Last updated: February 3, 2021 at 12 p.m.

A province-wide declaration of emergency and stay-at-home order are in effect.

On January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to all employers in the City of Toronto permitted to be open under the Reopening Ontario Act. Employers permitted to be open are required to take the additional measures set out in this Letter to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Health care providers and health care entities as defined in Section 77.7 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act who are subject to the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directives are currently exempt from these instructions.

This guidance is for community, non-profit and voluntary sector service organizations as they plan and offer services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its use is appropriate for services and programs delivered to groups and individuals in non-clinical and non-residential settings. This guidance document describes the requirements community organization must comply with under the Reopening Ontario Act.

As every organization is different, it is the responsibility of management and staff to review their own policies, procedures, and site-specific operations, while ensuring that the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained.

Provincial Orders (O. Reg. 82/20)

  • Community centres and multi-purpose facilities may open to provide space for the following purposes:
  • A child care centre or authorized recreational and skill building programwithin the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
  • Mental health or substance use support services, as long as no more than 10 people are occupying the space.
  • The provision of social services.
  • Organizations that support the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection, and/or social services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals may also open.
  • The person responsible for a community centre or multi-purpose facility that is open shall:
  • Record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends the community centre or multi-purpose facility;
  • Maintain the records for a period of at least one month; and
  • Only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Acton request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.
  • Operators shall prepare and make available a safety plan. See below for details.

COVID-19 Transmission

Respiratory transmission: COVID-19 is an illness that is spread mainly from person-to-person through close contact from respiratory droplets of someone with COVID-19. The respiratory droplets can travel up to two metres/six feet when we cough, sneeze, talk or sing.

Contaminated surfaces: It is possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. This new coronavirus can survive on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to 72 hours.

At-risk populations: The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is greater for older adults, and people with an underlying medical condition or a weakened immune system (e.g. due to a medical condition or treatment). People living on a low income, who are under-housed or experiencing homelessness, or living in congregate settings such as retirement homes or rooming houses may also be more impacted by the virus. Organizations should consider the vulnerability of employees, volunteers, clients and visitors when planning their services and programs.

Protective Measures to Keep Everyone Safe

  • Stay home when you are sick, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Keep a two metre/six feet distance from others, when possible.
  • Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wear a face mask or covering when you are in indoor public spaces, and when physical distancing is difficult.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Mask/face coverings for staff and clients

  • The use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required by everyone in all indoor public spaces, as per a new City of Toronto bylaw and Reg. 82/20. Some exceptions apply.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as mask, face shield, eye protection, that cover the eyes, nose and mouth must be worn by staff/volunteers if, while providing service in an indoor area, they:
    • are required to come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering; and
    • are not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier from a person described above.
  • Masks are strongly recommended in outdoor settings when physical distancing is difficult.
  • Workplaces are required to develop a policy on the wearing of masks. More information is available here.
    • Other ways to provide service to people who cannot wear a mask should be considered. For example, providing service at the end of the day, with no other clients in the location, and keeping a two metre/six foot physical distance as much as possible.

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Employers must have written measures and procedures for staff safety, including for infection prevention and control. Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and customers safe, including:

  • Staff attendance and operations
    • Employers must enable and support workers to work remotely wherever possible, and accommodate household needs related to virtual education and dependent care.
  • Mask/face coverings for staff and customers
  • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace
  • Health screening for staff and customers:
    • Actively screen staff and volunteers before each shift, and clients prior to entering.
    • Where possible, clients attending for an appointment should be screened by phone prior to arrival.
    • Offer to reschedule appointments for clients when they are sick.
  • Cleaning and disinfection
    • Remind clients and staff not to share items, including food, dishes, articles of clothing, ear buds, phones or other electronic devices, personal items such as combs or make-up, cigarettes, vapes, supplies, etc.
    • Label and use separate baskets or bags for clean and dirty laundry items. Laundry baskets or reusable bags must be sanitized between uses.
    • Dirty laundry must be placed in a lined laundry bin for washing with hot water and detergent using a washing machine. Dryers should be used as the heat further kills any viruses.
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
    • Ensure that staff and clients have the ability to practice hand hygiene often, and when needed.
    • Incorporate hand hygiene into breaks between activities, and before and after snacks/ meals.
    • Supervise/assist clients with hand hygiene if necessary.

Safety Plan

The person responsible for a business that is open shall prepare and make available a safety plan. The plan must:

  • Describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID.
  • Include measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning, disinfecting and PPE.
  • Be in writing and made available to any person for review, on request.
  • Be posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working or attending the location.

Track Attendance

  • As per provincial regulations, operators must record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends the community centre or multi-purpose facility.
  • It is strongly recommended that daily attendance records are maintained for all employees, volunteers, visitors and deliveries/contractors for 30 days to support public health contact tracing efforts (e.g. name, date, time, and contact information).
  • Some people may have concerns about having personal information tracked. It is important to communicate to everyone that attendance tracking is voluntary, and that information is being collected to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • If a client or staff have COVID-19 and were contagious onsite, TPH will investigate and notify those who may have been exposed.
  • Encourage staff and clients to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

  • Regularly check HVAC systems to ensure they are functioning and in good working order.
  • Increase the introduction and circulation of outdoor air by maximizing the outdoor air ratio of the HVAC system settings, or by opening windows and doors, where possible. Avoid recirculating air.
  • Where provided, use the highest efficiency filters that are compatible with the HVAC system.
  • Increase air-exchanges if possible.
  • Keep areas near HVAC inlets and outlets clear.
    • Seating should be arranged away from areas with high airflow (i.e. not in front of air vents).
  • Facilities without HVAC systems should increase ventilation by opening windows and doors. However, do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk to staff and customers.
  • Rooms where ceiling fans are used should have an upward airflow rotation.
  • If portable fans are used, limit the blowing of air across people and surfaces by positioning them to provide an upward movement of air.
  • There is no evidence for the use of portable air purifiers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If used, follow the manufacturer’s directions (and possibly the advice of a service professional) to decide where best to place the device. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance.
  • For more information, review the COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation fact sheet.

Practice physical distancing

  • Physical distancing means keeping a distance of two meters/six feet from others.
  • Limit the number of people (including all clients, employees and volunteers) onsite at one time.
  • The number of clients allowed in the space should be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres/six feet and cannot exceed 50 per cent capacity of any particular room.
  • Remind clients and staff to greet each other using non-physical gestures (e.g. wave or nod).
  • Physical distancing must not compromise supervision or safety.

Modify the physical space

  • Walk through your space(s) to identify areas needing modifications.
  • Remove non-essential furniture to allow ease of movement for physical distancing.
  • Space seating and activity stations at least two metres/six feet apart.
  • Provide visual guides such as tape on floors or tables, posters, pylons and flags to delineate two metres/six feet.
  • Limit entrances to reduce staff and clients entering the setting at any given time.
  • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, in hallways, elevators, kitchens and meeting rooms.

Consider transparent barriers

  • Install plexiglass or other physical barriers, where needed, if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Barriers should be wide enough to accommodate the normal movement of both people.

Modify services and programming

  • Comply with provincial regulations as to what services may be open during the lockdown.
  • Cancel or hold virtually all in-person activities that are discretionary.
  • Implement work from home wherever possible and appropriate work from home procedures.
  • Use telephone or video conferencing when possible for meetings.
  • Consider using an appointment or registration system for programs/ services that must be in-person.
  • Do not have clients wait in a waiting room. Ask clients to call when they arrive and wait outside.
  • If multiple programs are provided onsite at the same time, stagger program activities, snack times, meals and washroom breaks to reduce contact between participants from different programs.
  • Where possible, establish cohort groups consisting of the same clients and staff rather than mixing groups.
  • Assign cohort groups a designated room/space.
  • Incorporate and prioritize individual activities that encourage more space between participants so that physical distancing can be maintained.

Modify the use of equipment

  • Offer activities that only use items that can be easily cleaned and disinfected or are single use and disposed of at the end of the day/program.
  • Minimize the sharing and frequency of touching objects, equipment, surfaces and personal items.
  • Provide individualized, labelled bins for participant’s supplies and items (e.g. craft supplies).

Keep participants personal belongings to minimum. Personal items such as water bottles or coffee mugs should be labelled and stored separately.

Meal Programs

  • Meal programs are permitted if they support the provision of food to individuals who are economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable.
  • Such meals programs are exempt from the indoor dining restrictions, however, precautions must be taken in addition to others mentioned in this document:
    • Offer take-away options, as appropriate.
    • Offer pre-packaged/assembled meals to reduce line-ups.
    • Provide single-use dishes, cups and cutlery.
    • Remove high-touch items such as water pitchers, salt shakers, etc., and provide single use packages/items, if possible.
    • Have staff/volunteers serve participants while they remain seated, as appropriate, to reduce participants having to get up.
    • Participants must maintain physical distancing and wear a mask while waiting in line inside and outside the facility.
    • Encourage participants to wash their hands or use 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, provided their hands are not visibly soiled, before entering the space and/or eating.
    • Participants must be seated at least two metres/six feet apart from others they don’t live with.
    • Provide extra space for belongings, as required.
    • Participants should remove their mask only while eating and drinking.
    • Clean and sanitized surfaces, furniture and items after each use.
  • See Guidance for Food Service Premises for more information.

Support and promote healthy commuting

  • The provision of bussing or other transportation is not recommended at this time.
  • If transportation is provided, limit the number of passengers to facilitate physical distancing as much as possible. Also refer to COVID-19 guidance related to taxis and ride sharing.
  • Provide guidance to staff, volunteers and clients who commute via public transit or ride/share /taxi:
    • Wear a mask and open the windows, if possible.
    • Use elbow/arm to push buttons/open doors.
    • Sit in the back when using taxi and ride share.
    • Avoid travel during peak hours, if possible.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Do not use transit if you are sick or self-isolating.

Increase public health awareness

  • Communicate to clients, volunteers and employees about the changes you have made to protect them against COVID-19 by updating information on your website, voice mail, etc.
  • Download printable posters and display in high visibility areas in your setting to promote messages about how to stay safe during COVID-19.

Other Resources


Download this information as a PDF.

This is a summary checklist of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 for non-clinical community services and programs. For more information, see COVID-19 Guidance for Community Non-Profit Services and Programs.

A. Workplace Safety Plan

  • Prepare and make available a safety plan that describes the measures that have been or will be implemented to reduce spread of COVID-19, including measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning, disinfecting and personal protective equipment.

B. Universal Mask Policy

  • Create a universal mask policy for your agency per as per the City of Toronto bylaw and Reg. 82/20. Use this sample template as an example.
  • Communicate your universal mask policy to all staff, clients and visitors.
  • Have non-medical masks or face coverings available on-site for staff and clients at all times.
  • Have personal protective equipment (PPE) available on-site for staff, as appropriate.
  • Ensure masks are properly used, cleaned/discarded.

C. Staff Health & Screening

  • Advise staff to report COVID-19 symptoms to their supervisor/manager and to stay home if sick.
  • Actively screen staff before starting each shift.
  • If staff become sick with COVID-19 symptoms while at work, advise them to go home immediately and self-isolate. Instruct them to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their health care provider or an Assessment Centre to get tested.
  • Train staff on proper hand hygiene techniques and respiratory etiquette.

D. Signage at the Premises

Post the following signage:

E. Number of People in the Setting

  • Modify job responsibilities and offer telework options, as much as possible.
  • Consider implementing flexible work schedules, staggered lunch and break times to limit the number of people in the setting at one time.
  • Cancel or hold virtually all in-person activities that are discretionary.
  • Limit organized groups and gatherings to those which are permitted under provincial regulation and that must occur in person.
  • Limit the number of people in attendance so that staff and participants can maintain at least two metres/six feet physical distancing at all times.
  • Consider an appointment/ registration system for services that must be in-person, if possible.
  • Instruct clients to wait outside until their scheduled appointment or program begins. Waiting areas are not permitted.

F. Attendance Records

  • Maintain attendance records for staff, volunteers, clients and visitors, including: full name, telephone number, email address, date and time at the agency. Information from clients is voluntary and can only be used for COVID-19 contact tracing, should the need arise
  • Protect the personal information collected. Keep records for 30 days and then shred.
  • Encourage staff and clients to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

G. Workstations

  • Ensure workstations and equipment in use are at least two metres/six feet apart, or equipped with barriers/dividers that are adequate in height to ensure the protection between clients and staff.
  • Provide hand sanitizer with 70-90% alcohol concentration throughout the space, and encourage staff and clients to use it frequently.

H. Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Ensure there is enough time between client programs or appointments to thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and workspaces.
  • Clean work surfaces and equipment thoroughly with soap and water before disinfection.
  • Use disinfectants after cleaning, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect (at least twice daily) high-touch surfaces and common areas (e.g., door handles, counters, cabinet doors, light switches, faucets, toilet handles, handrails, touch screen surfaces and keypads). Maintain a cleaning log book for records.
  • Regularly review heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to ensure they are functioning and in good working order. Increase ventilation, if possible.

More information

For more information, visit our website at www.toronto.ca/COVID19 or call us at 416-338-7600.


Download this information as a PDF.

The following guidance is intended to support food banks and donation centres that provide and/or deliver food and other items to members of the community to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Food banks/donation centres should continue to operate and receive items from community members during this time.

See Making Donations for more information for donors, and clients receiving/ purchasing donated goods. If you are organizing a donation drive, use this checklist for support.

Protective Measures to Keep Everyone Safe

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Keep a two metre/six feet distance from others.
  • Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when you are in indoor public spaces, as per the City bylaw, and when you cannot maintain a two metre/six feet distance outdoors.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Limit Capacity

  • Donation drives and events must comply with current provincial gathering limits.
  • Food banks and donation centres functioning under normal operations must limit the number of persons in the facility so that:
    • the members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the business or facility; and
    • the total number of members of the public in the facility at any one time does not exceed 50 per cent capacity.
      • This can be calculated by taking the total square metres of floor space accessible to the public and dividing that number by 8.
    • Designate and manage entry and exit points to control the number of clients entering the centre. If the maximum number of clients is reached, allow one person in for every person that leaves.
      • Schedule appointments with individuals wishing to pick up/drop-off items.
      • Stagger arrivals where possible, to reduce congestion.
    • Avoid scheduling large volunteer groups from attending the donation centre at the same time.

Practice Physical Distancing

  • Plan and modify the layout of your centre to ensure enough space is provided for staff, volunteers and clients to maintain physical distancing.
    • Arrange, mark and/or assign workstations to ensure at least two metres/six feet distance between staff and volunteers.
    • Design a flow of traffic that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or floor markings.
  • Monitor and manage client lines outside and within the centre.
    • Operators are required to ensure individuals waiting in line outside their facility maintain physical distancing and wear a mask.
    • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, and throughout the centre.
    • Place visual/textural markers spaced at least two metres/six feet apart (e.g. tape on the floor, pylons, signs) to encourage physical distancing and guide clients and visitors.
    • Assign staff to monitor lines and to make announcements reminding clients to keep at least two metres/six feet apart and wear a mask.

Use Masks and Face Coverings

  • The use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces, as per City of Toronto bylaw and provincial regulations.
  • Operators are required to develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Refer to the guidance on mask and face covering bylaw for a sample policy that your organization can adapt. More information is available here.
  • Educate staff and volunteers on the proper use and disposal of masks.
  • Staff must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) that covers their eyes, nose and mouth if, while providing service in an indoor area, they:
    • are required to come within two metres/six feet of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering; and
    • are not separated by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier from a person described above.

Measures for all Workplaces, Organizations & Businesses

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff, volunteers and clients safe, including:

  • Staff attendance and operations
  • Health screening for staff, volunteers and clients
  • Mask/face coverings
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace

Create a Safety Plan

Business operators must prepare and make available a safety plan, and the plan must:

  • Describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Include measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning, disinfecting and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Be in writing and made available to any person for review, on request.
  • Be posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working or attending the location.

Use the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist to develop your safety plan.

Maintain Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

  • Increase the introduction and circulation of outdoor air by maximizing the outdoor air ratio of the HVAC system settings, or by opening windows and doors, where possible. Avoid recirculating air.
  • Ensure the HVAC system(s) are properly maintained.
  • Where provided, use the highest efficiency filters that are compatible with the HVAC system.
  • Increase air-exchanges if possible.
  • Keep areas near HVAC inlets and outlets clear.
    • Seating should be arranged away from areas with high airflow (i.e. not in front of air vents).
  • Facilities without HVAC systems should increase ventilation by opening windows and doors. However, do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk to staff and residents.
  • Rooms where ceiling fans are used should have an upward airflow rotation.
  • If portable fans are used, limit the blowing of air across people and surfaces by positioning them to provide an upward movement of air.
  • There is no evidence for the use of portable air purifiers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If used, follow the manufacturer’s directions (and possibly the advice of a service professional) to decide where best to place the device. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance.
  • For more information, review the COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation fact sheet.

Ensure Safe Procedures for Donations

  • Clearly communicate what goods are in need, what is not needed and donation expectations.
  • Remind donors that monetary donations by credit card, gift card, cheque, or e-transfer are particularly helpful because they allow organizations to purchase the goods they need, often at better prices, while reducing person-to-person contact.

Donation of Food Items

  • Request items that reduce the risk of foodborne illness, such as:
    • Non-perishable food items, as they can be kept for a long period of time.
    • Pre-packaged food such as cereal, rice or pasta, and canned goods.
  • Food products must be in their original/sealed packaging and in good condition. They should not be past the best-before or expiry date.
  • Do not accept homemade food donations.
  • More information on the safe donation of food is available here.

Donation of Clothing and Other Goods

  • Check the donation items to make sure they are in good condition.
    • Clothing should be clean, without stains or rips, and all buttons and zippers should be working.
    • Electronic goods should be in working order.
    • Dishware should not have chips or cracks.
    • New or gently used items are preferred.
    • Personal care items such as soap, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products should be unused and in their original/sealed packaging.
  • Fabrics (e.g. clothing/sheets/towels) should be laundered on high heat settings (wash and dry).
  • Household items that are nonporous, such as items made of plastic, porcelain, etc., should be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Items that cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected should be isolated for up to seven days.

Picking up or Delivering Donations

  • Contact clients in advance to schedule a delivery/pick up time, where possible.
  • Pre-bag or box donations into smaller/lighter packages for easier delivery and carrying.
  • Avoid entering the client’s home if possible. Deliver or pick-up packages at the front door without entering the home to limit contact.
    • Only enter a client’s home if they are unable to carry donation packages into their home.
    • When entering a client’s home, where a mask or face covering.
    • Avoid touching surfaces in the client’s home.
  • Maintain at least a two metre/six feet distance from other people.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water is not available use 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after the delivery and when contacting frequently touched surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid shaking hands, and use non-physical forms of greeting.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g. pens, delivery containers, and surfaces in delivery vehicles).

Communication

  • Provide information to staff, volunteers and clients about the new public health measures for your food bank/donation centre through different communication platforms (e.g. webpage, email, automated voice mail message, social media accounts).
  • Encourage donors not to donate when they are sick.
  • Encourage staff, volunteers and clients to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
  • Download and display posters in high visibility areas to promote messages about how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Other Resources


Download this information as a PDF.

 

During the COVID-19 pandemic there is a greater need to support our friends, family and community. Donation drives are one way to give back and help those in need. Organizers should use this checklist to help safely plan and host a donation drive while reducing the risk of COVID-19.

1. Stay Informed

2. Communicate with Staff, Volunteers and Donors

  • Clearly communicate the goal of your donation drive, including:
    • who the donations are for,
    • the type of items you are looking for, and
    • how they should be packaged for delivery or pick-up.
  • Discourage people from donating items if they or someone in their household is unwell.
  • Post the COVID-19 health assessment sign at the entrance of the premises and request that all donors and visitors self-screen prior to entering.
  • Post handwashing and respiratory etiquette signs at the entrance and throughout the premises.
  • Place physical distancing signs and floor stickers in high-traffic areas to remind individuals to keep two metres/six feet apart from others at all times.

3. Limit Capacity

  • Donation drives and events must comply with current provincial gathering limits.
  • Cancel or hold virtually all in-person activities that are discretionary.
  • Consider an appointment/ registration system for pick-ups and deliveries, if possible.
  • Post signs at the entrance of the facility with the maximum number of people permitted in the space at one time.

4. Encourage Physical Distancing

  • Encourage everyone to stay two metres/six feet from people outside their household.
  • Space workstations/activities at least two metres/six feet apart.
  • Keep the volume of recorded music low so that people do not need to speak loudly or lean close to each other in order to be heard. Live music is not permitted.
  • Ensure people waiting in lines indoors and outdoors maintain two metres/six feet physical distancing and wear a mask.

5. Promote Proper Hand Hygiene

  • Provide hand sanitizer with 70-90% alcohol concentration throughout the space, and encourage staff, volunteers and donors to use it frequently.
  • Encourage staff and volunteers to wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before and after handling donations.
  • Avoid shaking hands; use other forms of greeting.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Train staff/volunteers on proper hand hygiene techniques and respiratory etiquette.

6. Screen Staff/Volunteers & Record Attendance

  • Advise staff/volunteers to report illness to their supervisor/manager and to stay home if sick.
  • Actively screen all staff/volunteers before starting each shift. Questions can be answered on paper, online, or by asking staff/volunteers directly.
  • Advise staff/volunteers who become ill during a shift to go home right away and self-isolate. Instruct them to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their health care provider or an Assessment Centre to get tested.
  • Maintain attendance records of all staff and volunteers, including name, contact information, date and time. This will support contact tracing by Toronto Public Health should the need arise.
  • Protect all personal information collected. Keep records for 30 days and then shred.

7. Use Masks or Face Coverings

  • Ensure masks/face coverings are worn at all times when indoors, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.
  • Train staff/volunteers on proper use of masks/face coverings.
  • Make personal protective equipment (PPE) available for staff/volunteer use when needed, such as gloves, surgical/medical masks, and eye protection (face shield/goggles).
  • Train staff/volunteers on the proper use of PPE.
  • Create a designated area away from visitors for staff/volunteers to eat and drink, if necessary. Discourage staff/volunteers from eating and drinking in areas accessible to the public.

8. Enhance Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as tables, phones, computers, pens, and door handles twice daily or more often as needed.
  • Clean and disinfect donation contact surfaces twice daily or more often as needed.
  • Clean and disinfect washrooms twice daily or as often as necessary.
  • Launder donated fabrics (e.g. clothing/sheets/towels) on high heat settings (wash and dry).
  • Clean and disinfect donated household items that are nonporous, such as items made of plastic, porcelain, etc.
  • Isolate items that cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected for up to seven days prior to distribution.

9. Increase Ventilation

  • Ensure heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are properly maintained, and replace filters as appropriate.
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows and increasing air exchange settings on HVAC systems, if possible.
  • Arrange workstations, activities and furniture away from air vents and high airflow areas; direct fans upwards, away from people.

10. Plan for Safe Donation Drop-offs, Pick-ups & Deliveries

  • Create a safe location outside for people to drop off donations. Do not use large, enclosed donation bins as there is a risk of people falling in.
  • Use contactless drop-off / delivery / pick-up methods, if possible.
  • If donations are picked up or delivered, only staff from the same household should ride in the same vehicle.
  • Contact clients in advance to schedule a delivery / pick-up time, when possible.
  • Prepare smaller bags or box donations for easier carrying and delivery.
  • Avoid entering people’s homes. Deliver and / or ask donors to leave the package at front door.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling donations.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

Download this information as a PDF.