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01/12/2021

Q&A: What should I do if an employee has COVID-19?

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Q: What should I do if an employee has COVID-19?

A: COVID-19 constitutes a workplace hazard under the Canada Labour Code, which means employers are responsible for the occupational health and safety of their employees. In turn, employers have an obligation to investigate and report confirmed cases of COVID-19 in order to prevent the recurrence of exposure.

It’s important to move quickly to mitigate spread.


  1. Mandate all employees to download the COVID-19 tracking app. 

  2. Instruct employees who have symptoms to stay home from work and get tested.

  3. In larger chains, managers should seek direction from the HR team if an employee is ill and subsequently tests positive for COVID-19.

  4. Independent operators are advised to consult local public health authorities to report and obtain guidance on next steps.

  5. If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers may be told to inform fellow employees of their possible exposure, but maintain confidentiality.

  6. Ask all employees to monitor for symptoms.

  7. Public health may instruct employers to also notify affected customers, visitors, and vendors and instruct those employees who came into direct contact with the sick employee to self-isolate for 14 days.

  8. It’s important to keep those you’ve informed up to date if information changes. 

  9. Conduct enhanced cleaning and disinfection after an employee (or customer) suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in your store. 

  10. Remind those who test positive to report via the COVID-19 tracking tool.

The rules are constantly evolving and can differ from region to region.

Access these additional Federal Guidelines for the latest information and to answer detailed questions about COVID-19 in the workplace.