COVID-19 is a monumental global health crisis with the potential to result in an equally devastating global economic crisis. As a full economic recovery can’t happen until the threat of the virus subsides, managing the health crisis goes hand in hand with managing the economic crisis and protecting your business.
If we are going to be successful in containing the spread of the virus, it is important to keep yourself, your staff and your customers healthy. This could mean working from home, taking a temporary pause or finding creative ways to continue operations. It is critical that everyone stay healthy and listen to our public health officials.
This section includes guidance on COVID-19 prevention that can be applied to your business, what to do if you or your employees experience symptoms and where to find mental health resources.
For the latest COVID-19 updates and comprehensive information, go to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.
Other credible sources of information include:
- The World Health Organization
- Your local and provincial or territorial public health authorities
In order to “flatten the curve,” the government and public health officials are currently urging all Canadians to:
- Stay home unless it is absolutely essential to go out.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
- Practise social distancing and good hygiene.
Social distancing is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other.
This means adjusting your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others, including:
- Avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings.
- Avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes.
- Limiting contact with people at higher risk, like older adults and those in poor health.
- Keeping a distance of at least two arms-length (approximately two metres) from others.
Good hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others.
- Wash your hands:
- Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available. It’s a good idea to always keep some with you when you travel.
- Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette:
- Cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
- If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean the following high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach:
- Door handles
- Television remotes
- Bedside tables
- Wash your hands:
Sourcing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
In order to protect staff, customers, and the general public, many businesses are now required to use PPE for their operations, or will be required to use PPE when they are allowed to reopen. Additionally, many manufacturers and suppliers who do not traditionally produce PPE are now doing so.
To aid in connecting suppliers, manufactures, and businesses in need of PPE, CBRN has partnered with RRP Canada. The RRP Canada portal allows producers to be matched with those businesses in need of PPE.
What if I Get Sick?
The symptoms of COVID-19 infection are similar to those of a cold or flu:
- Difficulty breathing
If you are showing any of these symptoms, use the Public Health Agency of Canada’s self-assessment tool to determine the appropriate next steps and make sure to reduce your contact with others.
If I’m sick
If you are showing symptoms, use the Public Health Agency of Canada’s self-assessment tool to determine the appropriate next steps and make sure to reduce your contact with others:
- Isolate yourself at home for 14 days to avoid spreading it to others.
- If you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a two-metre distance.
- Call your local public health authority and follow their instructions.
COVID-19 has placed a significant amount of pressure on employees, employers and families. Isolation, fear for the well-being of loved ones and financial strain are creating disruptions to all our lives. During these difficult times, Canadians can obtain credible information and access services to support their mental health and wellbeing through a number of resources. Remember to frequently check in by phone or video with older Canadians, family members, neighbours or friends who may be isolated at home and more susceptible to mental health issues.
Wellness Together Canada
Wellness Together Canada provides mental health resources and direct access to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls.
WellCan by Morneau Shepell
We all need to take care of ourselves during this challenging time. Access the WellCan app from Morneau Shepell, a free collection of digital resources to support the mental health of all Canadians during COVID-19.
Mental Health Commission of Canada
The Mental Health Commission of Canada has developed a hub of credible information and resources about maintaining mental health during this time of crisis and supporting people managing a mental illness in this new context.
Workplace Strategies for Mental Health by Canada Life
Canada Life’s Workplace Strategies for Mental Health website is a leading source of free, practical tools and resources designed to help Canadian employers with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues.
Lumino Health Stress and Anxiety Guide from Sun Life
Sun Life’s Lumino Health platform, which is free to use and available to all Canadians, features a wide variety of mental health information and tools, including a Stress and Anxiety Guide that helps Canadians easily navigate to resources that fit their needs.
Workplace Mental Health Solutions from Sun Life
Sun Life’s Workplace Mental Health Solutions website provides organizations and their plan members with relevant resources that support all stages and needs, including free mental health e-training and industry-leading thought leadership.
“COVID-19 has provided us with an unprecedented challenge, but Canadians are resilient. The Canadian Business Resilience Network is about business and government stepping up together to make sure every Canadian business has the information it needs and a fighting chance to make it through.”Jackie King, Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
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