To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace by outlining staff protocols for the wearing of masks/face coverings when entering any town facility.
This procedure applies to town employees, contractors, consultants, and members of the public aged five (5) years or older in all town of Oakville owned or operated facilities.
As stated in Region of Halton By-law 47-20, this procedure and any related procedures shall not be interpreted so as to conflict with a Provincial or Federal statute, regulation, or instrument of a legislative nature, including an order made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and/or the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
This procedure and any related procedures remain in effect as long as the Halton Region by-law is in effect.
In accordance with Halton Region By-law 47-20 (‘by-law’), every person must wear a non-medical mask/face covering when inside an enclosed public place within the geographical area of the Region of Halton.
All operators of a public place that is open to the public, shall ensure that no member of the public is permitted entry to, or otherwise remains within, any enclosed space within the public place, unless the member of the public is wearing a non-medical mask/face covering, unless exempted, in a manner outlined in the by-law.
In accordance with the by-law, those exempted from the requirement to wear a non-medical mask/face covering in enclosed public places within the Town of Oakville, must be recognized as exempted from the by-law and this procedure, and not discriminated against nor required to provide proof for exemption.
The town shall put in place facility specific procedures/protocols as required to implement the Region of Halton’s non-medical masks/face coverings By-law 47-20. All persons working at a public place must be trained on the requirements of the by-law and any procedures or protocols put in place to uphold the by-law.
COVID-19 can be spread by infected individuals who have not yet, or may never, develop symptoms of the illness. Public Health Ontario is recommending the wearing of masks as a way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in areas where physical distancing (two-metres distance between individuals) may be challenging or not possible.
Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are to remain at home and not report to any work site, whether a town facility/building or in the community.
Staff protocols in relation to the wearing of mask/face coverings in the workplace will be done in a manner that:
Masks/face coverings must be worn by staff in all facilities when:
Controls to ensure that proper physical distancing have been taken into account for work areas that are overseen by the Facilities & Construction Management Department. Staff who are working in an office or desk-area do not have to wear masks while they are in that area unless a situation arises where proper physical distancing cannot be maintained (i.e. a co-worker visits), then the wearing of a mask is recommended.
The guidelines above are general and meant to apply to staff in the normal course of their work. For department or job-specific instructions, staff are to speak to their supervisor.
The Halton Region by-law and town policy states that no member of the public is permitted entry to, or otherwise remains within, any enclosed space within the public place, unless the member of the public is wearing a non-medical mask/face covering, in a manner which covers their mouth, nose and chin. There are however, exemptions set out in the by-law and policy that include:
Where exemptions apply, no person shall be required to provide proof of any of the exemptions set out nor shall the person be discriminated against for not wearing a non-medical mask/face covering due to an exemption.
In such cases, staff are to physically distance themselves at a minimum of two metres/six feet to provide service. Where physical distancing does not allow service to be provided, the wearing of a face shield, in addition to a mask, may be considered. Staff are reminded to follow proper hand hygiene protocols and avoid touching their face during and after such interactions. Thorough cleaning of the work area where the public interacted is also required. Where staff are not comfortable delivering service they should immediately contact their supervisor for further direction.
Implementation of the by-law is education based. Staff are not to enforce the Region’s by-law on the wearing of masks in enclosed public spaces (with the exception of Municipal Enforcement staff as part of their enforcement duties). Members of the public are not to be denied service if they are not wearing a mask/face covering.
If a member of the public is not wearing a mask and staff are unable to physically distance and/or are uncomfortable providing service, they are to contact their supervisor to determine the most appropriate alternative delivery method.
Staff are to manage this like any other situation where they are interacting with an unhappy member of the public and to contact their supervisor if they require assistance. Only as a last resort should Municipal Enforcement be called to enforce any contravention of the by-law.
Public place: as defined by Halton Region’s By-law 47-20.
Facility management is responsible for posting visible signage at all entrances of public places, as required in Halton Region By-law 47-20. Facility management is also responsible for providing a copy of this procedure upon request, in accordance with Halton Region By-law 47-20.
Facility management and/or Human Resources is responsible for ensuring that all persons working at public places are trained in the requirements of this procedure and Halton Region By-law 47-20.
Procedure Number: MS-REG-002-001
Parent Policy: MS-REG-002
Section: Municipal services
Sub Section: Regulatory Services
Author: Human Resources
Effective Date: 2020 July 23
Review Date: 2022
Last modified: 2021 Mar 29