occupational Health and Safety representative, or their industry-specific health and safety association. If your concern is not resolved, you can contact the Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety Contact Centre (1-877-202-0008) to file a complaint. You have the right to refuse unsafe work.

Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) policy on the COVID-19 pandemic

The OHRC’s policy statement on the COVID-19 pandemic reads "that negative treatment of employees who have, or are perceived to have, COVID-19, for reasons unrelated to public health and safety, is discriminatory and prohibited under the Code. Employers have a duty to accommodate employees in relation to COVID-19, unless it would amount to undue hardship based on cost, or health and safety."

The OHRC wrote to urge governments and agencies to adopt a human rights-based approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist us, the OHRC has created these resources:

  1. Policy Statement on a human rights-based approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic;
  2. Actions consistent with a human rights-based approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic;
  3. COVID-19 and Ontario's Human Rights Code - Questions and Answers.

Workers who believe that they are being discriminated against can contact their union, human resources department and/or the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre at 1-866-625-5179.        

Additional Resources:

Community Partners/Health Care Providers

Ontario Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Directives, Memorandums and Other Resources  

Ontario Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Guidance Document: Primary Care Providers in a Community Setting 

Ontario Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Patient Screening Guidance Document

Ontario Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Guidance: Home and Community Care Providers

Ontario Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Guidance for the Health Sector 

Ontario Ministry of Health/Ministry of Long-Term Care: COVID-19 Information for the Long-Term Care Sector

Social Services


North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)