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Masks strongly encouraged for indoor settings

Revisit workplace controls to prevent the transmission of respiratory illness

On November 13, 2022, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly recommended the use of masks in all indoor settings.

This is in response to the ongoing circulation of COVID-19 and an earlier than normal rise in seasonal respiratory illness – influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV); all of which are causing pressures on our healthcare system.

Guidance for Ontario Workplaces

Many workplace settings and activities place workers at a higher risk of transmission. Knowing respiratory illnesses are spreading in our communities and the peak of cold/flu season is ahead of us, it is important employers have a plan to keep workers and customers safe.

Employers must meet or exceed any minimum standards and public heath requirements, but they get to choose what measures and policies to use to keep workers healthy and their operations fully staffed.

Although not mandatory, the use of masks can be an effective measure for preventing the spread of respiratory illness. Updated workplace masking guidance is available to assist with your planning, as is a FREE 20 minute recorded webinar – Using Masks in the Workplace: How to select, care and Use to Protect Workers.

Masking when used in combination with other controls will reduce the chance of illness. Other controls to consider:

  • Attention to workplace ventilation and filtration/purification.
  • Encouraging vaccination.
  • Supporting workers to stay home when they are sick, as is consistent with public health advice.

Need help developing your workplace plan? The Workplace Safety Plan Builder can help.

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