Higher-Risk and Essential Occupations and Industries
Certain occupations and industries are considered essential for preserving life, health and basic societal functioning, and have been mandated or allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. (See the List of Essential Workplaces.)
Employers of essential service workers have a responsibility to ensure that their workplaces operate in a way that minimizes risk for employees, customers and the community. The information below provides both general recommendations and specific legal requirements for certain essential workplaces:
- Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace: Employers, employees and essential service workers
- "Stop the Spread" Telephone Information Line for Businesses (Government of Ontario)
- AMENDED April 30, 2020: Order from the Medical Officer of Health for Supermarkets, Grocery Stores; Convenience Stores; Discount and Big Box Retailers Selling Groceries; Beer, Wine and Liquor Stores; and Pharmacies
- AMENDED April 30, 2020: Order from the Medical Officer of Health for All Restaurants That Provide Drive-Through Services
- AMENDED April 30, 2020: Order from the Medical Officer of Health for All Businesses That Provide Curb Side Pick-Up as an Alternative Method of Sale
- Sector-Specific COVID-19 Guidance
Screening Employees for COVID-19 Symptoms
Employers of essential workers should screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms when they arrive at work (see sample screening form for employers, below). Employees showing symptoms must be sent home to self-isolate*. They should also be tested for COVID-19 (see What to Do If You Have Symptoms of COVID-19).
- Sample COVID-19 Screening Form for Employers*
- Order from the Medical Officer of Health for Mandatory Isolation of Certain Individuals
* Some exclusions may apply when isolation is not in the best interest of the public (i.e. healthcare workers). These individuals should consult their employer’s occupational health and safety department for instructions.
If you have any questions, please contact the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120.