SMDHU: Steps Muskoka Essential Employers Must Implement To Stop the Spread of Covid-19



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Muskoka Post Staff


To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is recommended that all essential workplaces implement the following:


Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:

  • Employees who have symptoms of cold-like/respiratory symptoms, including COVID-19, should stay home for 14 days. Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick. 

  • Employers should NOT require medical notes from ill employees during this time. We do not support employers requiring staff with upper respiratory infections to be cleared by a physician before returning to work if it has been 24 hours since their symptoms have resolved. 

  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. During this time, employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members.

  • Employers should ask employees with symptoms who are well enough to work, to work from home remotely if they are able to do so until symptoms are completely resolved.


Separate sick employees:

  • Employees who appear to have cold- like/respiratory symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work and employees who become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and sent home immediately.


Emphasize screening, cough etiquette and hand hygiene by all:

  • Post signs at all entrances of buildings to alert staff and visitors to screen themselves for any acute respiratory signs and symptoms before entry into the workplace. If symptoms are identified the staff or visitor should not enter the workplace. 

  • Display posters promoting handwashing and cough etiquette (coughing and sneezing into your sleeve) inside your facility. 

  • Ensure tissues and alcohol-based hand sanitizers are available. 

  • Remind your contractors and customers to remain home when ill. 

  • Promote good hygiene and cough etiquette (coughing and sneezing into your sleeve) by all employees and customers: o Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. o Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. o Use tissues and throw them away after use.


Maintain physical distance and perform routine environmental cleaning and disinfection:

  • There is benefit to increasing the spatial separation between desks and workstations as well as individuals (e.g. employees, customers) from each other. Ideally a 2 metre separation (6 feet) should be maintained, unless there is a physical barrier (e.g. cubicle, Plexiglas window).

  • Make sure your workplace conducts routine cleaning of frequently used surfaces and objects (such as phones, doorknobs, toilets and keyboards).

Additional Information

Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 are considered high risk contacts and will be asked by public health to self-isolate at home and monitor symptoms for a period of 14 days. These employees should notify their supervisor and follow public health recommendations.


When a high risk exposure to a confirmed case occurs in the community, for example a workplace, the health unit is responsible for conducting public health follow-up and will contact your organization if needed.

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