Thunder Bay District Health Unit: Advice for Workplaces

June 2, 2020

Public Washrooms Must Be Available

Reminder to all businesses that public washrooms must be kept open. They should be cleaned frequently and well-stocked with soap and paper towel.

Frequently Asked Question: “What if an employee becomes ill?”

Here is some guidance:
·        Employees who develop one or more symptoms at work (even if they are mild) should inform their supervisor and go home, if possible. If they cannot leave immediately, the worker should be isolated in a specific space until they are able to leave. If the worker is very ill, call 911 and let the operator know that the person has symptoms of COVID-19.
·        Employees who develop symptoms at home should notify their supervisor and stay home.
·        Employers should instruct anyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, to self-isolate immediately and call TBDHU at (807) 625-5900 or Toll-Free at 1 (888) 294-6630 to be assessed for testing. Employers are not required to advise the health unit when an employee is ill with symptoms related to COVID-19.
·        For people with symptoms who choose not get tested, the advice is to self-isolate for 14 days from the onset of symptoms. For guidance on self-isolating, including when it is safe to can come out of self-isolation, visit TBDHU.COM/selfisolation
·        Any coworkers who are concerned about having been in close contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms should contact TBDHU or their worksite occupational health and safety office.
·        Ensure employees are aware of return-to-work procedures. The criteria for return-to-work for COVID-19 is unique depending on the workplace setting.
·        It is important for employers to communicate any changes to corporate policies and procedures to employees, particularly regarding sick leave (as well as leave for caring for family members) so that everyone is informed of how to handle this type of situation ahead of time.

A follow up question to this is likely to be, “what if an employee tests positive for COVID-19?”. The answer to this, and several other common workplace questions, is now posted at TBDHU.COM/workplaces (click on the FAQ’s on COVID-19 in the Workplace tab).