Workplaces with Offices Guidance

This guideline applies to workplaces that are primarily office settings, including enclosed offices, cubicle environments, open office environments, and any combination thereof.  This guideline includes shared kitchen space and meeting space.

Core measures required by all businesses, services, and organizations:

  • Develop an operational plan detailing how risk of transmission of disease will be mitigated.
  • Take every reasonable step to ensure minimal interaction of people (including employees and/or clients) within two metres of each other.
  • Take every reasonable step required to prevent employees who are required to self-isolate from entering workplaces.
  • Develop and follow an exclusion policy that ensures symptomatic employees are immediately excluded from work activities.
  • Ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of shared areas and surfaces.
  • Ensure hand washing stations or hand sanitizing products are available and accessible to all employees.

Additional measures recommended for workplaces with offices:

  • Continue working from home/telework arrangements wherever possible and feasible, especially for individuals considered vulnerable to COVID-19 (people age 65 and over, people with chronic illnesses, and people with compromised immune systems).
  • Encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • Implement measures to reduce physical contact and limit the number of people in the office, including flexible work hours, staggered start times, and the use of email and teleconference over in-person meetings.
  • Ensure two metre (six feet) separation between workstations and individuals, particularly in open office environments.
  • Use visual cues like floor markings to encourage two metre (six feet) physical separation.
  • Avoid gatherings of employees during breaks, meetings, and mealtimes.
  • Consider closing meeting rooms or implement controls on the number of employees permitted in common areas and meeting rooms to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
  • If employees must travel together, follow the Guidance on Public Health Measures – Travelling in Vehicles.
  • Avoid sharing of equipment and office supplies.
  • Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces at least twice/day. Office equipment that must be shared (i.e. shared printers) should be cleaned before and after each use.
  • Increase washroom cleanings.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60%-80% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Have tissues, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and no-touch disposal receptacles available for employees.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or sleeve, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Maintain a two metre (six feet) distance between employees and customers at all times.
  • Install physical barriers between employees and visitors/customers in reception areas if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Print and post safety information related to the above in your workplace where it can be seen by employees and visitors.
  • Non-medical masks may be used when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Non-medical masks are not a replacement for any of the above measures.

Source: Government of Prince Edward Island (May 9, 2020)

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