New resources are being provided to businesses reopening in stage one of Alberta’s relaunch strategy to ensure staff and patrons are safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Alberta Biz Connect webpage is providing business owners with information regarding health and safety guidelines for general workplaces and sector-specific guidelines for businesses able to reopen in stage one.
“As businesses reopen, we’re committed to making sure they have the information they need to operate during the pandemic and get people back to work. We expect businesses to follow these safety measures so that we can continue to reopen our economy while protecting the health and safety of all Albertans,” said the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, Tanya Fir.
The Alberta Biz Connect webpage will also include a red tape reduction submission form for business owners to share their ideas on modernizing regulations and reducing red tape as they respond to COVID-19.
“We know that Alberta businesses are dealing with a whole new reality because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction, Grant Hunter.
He added, “We want business owners to continue to let us know how we can help make their lives easier so we can reduce unneeded regulatory barriers to their success and get Albertans back to work.”
The Alberta Biz Connect webpage includes guidance documents for sectors currently eligible to operate under public health orders including, disability service providers, farmers markets, golf course operators, health non-essential services, homeless shelters, industrial work camps, and private and municipal campgrounds.
While planning documents to prepare businesses for stage one relaunch are posted for day camps, daycare, out-of-school care, hair salons, barbershops, museums, art galleries, outdoor recreation, places of worship, restaurants, and retail businesses.
Under the Alberta Biz Connect, business owners are to keep staff and volunteers up to date with developments related to COVID-19, while reminding employees that there are social and mental health supports available at this time and encouraging employees to use the available services.
Business owners should also prepare for an increase in absenteeism due to illness among staff, volunteers, and their families.
All businesses are asked to prevent the risk of COVID-19 transmission of infection among workers, volunteers, and patrons, provide a rapid response if anyone develops symptoms while at the place of business, maintain high levels of hygiene, and consider a suspension of specific tasks where the risk of transmission cannot be mitigated.
Employers should implement active daily screenings of staff, volunteers, and patrons for symptoms of fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, or difficulty breathing.
There should be an emphasis that anyone who is sick with cold-like symptoms must not be in the workplace, and patrons with symptoms should not be allowed in the workplace.
Employers and businesses are asked to promote and facilitate frequent and proper hand hygiene for staffers and patrons, provide hand sanitizer at the entry of the premises, and encourage respiratory etiquette such as sneezing or coughing into an elbow.
A wipe-twice method should be used to clean and disinfect high traffic areas, common areas, public washrooms, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, railings, phones, computers, cash registers, counters, and menus.
All communal items that cannot be easily cleaned should be removed.
“Businesses who are planning to reopen want to ensure they do so safely while following all proper guidelines. A single website with resources will provide small businesses the information they need to reopen and continue their operations while protecting the health and safety of their staff and customers,” said the Provincial Affairs Director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Alberta, Annie Dormuth.
The launch of the Alberta Biz Connect is part of the province’s response to COVID-19 and includes measures to enhance physical distancing, screening, and testing.
For more information on Alberta Biz Connect, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/biz-connect.aspx.