The Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
March 2, 2022
On behalf of staff at the Health Unit we want to thank all business owners for their hard work and dedication throughout this pandemic. We recognize that implementing the legislated public health measures for close to two (2) years has been challenging for you personally and for your businesses and employees. With your support we have been able to lower the overall number of cases of COVID-19 with severe outcomes and hospitalizations in our communities.
As you likely know, the Province of Ontario has been monitoring trends around COVID-19 and with trends gradually improving the Province is continuing to gradually lift a number of public health measures including; asking for proof of vaccination, active screening, capacity limits, physical distancing etc.
The following public health measures remain in place for all public places including; masking, posting a COVID-19 screening sign; 3733_2 COVID Screening Poster Sept 2021 (healthunit.org) and the requirement to have a safety plan.
Although some public health measures are being lifted it is important to remember that the COVID-19 virus is still present and there is still a risk of contracting COVID-19 within the community. It is also important to remember that not everyone in our community will be comfortable returning to businesses that are no longer implementing COVID-19 prevention measures. We urge you to consider your employees, customers/clientele and determine what you can do to make your business safe for all. Now would be a good time to evaluate your safety plans. The following link provides a guidance document and template for developing or revising safety plans; Guide to developing your COVID-19 workplace safety plan | ontario.ca. The goal of a safety plan is to identify strategies that can be implemented in your workplace to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
As you evaluate your safety plan you may choose to – keep the proof of vaccination system in place, continue with physical distancing, maintain or install impermeable barriers where appropriate, promote COVID-19 vaccination of staff and most importantly, encourage employees to stay home if they are sick. These strategies will help protect the health of your employees, customers/clientele and will protect our health care system from becoming overwhelmed.
The Provincial government has designed a number of financial relief programs to help small business owners recover from the pandemic. We encourage you to explore programs that may suit your needs. A list of available programs and grants can be found on; COVID-19 - Leeds Grenville Economic Development and Home (valleycfdc.com).