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.
- Practice physical distancing with everyone outside of your safe social circle, especially in common areas like lobbies and elevators.
- Wear a non-medical mask or face covering inside common areas.
- Stay a safe distance of 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people.
- 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.
When conducting a wedding, funeral, religious service, rite or ceremony you must ensure that it is conducted in compliance with Ontario regulations and public health recommendations.
To protect the health of the community, all ceremonies must adhere to attendance limits and enable attendees to maintain proper physical distancing between each other. That means attendees must maintain a 2 metre distance between one another, unless they are members of the same household or 10-person social circle.
Attendees should wear a non-medical mask where physical distancing is difficult to maintain and where masks are mandatory, practice good hand hygiene, and should be asked to remain at home and get tested 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.
Attendance for a wedding, funeral or religious service/rite/ceremony must be limited to:
- 30% capacity of the room if held indoors.
- 100 people if held outdoors.
Attendance for wedding and funeral receptions (for the entire facility) must be limited to:
- 10 people if held indoors.
- 25 people if held outdoors.
- 6 people seated per table maximum.
Private social events
As of September 18, 2020, attendance for unmonitored and private social gatherings and events (held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas) must be limited to:
- 10 people if held indoors.
- 25 people if held outdoors.
- Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be combined, meaning that gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.
Additional safety measures
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.
The Ontario government is now allowing community and allotment gardens to operate with guidance from public health.
There are requirements before opening gardens that include signage, hand washing stations, use of equipment and tools, physically distancing, prohibiting events and food services and communicating policies and protocols to personnel and gardeners.
Refer to Peel Public Health's Guidance for Community and Allotment Gardens During COVID-19 for information about:
- Entrance requirements and restrictions.
- Hand hygiene.
- Cleaning and disinfection requirements.
- Compliance and enforcement.
Only gardens that are able to follow this guidance are permitted to operate. This guidance is subject to change.
Now that Peel has entered stage 3 of reopening, more recreational activities and facilities will gradually begin to reopen.
Outdoor playgrounds and play structures can reopen in stage 3. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools and outdoor splash pads and wading pools were permitted to reopen since stage 2.
Reopening of recreational facilities and activities will vary among municipalities. Check your local municipality for details on closures. You can find more information on restrictions for sports and facilities in the Ontario government’s stage 3 framework for reopening.
Some provincial parks and conservation reserves are open with certain restrictions. Access updates on Ontario parks and conservation for more information.
When outdoors, maintain a safe physical distance of at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not from your safe social circle. Ensure you wash your hands with soap and water when you get back home.
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.