What to do if someone in your workplace has COVID-19

September 30, 2020

Toronto Public Health issued new guidelines for workplaces in view of the return of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Role of the employer during a COVID-19 outbreak in their workplace: 

  • Develop a preparedness and response plan in the event, someone becomes ill with symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Communicate with employees and business partners early and often to ensure accurate information is being shared.
  • Keep a list of the names and contact information of all participants at in-person meetings or events. Toronto Public Health will use this list to notify and provide instructions for close contacts to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Any personal information that is collected for COVID-19 contract tracing can only be used for this purpose unless an individual provides their consent. Records should only be kept for 30 days, and then shredded.
  • Contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 for guidance if you have been notified that an employee has tested positive and/or you have concerns that employees may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Provide Toronto Public Health with contact information of exposed employees and customers to assist with contact tracing.
  • If a staff member, client, or customer has tested positive for COVID-19, Toronto Public Health will interview the person to determine if he/she was contagious while on your premises. Consent is obtained from the employee before disclosing personal health information to the employer.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may have been touched by the sick employee as soon as possible.
  • Additional public health advice in the event of an outbreak may include additional cleaning and disinfecting measures to reduce the risk of spread in the setting.
  • Follow public health guidance on additional preventive measures.
  • Support employees who need to be absent from work due to illness or being a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of employees’ personal health information.
  • Report to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) if you have been advised that one of your employees has tested positive due to exposure at the workplace.
  • Encourage staff to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Source: City of Toronto website