Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Information

NPMA recognizes the need for our members to have accurate information as it relates to the Coronavirus. The most accurate and up-to-date information will come from the Coronavirus page on the Public Health Agency of Canada website, not social media, conventional news outlets or politicians. We've collected information from the PHAC website and have included below. We will continue to update this page as the situation unfolds.




Essential Services

Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences



The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. If you think you might have COVID-19, use the PHAC self-assessment tool to find out what to do.

As a reminder, PHAC recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID in Canada including:

  • Being prepared in case you or a family member become ill
  • following the latest travel advice from federal and provincial public health leaders:
  • reducing contact with others by following the guidance for self-monitoring, self-isolating, or isolating
  • practicing social distancing and proper hygiene
  • wearing masks, if necessary
  • Follow PHAC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • PHAC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. This may give you a false sense of security.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
    • However, your health care provider may recommend the use of a face mask if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 while you are seeking or waiting for care.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.


Preparing Workplace Safeguards

  • Designate a person in your office to check the PHAC website daily to review the latest information on the spread of the virus and the PHAC’s recommendations to employers and the general public. This person should take responsibility for sharing this information within your entire company.
  • The PHAC advises that if your employees are directly affected by the coronavirus and are no longer working, you must issue a Record of Employment (ROE).
    • If the employee is sick or quarantined, use code D (illness or injury) as the reason for separation (block 16). Do not add comments.
    • When the employee is no longer working due to a shortage of work because the business has closed or decreased operations due to coronavirus (COVID-19), use code A (Shortage of work). Do not add comments.
    • When the employee refuses to come to work but is not sick or quarantined, use code E (Quit) or code N (Leave of absence), as appropriate. Avoid adding comments unless absolutely necessary.
  • For additional workplace safety information visit the PHAC Coronavirus Disease – Benefits and Services page


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a coronavirus?
    A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
  • How does the virus spread?
    The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community from person to person.
  • How do I keep myself and others safe?
    Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with practicing social distancing. Visit the COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.
  • What if I’m traveling?
    There are many travel restrictions in place for several countries. Click here for the PHAC's latest travel information.
  • What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
    There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.
  • Where has the virus spread?
    Global case numbers are reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report. For Canada information, visit PHAC’s COVID-19 Outbreak Update page.
  • What is PHAC doing about COVID-19?
    This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. CDC works 24/7 to protect people’s health. More information about PHAC’s response to COVID-19 is available online.
  • How should our company communicate to our customers and employees? 
    Click here for sample communications plans to use as a starting point when crafting your own plans.