The Ontario government recently amended Ontario Regulation 364/20, Rules for Areas in Stage 3 in response to the rise of COVID-19 cases. As a result, organizations in Ontario must now follow advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Ministry of Health on screening for COVID-19.
(3) The person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall operate the business or organization in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals.
COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces
The Ministry of Health recommends the use of the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces (Businesses and Organizations). The screening tool includes questions to determine whether an individual has symptoms of COVID-19, has recently travelled outside of the country or has been in close contact with someone who may have COVID-19.
Who to Screen
Organizations must screen all employees and essential visitors (e.g., couriers and maintenance workers). Screening must be conducted before or immediately upon arrival at the workplace each day. Customers and first responders do not need to be screened. Additionally, the screening regulations do not apply to certain settings where existing screening is already in place (e.g., health care).
How to Screen
Organizations must ask the questions provided on the screening tool. Organizations may ask further questions to meet any additional needs of the workplace. An individual passes the screening when they answer “no” to all the questions (indicating that they are less likely to have COVID-19). If an individual answers “yes” to any question, they must not be allowed into the workplace.
How Long to Keep Records
There are currently no requirements for how long organizations must keep screening records. However, it may be beneficial to keep records for 30 days for contact tracing purposes.
The Covid-19 screening tool for workplaces is for information purposes only and only provides recommendations for businesses for screening. The Ministry of Health also provided COVID-19 Guidance: Essential Workplaces to help employers minimize transmission in non-health care workplaces.
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