COVID-19

What Businesses Need to Know

With the recent global outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), there are questions within Toronto’s business community about the impact the virus poses to their employees, as well as the impact it will have on short to mid-term business continuity.

This webpage has been developed by the Toronto Region Board of Trade, and outlines steps that both employees and businesses can take to limit the spread of COVID-19, as well as best practices around mitigating the impact the virus can have on business continuity. The information below has been shared with the Board through materials published by Toronto Public Health, and can be found here.

How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Among Individuals

Health authorities have identified a number of best practices that businesses and their staff can adopt to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The following preventative steps are recommended by Toronto Public Health:

  • Practice social distancing. Implement a work from home policy if possible.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill

  • Stay home when you are ill and go into self isolation

  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands

  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

  • If you have returned from a trip abroad, it is encouraged that you go into self isolation for a 14 day period.

After Travelling

If you, or any of employees have returned from Hubei province, including Wuhan City, or Iran, it is recommended that you:

  • Contact your local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada

  • Self-isolate (i.e. stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home) for a total of 14 days from the date they left Hubei province, Iran or Italy.

  • Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or their local public health unit Opens in new window or call their primary care provider’s office if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing).

  • Call ahead prior to visiting any health care provider and let them know about travel history and symptoms so that they can make special arrangements to see you quickly, provide testing, and ensure that they use proper infection control measures.

Travellers who have returned from anywhere else outside Canada, including the United States, should:

  • Self-isolate (i.e. stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home) for a total of 14 days.

  • Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or their primary care provider’s office if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing).

  • Call ahead prior to visiting any healthcare provider and let them know about travel history and symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing) so that they can make special arrangements to see you quickly, provide testing, and ensure that they use proper infection control measures.

For more information, it is recommended that you visit the Public Health Toronto website.

Employers are encouraged to empower their staff to protect themselves by communicating and enabling preventative measures across their organization.

Additional Resources

The following resources provide general information from government and public health authorities on how businesses and their staff can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19:

The following are external links to Government of Canada websites that can provide extra resources to businesses as they cope with the business continuity impact of COVID-19:

The following are resources that are specific to small businesses:

DISCLAIMER: The content on this web site is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this web site are advised to seek specific legal counsel as required. This web site contains links to other third-party web sites. Such links are only for the convenience of the user. TRBOT does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.

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