Post COVID-19 re-opening: general tips and best practices
There has never been more confusing times for operating your business; COVID-19 has changed everything. We have compiled a list of resources for general tips and best practices for operating your business during COVID-19. This list is not comprehensive and it is strongly recommended that you refer to the Alberta Government’s Workplace Guidance for Businesses resource.
Communication related to COVID-19
- Encourage workers and volunteers to remain up to date with developments related to COVID-19.
- Be mindful of mental health considerations for workers and volunteers.
- Ensure employees and patrons are aware that Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) Order 05-2020 requires individuals who have returned from travel outside of Canada to be in isolation for a minimum of 14 days.
- Notify workers, volunteers and patrons of the steps being taken by the workplace to prevent the risk of transmission of infection, and the importance of their roles in these measures.
- Post this information in areas where workers, volunteers and patrons can refer to them. “Help prevent the spread” posters are available here.
- When possible, provide the necessary information in languages that are preferred by worker and volunteers.
Sick workers and volunteers
- Encourage workers with symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat symptoms to complete the self-assessment and get tested for COVID-19, if indicated.
- If a worker or volunteer does come to work sick, or becomes sick while at work, the following requirements apply:
- Workers, volunteers or patrons who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to the workplace, or become sick while at the workplace, should begin isolation at home immediately.
- Symptomatic employees/volunteers should follow hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and maintain at least 2 metres away from other employees, volunteers and patrons while leaving the premises.
- If the individual does not have their own transportation, business owners/management should support them in arranging for transportation home where needed: Symptomatic/sick individuals are not allowed to take public transportation under CMOH Order 05-2020.
- Once a sick individual has left the workplace, clean and disinfect all surfaces and areas with which they may have come into contact.
- The employer should immediately record the names of all close contacts of the sick worker has been in contact with that day and in the 48 hours prior to when the symptoms started in the case. This information may be necessary if the sick worker later tests positive for COVID-19.
- Employers should consider implementing active daily screening of workers, volunteers and patrons for symptoms of fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose or difficulty breathing. Emphasize that anyone who is sick with cold-like symptoms such as cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, MUST NOT be in the workplace.
Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Businesses/management should promote and facilitate frequent and proper hand hygiene for employees, volunteers and patrons.
- It is strongly encouraged that businesses provide a means to sanitize hands at points of entry and locations throughout the location where patrons and worker are known to handle goods.
- Employers should make every effort to encourage respiratory etiquette (e.g., coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow, promptly disposing of used tissues in a lined garbage bin) is followed.
- The use of posters that remind workers, volunteers and patrons to practice respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene is strongly encouraged in work areas where they are easily seen (e.g., entrances, washrooms and staff rooms).
- Posters are available here.
Cleaning and disinfecting
- Use a “wipe-twice” method to clean and disinfect. Wipe surfaces with a cleaning agent to clean off soil and wipe again with a disinfectant.
- Develop and implement procedures for increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas, common areas, public washrooms and shower facilities.
- Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch/shared surfaces such as:
- Doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, faucets and taps, elevator buttons, railings Phones, computers, remote controls, keyboards, desktops, conference room equipment, cash registers, surface counters, customer service counters, menus o Equipment handles, hand tools, machinery control panels, seat belt buckles, joysticks, steering wheels and controls on powered mobile equipment
- Remove all communal items that cannot be easily cleaned, such as newspapers, magazines, and stuffed toys
Distancing & gatherings in the workplace
- CMOH Order 07-2020 prohibits gatherings of more than 15 people in an indoor location, however, this does not prohibit businesses from having more than 15 workers in a workplace
- Examples of how to support distancing between workers, volunteers and patrons to reduce the risk of transmission amongst workers, volunteers and patrons include:
- Maintaining a 2-metre separation between individuals (e.g., workers, volunteers, and patrons) is preferred in any business.
- Restricting the number of employees, volunteers and patrons in a business at any one time.
- Directing traffic flow within the business; e.g. establishing one-way shopping aisles.
- Installing a physical barrier, such as a cubicle, partition or window, to separate workers, volunteers and patrons.
- Increasing separation between desks and workstations.
- Eliminating or restructuring of non-essential gatherings (e.g. meetings, training classes) of workers, patrons and volunteers. Typically, this involves moving in-person meetings to virtual media platforms like teleconference or video conference.
- Limiting the number of people in shared spaces (such as lunchrooms) or staggering break periods. Removing chairs form spaces and taping markers at 6-foot distances may be helpful in preventing crowds.
- Limiting hours of operation or setting specific hours for at-risk patrons.
- Implementing contact-free modes of patron interaction such as home-delivery of goods or curbside pickup of items.
- Placement of reference markers (e.g., markings on the floor in grocery line-ups) that set out two-metre distances.
Posters for your business
- “Help prevent the spread” posters are available here.
- Posters that remind workers, volunteers and patrons to practice respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene are available here.
Campgrounds/Provincial & National Parks/Boating
AGLC Resources – Here
Hotels/Motels/Bed & Breakfasts/Vacation Rentals
Alberta Government Resources – Here