Employers must house self-isolating workers in accommodations that are separate from those not required to self-isolate.
Workers can be housed together, if they're able to keep a physical distance of two metres apart
Ensure housing accommodations allow workers to maintain at least two metres of distance, at all times in recreational / common spaces, kitchen, washrooms, eating areas and sleeping. For example, beds need to be at least two metres apart. This may require you to remove or rearrange furniture to maintain distance.
The addition of physical barriers can be considered where distancing of two metres cannot be maintained. Before purchasing or installation, consult with local municipalities and the fire department to discuss any restrictions related to location and material.
Ensure there is adequate airflow throughout the housing area, accomplished by opening of screened windows or air conditioning. Air conditioner units and filters must be maintained as per the manufacturer's directions for use.
Each housing unit must adhere to a daily cleaning and disinfecting schedule. Use the daily cleaning log to make sure all areas are regularly cleaned and disinfected.
While self-isolating, the employer must make sure that accommodations allow for the worker to avoid contact with older adults (65 years and over) and those with medical conditions who are at risk of developing serious illness
If new workers are housed for self-isolation in the same accommodation as others who are self-isolating, the clock resets for the 14 day isolation period to the day the most recent worker arrived
Signage should be provided and displayed in common areas, such as kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms, about proper hand hygiene, and cough and sneeze etiquette. Provide these resources in the workers preferred language.
Perform daily health checks on all workers (both seasonal and from the local community). Use the daily health check log to keep track of each worker's health status. Keep these logs on file to refer to at a later date if necessary.
We recommend that you take date-stamped photos of the facilities showing compliance so that you can send to your public health inspector if requested.
Accommodations for isolation of new arrivals and sick workers
Have a plan in place for your new arrivals and workers who may become ill.
For temporary accommodations where workers have to be isolated, portable R/Vs and trailers are an option. However, physical distancing must remain in place in both sleeping and living areas.
Portable R/Vs and trailers are temporary options unless approval has been given by Service Canada
Newly arriving workers are to be self-isolated, away from workers who have already completed their 14 day isolation period or those who are in isolation due to illness
Contact the Environmental Health duty officer at ext. 7590 or email us to discuss plans before implementation.
Employers must ensure that workers have access to facilities that allow them to clean their hands often with soap and warm water. They must also provide soap, and an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water isn't available and hands aren't visibly soiled.
Employers should also implement enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols in living quarters, work areas and other common areas immediately:
Clean all surfaces using commercially purchased multi-surface household cleaners
If using a disinfectant, only use those which have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an eight digit number given by Health Canada that confirms it's approved for use in Canada.
Check the expiry date of cleaning products before using them and always follow manufacturer's instructions
Frequently touched surfaces are more likely to be contaminated. Surfaces that have frequent contact with hands should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day and when visibly dirty. Examples of frequently touched surfaces include doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink tap handles, bedside tables, counters, tables, chairs, hand rails, buffet utensils, touch screen surfaces, cell phones, TV or radio remotes, and keypads.
Food within seasonal housing accommodations should be protected from contamination at all times. This may include safe distancing or ensuring guards or coverings for food and utensils.
Ensure all hand wash sinks are supplied with soap and paper towels
Consult with the fire and building department of your local municipality to ensure the construction or installation of barriers / partitions don't violate building or fire codes creating an unsafe environment for the workers.
Barriers (partitions) serve three infection prevention and control critical functions. They are to:
Stop the spread of respiratory droplets. The COVID-19 virus transmits from person to person through coughing and sneezing, just like the common cold or flu.
Re-enforce physical distancing requirements (staying two metres away from others), even when workers are unwilling or forgetful
Reduce reliance on face coverings / masks, both due to the shortage of these items and user comfort. However, if staff or clients are unmasked on opposite sides of the barriers, it's essential that the barrier has been designed, installed and maintained so that it effectively prevents the co-mingling of respiratory droplets and aerosols produced by both parties.
Barriers / partitions should be designed and installed with functionality in mind. They should also include a 30 cm radius around the user's head known as the breathing zone. The partition should be as high and wide as possible without compromising safety or airflow in the room. It's strongly recommended that windows are left open or a ventilation system is used to maximize fresh air in sleeping areas.
Cleaning and disinfecting
Clean barriers / partitions on the same frequency that other areas of the room and house are cleaned. Partitions should be made of material that's easy to clean.
COVID-19 resources for workers
All temporary foreign workers who enter Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic from another country will need to undergo necessary health checks and must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. Take some time to read the information provided by your employer.
Frequently clean hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Contact your employer if these supplies are not available.
Avoid sneezing or coughing into hands or into the open air. Instead use sleeves or tissues and dispose of used tissues immediately.
Avoid sharing household items like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other personal items. After use, these items should be washed with soap or detergent in warm water. No special soap is needed.
Do not share cigarettes or vaping products
Only essential visitors are allowed into the home and visits must be kept short. Maintain a physical isolation distance of at least two metres as much as possible.
Follow provincial guidelines and occupational health and safety requirements when working. When work tasks require workers to be in close proximity to one another, masks / face coverings and any other appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn.
Avoid going into town for food and other supplies as much as possible. Where going into town is required, plan ahead so that you can limit the number of trips.
Ask your employer or one person from the housing unit to get necessary items if possible for everyone in the unit
Try to keep two metres (six feet) of distance when using private or public transport. If a bus or similar vehicle is used, sit two rows apart. If a private car is used, sit in the back seat. If at all possible, the windows should be open and workers should wear a mask / face covering.
If coming into town, stay two metres (six feet) away from others
Don't gather in large groups of more than 10 people, as per local or provincial regulatory requirements
Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information and applicable regulations