— Hot Off The Presses From The Ontario Government: September 25, 2020 —
The Ministry of Health [MOH] has just recently published their update for requirements around workplace screenings for COVID-19.
Prior to the amendment, pre-entry screening was not compulsory for all worksites and businesses. Some worksites may have used it as a reasonable preventative measure and others were required to implement screening as part of continuing operations.
On September 25th, Ontario published new Stage 3 reopening regulations (Regulation 364/20) stating that businesses must follow the Ministry of Health [MOH] screening recommendations. The actual language comes from Section 2(3) of the Regulation:
“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 [CMO] on screening individuals” (emphasis added).
Who Should Be Screened?
The MOH calls for screening of 2 groups before letting them enter your workplace:
- Workers, which include employees, contractors and volunteers that conduct business or related activities at the site; and
- Essential visitors, which include individuals providing a service at the site and who are not employees or customers of the establishment, such as delivery, maintenance and contract workers.
- You don’t have to screen customers or first responders or other workers seeking entrance for an emergency.
Below you will find the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces (Businesses and Organizations).
Screening now involves asking 3 YES/NO questions:
- Do you have any of the following new or worsening symptoms or signs? Symptoms should not be chronic or related to other known causes or conditions:
- Fever or chills Yes No
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath Yes No
- Cough Yes No
- Sore throat, trouble swallowing Yes No
- Runny nose/stuffy nose or nasal congestion Yes No
- Decrease or loss of smell or taste Yes No
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain Yes No
- Not feeling well, extreme tiredness, sore muscles Yes No
- Have you travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days? Yes No
- Have you had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19? Yes No
- To pass screening, the person must answer NO to all of the questions.
- According to the MOH, if the person gives even a single YES answer, they shouldn’t enter the workplace and you should advise them to go home to self-isolate immediately and contact their healthcare provider or Telehealth Ontario (1 866-797-0000) to find out if they need to be tested for COVID-19.