Recommendations and infection prevention practices related to COVID-19 in community spaces
Masks now mandatory in Peel
It’s now mandatory to wear a mask inside public spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information, visit masks and face coverings.
It's important for housing providers, property managers and landlords to follow recommendations to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in apartment buildings and other multi-unit dwellings.
- Stay a safe distance of 2 metres (6 feet) away from anyone who doesn’t live with you or is not your essential caregiver, especially in common areas like lobbies and elevators.
- Wear a non-medical mask or face covering inside common areas.
- Avoid handshaking.
- Choose virtual meetings over in-person meetings where possible.
- Avoid crowds.
- Close shared amenities (for example game rooms, gyms, and pools).
- Make hand sanitizer available in the entrance or at the elevator.
- Clean and disinfect high traffic areas such as building entrances, elevators and laundry rooms often (at least twice daily).
- Share information about cleaning processes and frequency with building residents. View cleaning and disinfecting public spaces – Public Health Ontario
View related resources for posters about handwashing, physical distancing in laundry rooms, lobbies, elevators, hallways etc.
Self-isolating building residents
For residents of the multi-unit dwelling who are self-isolating, deliveries to a resident unit should be made to front desk or concierge. Packages will be left at the front door of the unit. Refer to how to self-isolate (PDF) for more information. Access our translated resources for information in multiple languages.
Group living settings are facilities where people (most or all of whom are not related) live or stay overnight and use shared spaces (e.g. common sleeping areas, bathrooms and kitchens).
This information applies to only non-regulated congregate living settings such as shelters, group homes and other residential settings serving vulnerable populations. This does not apply regulated settings like to long term care centres, correctional facilities, and child care centres.
Providers of these settings should refer to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 guidance: congregate living for vulnerable populations. This guidance outlines measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in these settings, and to prevent, detect and manage individual cases and outbreaks.
Learn more about guidelines for visitors in group living settings.
- We’ve developed a COVID-19 guide for homelessness service providers to follow while operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document reflects the Ministry of Health’s guidance.
- Learn more about our emergency housing system response.
- Visit our COVID-19 housing and homelessness update for more site-specific plans by facility.
- Use this screening entrance sign as a resource for passive screening.
- Adapt the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 patient screening guidance document for your screening questions.
Considerations regarding food banks and food programs providers.
- Consider pre-packing food boxes or bags.
- Consider mobile food distribution and practice safe delivery options to clients who have become ill or are at high risk.
- Create an alternate delivery system such as a drive through distribution, where volunteers deliver a prepackaged bag to their car
- Remove client wait areas. Consider having people wait outdoors if this is possible
- Stagger arrivals and departures to reduce contact between clients.
Food program providers
- Complete any paperwork on behalf of clients. Clients must be able to view and verify that the information documented is correct. Staff and volunteers cannot sign on behalf of a client.
- Encourage sick clients, or those who have been asked to self-isolate, to stay home and ask them to have a friend or neighbour pick up their food or meal items.
- Prepare and plan for operations with a reduced workforce, with fewer volunteers.
- Remind staff, volunteers and visitors to wear a non-medical mask or face covering when inside the building or when physical distancing is hard to maintain.
Safe food handling
- Postpone any food demonstrations or cooking classes.
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds using single use paper towel to dry hands and to close taps.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, all phones, counters, handles on cabinets, fridges, utility or grocery carts, pens, computers stations.
- Do not allow clients to handle food items. Staff and volunteers handle all food products for clients.
- Remind staff, volunteers and clients to sneeze or cough into their sleeves and wash their hands afterwards.
Enhanced measures in Peel
Expressions of faith are especially important in times of stress. At this time, leaders of places of worship are strongly recommended to consider conducting religious services, rites and ceremonies virtually as much as possible.
Check the current measures in Peel that apply to religious services, rites and ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals.
Additional safety measures
All attendees must wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces and where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Attendees should be asked to practice good hand hygiene and remain at home if they are feeling sick.
Those conducting a service, rite or ceremony must ensure that frequent cleaning and disinfecting practices are in place, particularly in washrooms and frequently touched surfaces.
The Ministry of Health advises the following activities to be adapted or suspended, as they increase the risk of spreading COVID-19:
- Singing, choirs and playing wind or brass instruments
- Social gatherings before or after in-person services, including those where food and drink are shared.
- Sharing or distributing materials or objects, which may include but is not limited to books, communion, microphones, prayer mats, prayer shawls, and water.
- Regular childcare and children’s programming.
Information on adapting these activities and delivering religious services, rites or ceremonies, is available from the Ministry of Health.
To continue these important services, consider the following:
- Advise donors to stay home if they are unwell.
- Screen donors for signs of illness during appointment booking, and post signage at front entrance.
- Provide hand washing and hand sanitizer stations (post hand washing and hand cleaning posters). Ensure hand hygiene supplies are well stocked.
- Remind everyone to sneeze and cough into their sleeve.
- Increase frequency of cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces (donor beds, laminated pamphlets).
- Space donor beds 2 metres away from each other to promote physical distancing.
- Review the Canadian Blood Services donor eligibility requirements in response to COVID-19.
Personal protection considerations
- Advise staff to stay home when sick. Plan for staff absences.
- Strict adherence to hand hygiene must be followed (post hand washing and hand cleaning posters).
- Ensure easy access to hand washing stations and hand washing supplies are well stocked.
- Continue to practice routine infection prevention and control measures.
- Continue to ensure work surfaces are cleaned and disinfected.