How businesses and employees can stay safe while operating during COVID-19

There have been outbreaks of COVID-19 in Canadian workplaces. As vaccine coverage increases, provinces and territories are re-opening their economies and lifting public health measures based on local circumstances. Learn what you can do as an employee or an employer to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to protect yourself, your family and your community.

First responders and health care workers should follow the occupational health and safety and infection prevention and control practices within their workplace.

On this page

A prepared workplace

For tips and information on operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, refer to the guidance developed under the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. This hub addresses many types of workplaces, such as:

Guidance and resources by province or territory

Use reliable sources for credible information about COVID-19 and your workplace. Along with Public Health Agency of Canada information, follow the directions of your provincial or territorial public health authority as you reopen or operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employees

Reduce your COVID-19 risk by making safer choices with this interactive, web-based risk assessment tool. It will help you assess and make informed decisions about your personal risk for COVID-19 when going out and visiting others:

You should know about, understand, and follow all policies and practices that may be applicable to your workplace. Policies and practices may include:

If needed, ask your supervisor for more information.

If you've been in close contact with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19, contact your local public health authority and follow their advice. They can help you determine if you should continue working. Do this even if you don't have symptoms.

When not at work, you should continue to follow the directions of your local public health authority.

Vaccination information

Getting vaccinated can help to protect you, your family and your community. Vaccines are effective at preventing serious outcomes due to COVID-19, such as severe illness, hospitalization and death.

You are best protected when you are fully vaccinated which is why completing your vaccination series is important. The effectiveness of a 2-dose vaccine series increases after the second dose. By 2 weeks after your second dose, you'll likely be well protected and:

  • your risk of serious illness will be much lower
  • the risk of other people catching the virus from you is likely very low
  • it's likely you'll have very good protection against infection, including against most current variants of concern

After vaccination, you should continue to follow public health recommendations and use individual public health measures to protect yourself and others.

If you're at risk of more severe disease or outcomes, masking and physical distancing provide additional layers of protection. These measures can further reduce your risk in all settings.

Consult your local public health authority on how to get vaccinated.

If you become sick at work

  • Tell your supervisor and ask about the proper procedure to follow in your workplace until you can return home safely. This may include:
    • isolating in a designated room or area
    • avoiding public transit to get home
  • Once home, isolate yourself:
    • even if your symptoms are mild
    • even if you have just one symptom
  • Contact your health care provider or local public health authority and follow their advice, even if you're an essential worker.

Protect yourself and others when commuting to work

  • When using public transit to get to work, try to avoid:
    • crowded places
    • travelling during peak hours
  • If commuting to work in a private vehicle with others:
    • keep the windows down
    • limit the number of passengers

Take care of your mental health

Employers

Reduce COVID-19 risk in community settings:

Use our tool for operators

Learn more about:

Work-related travel

  • Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.
  • Consider the risks and benefits related to any upcoming essential travel and evaluate other options, if needed, such as:
    • postponing
    • cancelling
    • participating virtually
  • Check the latest travel information and any travel health notices.

Support the mental health and workplace wellness of your workers

Communications templates and printable signage

Other business toolkits and resources

Guidance for specific types of workplaces

Retailers
Construction
Food production or processing
Transportation

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