COVID-19 Code of Practice & Policies

Attending the Workplace During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A personnel guide to help support workers.

Pandemic preparedness and risk management

Risk Management: Safeguarding Residents and Workers

Pandemic preparedness is an essential risk management practice. This is especially true for essential workplaces. While Supportive Living operators are accustomed to seasonal influenza outbreak operations management, the COVID-19 Pandemic has proven to present new challenges as we continue to navigate unchartered territories.

Module 1 of the Organizational Enhancement Toolkit - Pandemic Management Edition includes the following key elements and tools:

  • Risk Management Strategies
  • What is COVID-19?
  • COVID-19 Worker Code of Practice
  • COVID-19 Safe Work Protocols - Personnel Handbook
  • COVID-19 Fitness-For-Work Health Assessment Screening
  • COVID-19 Pandemic - Operational Policy Directives

These foundational tools are intended to supplement your organization's existing Pandemic Plan and are based on fundamental risk management principles.

Risk Management: Written Instructional Guidance

Encapsulating and communicating evolving operational requirements is of critical importance. These tools are designed to help management with providing ongoing written instructional guidance to workers.

Written instructional guidance is also intended to help reduce stress for workers as such tools demonstrate management's commitment to clearly and concisely articulating requirements. Written instructions provide clarity at a time of uncertainty. It is highly advisable to accompany the roll-out of each tool with a personnel orientation/training session to ensure understanding of requirements. Maintain an up-to-date 'COVID-19 Worker Training and Skill Development Matrix' as per OH&S legal requirements and best practices.

Risk Management: Maintaining a Record of Your Pandemic Response

In addition to utilizing these types of tools, it is highly advised to also maintain a written record of your facility's ongoing pandemic response detailing key decisions. Saving each version of these types of documents issued to personnel or residents is also important. Maintaining a current/historical account of the actions taken will provide pertinent information to support a number of risk management activities related to:

  • Business Continuity
  • Personnel Management
  • Insurance Related Matters
  • Post-Pandemic Response Evaluations
  • Future Facility Pandemic Planning Initiatives, etc.

Risk Management: Appoint an Information & Communications Coordinator/Officer

Appointing someone within your facility to serve as a Pandemic Information & Communications Coordinator/Officer is highly advisable. Assigning accountability to have someone from within your facility/organization to monitor and compile relevant ongoing federal and provincial government announcements and Public Health Authority Orders/Directives will prove to be highly advantageous. The individual fulfilling this role would be accountable For:

  • Monitoring and compiling Chief Medical of Health Orders/Directives.
  • Providing daily/ongoing briefings to the management team.
  • Collaborating with your site Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator.
  • Develop written communications/briefings for personnel, residents and their families, etc.
  • Carrying out information and research projects as per the direction of the management team.
  • Maintaining your facility's COVID-19 records management system, etc.

The individual serving as your facility's Information & Communications Coordinator/Officer role ought to be deemed a 'critical worker' within your business continuity plan. In keeping with emergency management principles, sequestering of this type of critical worker would be deemed appropriate. As such, this person could work off-site and follow self-isolation protocols. Adoption and utilization of video-conferencing tools, etc. will largely facilitate positional requirements.

Pandemic Management Toolkit - Tips

  • Insert your Facility Pandemic Plan into your Pandemic Management Toolkit Manual.
  • Customize the tools included within Module 1 to reflect the needs and circumstances of your supportive living facility.  
  • Maintain a decision log of all steps taken throughout your facility's response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Appoint a Pandemic Information Coordinator/Officer.
World health organization & public health authorities

What is COVID-19?

As the Coronavirus Global Pandemic continues to evolve, so does our understanding of symptoms associated with COVID-19. It is important to stay abreast of changes to how COVID-19 is defined, along with the symptoms published by the World Health Organization as well as those defined by Public Health Authorities within your jurisdiction.

It is imperative that symptoms be communicated to workers and residents within your supportive living facility. Up-to-date information regarding symptoms are likely integrated within your Public Health Authority's current 'Fitness-for-Work' Health Screening Assessment tools for workers and residents. Also note that it has been identified that there may be differences in how symptoms present or are experienced within our vulnerable elder populations (e.g. temperature).

COVID-19 - The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization’s defines COVID-19 as follows:

“Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slowdown transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face. 

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).”

– World Health Organization (WHO); March 29,2020  

COVID-19 Symptoms

The World Health Organization’s describes COVID-19 symptoms as follows:

“The COVID-19 virus affects different people in different ways.  COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment.  People who have underlying medical conditions and those over 60 years old have a higher risk of developing severe disease and death.

Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • dry cough
  • tiredness

Other less common symptoms include:

  • aches and pains
  • nasal congestion
  • headache
  • conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • sore throat
  • diarrhea
  • loss of taste or smell
  • rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes

Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms.

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should self-isolate and contact their medical provider or a COVID-19 information line for advice on testing and referral.

People with fever, cough or difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, or loss of speech of movement should seek medical attention immediately. If possible, it is recommended to call the health care provider or facility first, so the patient can be directed to the right clinic.”

 – World Health Organization (WHO); May 5, 2020  

Pandemic Management Toolkit - Tips

  • Insert your Public Health Authority's Fitness For Work - Health Screening Assessment into your Pandemic Management Toolkit Manual.
  • Customize the COVID-19 Safe Work Protocols - Personnel Handbook to include the most up-to-date definitions of COVID-19 and related symptoms.

Fostering an accountable safety culture

Cultivating a culture of personal and professional accountability

Each one of us has a responsibility (the employer, supervisors, and workers) to do our part to create and foster a supportive safety culture. The following Code of Practice is intended to positively reinforce required Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

COVID-19 Worker Code of Practice

To Protect Yourself, Your Co-Workers, and Our Residents:

  1. Be Informed
  2. Monitor Personal Health (Fitness-For-Work)
  3. Self-Report to Your Supervisor, should you: begin to experience symptoms (stay home or leave work and self-isolate), or if you become aware of potential/known exposure outside of work*
  4. Strictly Wash and Sanitize Hands
  5. Practice Good Respiratory Hygiene
  6. Avoid Touching Your Face
  7. Practice Physical and Social Distancing
  8. Wear Required IPC PPE
  9. Follow IPC Protocols and Safe Work Procedures
  10. Report any Incidents
  11. Practice Self-Care
  12. Support One Another – We’re all in this together!

* Report exposure to individuals with suspected, probable or confirmed cases; or to close contacts or household member(s) who are self-isolating while waiting to be tested.

COVID-19 – Worker Code of Practice ©INTERACTIONS HR Solutions Inc. All Rights Reserved.

COVID-19 Worker Code of Practice

Pandemic Management Toolkit - Tips

  • Download the COVID-19 Worker Code of Practice Poster

Pandemic personnel handbook

COVID-19 Safe Work Protocols - Personnel Handbook

The COVID-19 Safe Work Protocols - Personnel Handbook is a key risk management tool contained within the Organizational Enhancement Toolkit™ as it helps provide workers with:

  • An understanding of applicable Public Health Orders/Directives and compliance.
  • The symptoms associated with COVID-19 and requirements for self-monitoring, health screening controls and reporting.
  • Requirements that must be met in order to attend the workplace during the Pandemic.
  • Types of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures.
  • An understanding of how each stage pf the Pandemic will be managed within the facility in relation to the delivery of core services to residents, especially if an outbreak of COVID-19 should occur.
  • Personal safety protective measures intended to protect the health and safety of workers and residents.
  • Guidance and direction regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Personal Respiratory Equipment (PRE).
  • Strategies to promote a supportive safety culture.
  • Expectations regarding enhanced cleaning protocols while performing work.
  • Ongoing training and practice drills to build worker competency.
  • Psychosocial health and safety measures and supports.

The COVID-19 Safe Work Protocols - Personnel Handbook can be obtained as a stand-alone tool, or it can be accessed via our Members Portal as part of the complete Organizational Enhancement Toolkit - Pandemic Management Edition product. Either way, you can further customize the content to meet the unique needs of your organization.

Pandemic Management Toolkit - Tips
  • Download and customize the COVID-19 Safe Work Protocols - Personnel Handbook to align with the needs of your facility.
  • Maintain a pdf version of the customized version on your facility's internal server/shared drive. This will ensure that personnel access the most recent version as your continue to update its content throughout the Pandemic.
  • NOTE: This is NOT a public document and is licensed for use within a single supportive living facility.
Public health authority fitness-for-work health screening

Fitness-For-Work & Resident Health Screening Tools

As per Public Health Orders/Directives, an essential risk management requirement is to ensure diligent implementation and adherence to worker and resident COVID-19 health assessment screening occurs.

Promoting A Culture of Self-Monitoring and Reporting

Congue rutrum pulvinar dictum nascetur ultrices etiam lectus feugiat, neque tempor vitae lacus platea sed vehicula quis fringilla, urna fusce non potenti odio euismod eleifend. Feugiat hac fusce magnis aliquet posuere ad, nunc primis interdum a congue quam tristique, sem dignissim mus potenti lorem. Aptent cursus commodo congue convallis sagittis a himenaeos netus, fringilla ultricies facilisis urna cubilia bibendum lobortis pellentesque magna, felis nullam dui scelerisque penatibus ante vulputate. Pellentesque risus nec dapibus suspendisse dignissim dictumst, fusce taciti leo velit tristique, donec ante cras vulputate bibendum. Dui auctor penatibus eget neque magna potenti curae, dis aenean lorem augue donec dolor iaculis, justo imperdiet mi commodo rutrum fames. Iaculis consequat eros viverra tellus conubia fringilla bibendum, nam urna scelerisque suscipit habitasse. Sem torquent interdum mi orci ullamcorper congue, leo morbi magna tortor maecenas auctor, posuere iaculis sodales sapien commodo.

Ultrices commodo lorem arcu fermentum lacinia taciti montes ligula suscipit fringilla aliquam hac integer condimentum, platea conubia sodales dapibus volutpat porta nisi mauris ad suspendisse class habitasse velit. Class dui aliquet orci nam cursus hendrerit erat mauris cubilia, faucibus elit arcu dignissim adipiscing donec odio amet, urna platea morbi hac potenti luctus condimentum convallis. Fusce bibendum luctus dictumst neque sed natoque in platea, magna conubia non fringilla leo eget curabitur, hendrerit odio nisl ut integer nascetur per. Aliquet neque dignissim augue suspendisse convallis diam netus lorem condimentum eu adipiscing, sollicitudin pulvinar cursus bibendum ultricies duis arcu quam habitant. Laoreet consectetur posuere bibendum duis lacus maecenas pellentesque taciti ad enim, euismod nec sollicitudin est aptent mattis amet senectus aliquam vestibulum, natoque turpis felis montes interdum ullamcorper ornare dolor lorem. Ligula elit placerat senectus fames habitant, inceptos donec litora accumsan auctor, a fusce aliquet natoque. Litora erat tortor hac vulputate ad interdum eu diam sit, tristique morbi consectetur fringilla euismod senectus enim tempor a, purus dolor sociis nascetur inceptos gravida odio scelerisque. Quisque sit consectetur urna nascetur platea interdum eleifend, faucibus sollicitudin dignissim non amet praesent, purus a ipsum nunc pulvinar volutpat.

Pandemic Management Toolkit - Tips
  • Insert your Public Health Authority's COVID-19 Fitness-For-Work Health Assessment Screening Tool into your Pandemic Toolkit Manual.
  • Insert your Public Health Authority's COVID-19 Resident Health Assessment Screening Tool into your Pandemic Toolkit Manual.
Pandemic policy directives

Pandemic Plans & Emergent Policy Directives

Very early into the declaration of the global Coronavirus Pandemic, it became clear that workplaces needed to review and instantaneously update their existing Facility Pandemic Plans, if they had one in place. As organizations enacted their Emergency Response Operations, in accordance with their existing Pandemic Plans, it also became evident that changes were required to both personnel and operational policies to align with the fluidity of the Pandemic.

The Pandemic has demanded that workplaces, especially those providing essential services, stay in-step with the rapidly evolving developments related to operationalizing federal and provincial Public Health Authority Orders/Directives.

Pandemic Policy Directives - Operationalizing Public Health Orders/Directives

The following 'COVID-19 Pandemic - Operational and Personnel Policy Directives' are based on the types of Orders/Directives declared at a global, federal and provincial level. In keeping with 'emergency management' principles, each policy directive is written in a clear and concise manner intended to provide immediate instruction/direction. Once the Pandemic comes to end, policy directives ought to be reviewed and formalized as part of your facility's Pandemic Operational Policy.

Pandemic Management Toolkit - Tips

  • Download and customize the COVID-19 Pandemic - Operational and Personnel Policy Directives Manual specific to your facility and circumstances.