Businesses, Workplaces and Community Organizations

⚠ If you have come in contact with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test or Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) complete this self-isolation determination tool to find out if you need to self-isolate. Looking for guidance? Visit our Information for those who have symptoms, test positive for COVID-19 and high-risk contacts web page.

⚠ How to report out-of-province COVID-19 vaccines.

Last updated on April 25, 2022 

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Introduction

As Ontario continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we encourage Ottawa businesses, workplaces and community organizations to review and share the information below.

Please note that the resources below are not sector specific and can be used by any individual in any setting.

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COVID-19: Reducing the risks 

While many public health and safety measures are being lifted in Ontario, provincial guidance and directives do remain in place for some sectors and should continue to be followed. And, many measures that have decreased the transmission of COVID-19 are still relevant and important, even when they are not mandatory. Ottawa Public Health continues to strongly recommend public health measures as these help reduce transmission of COVID-19 (as well as other respiratory viruses) and the risk to those more likely to experience severe disease from COVID-19.

Visit Ottawa Public Health’s Reducing the risks from COVID-19 page to learn about:

  • Mitigating risks as public health measures are lifted
  • Ottawa Public Health’s role in the current environment
  • Identifying who is at higher risk of severe outcomes, and treatment options
  • Choosing layers of protection based on risk

We highly recommend Ottawa residents to get vaccinated with all the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that you are eligible for as soon as possible. It increases protection against serious outcomes and protects against symptomatic infection. Visit our website regularly for the latest information on vaccine eligibility and to stay up to date.

When it comes to making decisions about our level of risk and our layers of protection, both in the workplace and in the community, we can all reduce our risks and protect ourselves by being “social wise.”

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Masking

Although masking is no longer mandatory in Ontario, we highly recommend individuals continue wearing a mask indoors especially when physical distancing may not be possible or proves to be challenging in crowded areas. (New signage: Masks continue to be recommended indoors in crowded spaces pdf - 114 KB)

  • When using a mask, select the best quality one available to you.
    • Some individuals may choose to keep wearing masks in places where they are not required; please be kind and respectful of others’ choices.
    • When attending a gathering, always bring your mask with you. There may be times when others will not be comfortable being around maskless people, or they could be at high-risk, and they may ask you to mask-up.
    • It's important to remember that wearing a mask is something we can all do to help to protect those who remain at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.

Masking continues to be required in the following situations:

  • Provincial regulations state that masks must still be worn in the following settings: public transit, long-term care and retirement homes, health care settings (including hospitals and public health clinics), shelters, congregate care settings, and correctional and detention centres.
  • A reminder that under current federal travel requirements, upon return from international travel, individuals that are exempt from quarantine, AND that are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask at all times when in public spaces (including schools and child care), for their first 14 days in Canada.  Fully vaccinated returning international travelers are no longer required to mask in public settings for 14 days after arrival to Canada.
  • Individuals who have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for five to 10 days and wear a well-fitting mask in all public settings for a total of 10 days (see webpage: Self-isolation for people who have symptoms or test positive)
  • Although isolation requirements have changed for close contacts, household and non-household, contacts are required to wear a mask for a total of 10 days, which may or may not include isolation (see webpage: People who are contacts of someone who tests positive for COVID-19)
  • Although isolation requirements have changed for close contacts, household and non-household, contacts are required to wear a mask for a total of 10 days, which may or may not include isolation (see webpage: People who are contacts of someone who tests positive for COVID-19)

For more information about masks and COVID prevention visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Masks

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Monitor for symptoms and stay home when you're sick

To ensure employees and volunteers are well and fit for work:

  • Encourage employees and volunteers to complete a health-screening questionnaire before each work shift.
  • If employees or volunteers develop symptoms while at work, they should notify their supervisor and return home. If symptoms are life-threatening, call 9-1-1.
    • For those who may suspect they have COVID-19, care clinics in Ottawa continue to provide assessment, testing if eligible, and timely access to COVID-19 treatment. For more information on treatment and how to access testing, visit: OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVIDTesting
    • The Ottawa Hospital has set up an outpatient COVID-19 Therapeutics Clinic on direction from Ontario Health to provide access to treatment for higher risk patients with COVID-19. See more about The Ottawa Hospital Testing, Assessment and Treatment

Other resources for employees who are sick or caring for a sick family member:

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Vaccination

We highly recommend Ottawa residents to get vaccinated with all the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that you are eligible for as soon as possible. Compared to two doses, a third dose provides stronger protection against hospitalization, as well as symptomatic infection. For some at higher risk, a fourth dose is needed. Visit our website regularly for the latest information on vaccine eligibility and to stay up to date.

 Please share the following resources with your employees:

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Implement cleaning procedures and encourage proper hand hygiene

  • Display posters promoting hand-washing and respiratory hygiene
  • Follow Public Health Ontario cleaning guidance to keep workplaces clean and hygienic. Increase frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons, door handles keyboards, mouse, phones, desks, computers, seating areas, lunch tables, kitchens, washrooms, etc.

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Adapting your business, operations and services for COVID-19

Plan for the potential impact of COVID-19 in your workplace or organization by considering the following actions:

  • Identify possible work-related exposures and health risks to your employees, volunteers and customers/clients and how to reduce these risks.
  • Prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness and/or isolation in employees and their family members and/or dismissals of early childhood programs and schools.
  • Explore the flexibility of policies and practices, such as teleworking arrangements, flexible hours, staggering start times, use of email and teleconferencing. 
  • Establish a process for ongoing communication with employees and business partners.
  • Develop a contingency and business/service continuity plan

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Rapid Antigen Testing for Workplaces

Rapid Antigen Testing website 

  • The Provincial Antigen Screening Program allows organizations to add an additional safety measure in workplaces, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Through the program, rapid antigen screening tests are distributed to enhance existing routine screening measures. Rapid antigen screening tests may allow workplaces to proactively identify cases of COVID-19 that may have otherwise been missed, supporting employee safety and business continuity.
  • The Ottawa Board of Trade also participates in the Provincial Antigen Screening Program and distributes RAT kits to Ottawa businesses with less than 150 employees. Learn more about the Provincial Antigen Screening program.

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Resources for businesses, workplaces and community organizations

Note: Many of the resources and websites below, while intended for employers/employees, can be applied to meet the needs of various community organizations and service providers.

General COVID-19 Resources:

Provincial Regulations and Guidance: 

Mental Health Resources:

This period of transition of easing of measures and learning to live with and manage COVID-19 may be difficult for many. The change and uncertainty of the pandemic can be difficult to cope with. Support is available. Please share the resources below with your employees:

Resources for employees and volunteers:

These resources can also be shared with employees and volunteers:

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Newsletter/ Bulletins d’information

Get email updates/Obtenez des mises à jour par voie électronique Subscribe to Ottawa Public Health’s Community Operations Newsletter. Subscribers will receive updates with COVID-19 information specific to their selected sector and/or workplace. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Abonnez-vous aux bulletins d’information de Santé publique Ottawa relatifs aux opérations communautaires. Les abonnés recevront des renseignements sur la COVID-19 correspondant au secteur ou lieu de travail sélectionné. Vous pouvez vous désabonner à tout moment.
Arts, Culture, Special Events/Arts, culture et événements
Business Improvement Associations (BIA)/Zones d’amélioration commerciale (ZAC)
Childcare/Services de garde d'enfants
Community-based Organizations (Older Adults)/ Organismes communautaires (personnes âgées)
Community-based Organizations/Organismes communautaires
Construction & Manufacturing/Construction et fabrication
Grocers/Épiceries
Multi-unit Dwellings/Habitations à logements multiples
Office-based Workplaces/Les bureaux
Personal Service Settings/Établissements de services personnels
Retail/Commerces de détail
Restaurants/Établissements alimentaires
Sports & Recreation/Sports et loisirs 
Places of Worship/Lieux de culte
Security/Services de sécurité
Summer Camp/ Camp d'été
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Contact Information

Provincial Vaccine Information Line

  • 7 days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm
  • Call if you have questions about Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination program.
  • Service is available in multiple languages.
  • Telephone: 1-888-999-6488
  • TTY: 1-866-797-0007

Ottawa Public Health Vaccine Booking Line

  • Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Translation is available in multiple languages
  • Telephone: 613-691-5505

Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 Telephone Line

Victoria Day schedule changes for Monday, May 23 - The Ottawa Public Health Information Centre and COVID-19 Information Line will be closed.

  • Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Translation is available in multiple languages
  • Telephone: 613-580-6744 follow the prompts to the COVID-19 telephone line
  • TTY: 613-580-9656

Emergency Services

  • If you are in distress (e.g., significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to the Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care clinic. Go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.

How to access help during COVID-19

  • 211 Ontario can help you find financial and social support during COVID-19
  • Telephone: 2-1-1

Related Information

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