Allow and encourage employees to work from home if possible.
Utilize online tools for consultations whenever possible, especially if either party is experiencing symptoms.
This is a good opportunity to discuss any risks or concerns from the client without them visiting the office, as well as put them at ease of steps that have been taken to ensure their comfort if in person meetings are unavoidable.
Arrange office layouts to allow for social distancing protocol. Encourage employees to avoid close contact with one another. Consider increasing the distance between desks and workstations as well as employees and customers, or implementing physical barriers.
Participant screening will take place if in-person meetings are essential. Before arriving at the office, all participants will complete a self-screen by answering the questions mentioned here.
The standard recommendations for self-isolation are followed if the client can be classified as high-risk. For example, such measures are taken if a client has returned from an international trip less than 14 days prior to their appointment or if they have been in recent contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Recommendations from the CDC can be found here outlining the global response to COVID-19.
It is important to note that self-reporting provides limited assurance, as some individuals can be asymptomatic.
The office staff is rotated while shifts and breaks are staggered to reduce the number of people in the office.
Communicate to employees that they are encouraged not to report to work if they are feeling unwell or displaying symptoms (even mild ones that have presented themselves within the past 48 hours).
This is important for the health of both parties; office employees, and visiting clients.
Take temperatures of every employee as a screening mechanism.
Contactless methods of temperature screening are recommended where possible, using digital thermometers for accuracy and multi-use. These are available for all employees prior to allowing an employee access to the office or workplace.
Ensure that your sick leave policies are consistent with public health guidance and do not serve as a significant deterrent to employees calling in sick.
Ways to improve the fresh air intake and air circulation are considered.
Ensure there is enhanced cleaning of all office, reception and waiting areas — this includes high-touch surfaces, such as door handles, light switches, etc and washrooms, which are cleaned at least twice a day.
Establish a separate washroom for staff and visiting clients (recommended)
Signs are printed to ensure that the toilet lid is closed before flushing the toilet, as COVID has been found in both urine and stool.
Use EPA approved disinfectants for the appropriate length of time (each disinfectant has its own guideline on contact length of time to kill the virus).
Provide fully sterilized areas or zones designated for 'staff only.' This break room is intended for food, beverages.
In this area, ensure there is limited shared utensil and that any shared utensils are thoroughly cleaned between use.
Wellness screening at the office entrance for visitors
Provide disposable masks to visitors and employees upon entry to the office space.
Conduct a contactless temperature check
Provide sanitization wipes and hand sanitizer - this is located next to the door with clear signage, to ensure that all clinic visitors properly sanitize their hands.
Screening questions to ask visitors:
Are you feeling sick or experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned here. (Examples include a new cough, headache, weakness, fever, difficulty breathing, etc.)
Have you traveled outside Canada in the past 14 days?
Did you provide care or have close contact with a person with COVID-19 (probable or confirmed) while they were ill?
Provide education, training, and awareness for staff to follow. See more details here.
Hand hygiene and proper handwashing techniques
Proper use of PPE
Use of break rooms
Refraining from shaking hands and coming in close contact with others, social distancing protocol should be employed at all times
Training also includes screening clients and written infection prevention and control protocols, as well as changing work schedules and breaks.
Provide clear signage near the entrance, washrooms, waiting areas, break rooms, and individual work areas/offices regarding hand hygiene, donning and doffing of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), use of break rooms, where and when food and beverages are consumed.
Social distancing protocols:
Maintain at least a 6 foot distance amongst each other and within shared areas. Spaces are clearly labeled by visual markings. Managing the flow of client arrivals & providing a virtual waiting room are a few suggested solutions.
Limit the number of occupants in an elevator at the same time, depending on where the 6 foot mark is in the elevator.
Employees standing in the designated smoking area must also be at least 6 feet apart.
Employees are discouraged from sharing common surfaces and items (e.g. keyboards, mice, pens).
Contactless payment solutions is the default payment method to limit any physical contact with the office and reception area. Alternatively, online invoicing solutions are provided where possible.
Your payment management system provider is able to provide further details and options for setting this up.
Send legal documents and forms to the client electronically for them to complete digitally (see below).
The number of visitors in the workplace and those that can come in contact with staff is limited.
Placing barriers between employees and clients are considered to avoid direct contact.
Where direct contact is unavoidable, staff have proper PPE and training
Visitor contact details are retained after a meeting to keep for contact tracing.
Leverage online tools and communication technology to continue conducting day-to-day business — especially if either party is experiencing symptoms.
Avoid having to complete in-person signings with online agreement and signing tools. These softwares allow official documents to be signed remotely via your mobile or desktop; ensuring all parties' safety and social distancing practices are adhered to.
Video Conferences tools are now the norm to negotiate the fine details of anything during the buying or consultation process.
Send satisfaction surveys around service and adherence to CovidSafe to the clients following their meeting to ensure that all proper standards were met.
An employer will not inform its workforce of the identity of the person with the confirmed diagnosis, or provide other identifying information about such person. If there is a need to provide identifying information about the affected person, the employer will consult with its legal counsel.
Create policies to be set up to prevent employees from working if they have or have had symptoms in the last 48 hours (including temperature screening).
Contactless methods of temperature screening are recommended where possible, with the use of digital thermometers for accuracy. These are available for all employees pre-shift.
Any new symptoms, including but not limited to: fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, conjunctivitis (red eyes), loss of appetite, increased spit up, dizziness, headache, runny nose, chest pain, coughing up blood, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, stuffy nose, loss of taste or smell.
In the case that any unusual or suspicious symptoms are present, employees will refrain from coming into work and follow local public health protocol regarding testing.
Encourage remote working where possible to reduce in office traffic.
Follow the recommendations of your local Public Health Authority for guidelines or reporting cases.
"If the employee has tested positive and has attended the workplace or been in contact with other employees within the 14 days prior to the confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, the employer will notify its other employees who may have been in contact with the individual that one of their co-workers has tested positive."
"Depending on the nature of the affected employee’s job and the nature of the employer’s operations, this may require an entire office to self-isolate, a floor of an office to self-isolate, or persons in proximity to the affected employee to self-isolate."
Public Services Health & Safety Association. (2020). Health and Safety Guideline DuringCOVID-19 For Employers of Office Settings. https://www.pshsa.ca/resources/health-and-safety-guidance-during-covid-19-for-employers-of-office-settings.
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services. (2020). Guidance on Health and Safety forOffice Administration and Secretarial Staff during COVID-19.https://www.wsps.ca/WSPS/media/Site/Resources/Downloads/covid-19-office-admin-health-and-safety-guidance.pdf?ext=.pdf
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services. (2020). Guidance on Health and Safety for OfficeSector during COVID- 19.https://www.wsps.ca/WSPS/media/Site/Resources/Downloads/covid-19-office-health- and-safety-guidance.pdf?ext=.pdf.