Attention Ontario Employers! Mandatory COVID Screening and Masking Requirements In Place

Written October 20, 2020

Categories: AD Advocacy, CP Advocacy, DP Advocacy, DT Advocacy, First to Know, FP Advocacy, GP Advocacy, IPDAA Advocacy, SM Advocacy

The province of Ontario has amended its State 3 rules for businesses that intend to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are now required to conduct mandatory screening of all employees, contractors, visitors, or anyone entering the workplace.  Screening needs to take place either before or when a worker enters the workplace at the beginning of their day or shift.  Additionally, screening of essential visitors should occur upon arrival.

Ontario’s Rules for Areas in Stage 3 reference the requirement that the business must operate in compliance with any recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals. The Office published screening recommendations that now must be followed by all employers.  The new screening protocol for workers requires that any individual who has had “close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19” to self-isolate. Prior to this change, the provincial direction was stricter and required individuals to self-isolate based on close contact with symptomatic individuals.  

The implementation of a formal screen protocol is no longer optional for employers, and it is encouraged that a protocol of active screening by using a questionnaire.  The Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation includes a questionnaire that can be used for this purpose.  

Also, in effect is a province-wide masking requirement.  All open businesses and organizations must ensure that persons in the indoor areas of their premises and their vehicles wear “a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin.”  If you have employees working in areas that are not accessible to the public and are able to maintain a social distance of at least two meters from every other person in the room, then masks are not required.  

Employers are encouraged to review and update their policies as needed.  The PRINTING United Alliance’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan can help you work through these and other necessary policies and programs.  If you have additional questions, please contact us at govtaffairs@printing.org.