Stay home if you are sick or might be sick, even if symptoms are mild. Unsure if you have COVID-19? Take a self-assessment.
Educate employees about COVID-19 signs, symptoms, and transmission prevention.
Social Stigma and Microaggression
Stigma occurs when people associate a risk with specific people, places, or things, such as a minority population group.
Stigmatization is common in disease outbreaks. Groups that may be experiencing stigma during the COVID-19 pandemic include:
Travellers (for essential or non-essential reasons)
Certain racial and ethnic minority groups, including people of Asian, African or Latin- Americans descent
People who are or were in a COVID-19 quarantine or isolation, tested positive for COVID-19, were sick or have recovered from being sick with COVID-19
People who are or were closely associated with COVID-19 positive individuals
Emergency responders or healthcare professionals
Other frontline workers, such as grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, or farm and food processing plant workers
People who live with disabilities or developmental or behavioral disorders that cause them to have difficulty following health recommendations
People who cough frequently due to underlying health conditions
People living in congregate (group) settings, such as people experiencing homelessness
Microaggressions are everyday verbal, non-verbal, and environmental snubs or insults that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages. These messages target persons based on the group the other person perceives them to belong to. Individuals who may be experiencing microaggressions during the COVID-19 pandemic include those listed above and individuals perceived to be ignoring or downplaying public health advice.
The language we use can reinforce false assumptions and harm individuals’ well-being. Be mindful and use factual language when referring to the virus and people who have or may have it.
Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies
During the stress of a pandemic, the risk of violence or harassment toward certain individuals, those working alone or people
performing critical tasks (e.g., providing care or other services to the public, working with vulnerable individuals, etc.) may be
Employers are encouraged to establish or review risk assessments and policies on violence and harassment prevention in the
workplace. Employees who are experiencing or have witnessed harassment or violence are asked to report the circumstances to
their employer or supervisor as soon as possible.
Everyone has a role to play in preventing microaggression and social stigma related to COVID-19. Employers can provide
information from reliable sources about virus transmission and steps that workers can take to protect themselves and their families.
Display posters or send email updates to staff.
Know the facts:
Diseases (including COVID-19) can make anyone sick, regardless of their race or ethnicity.
Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation is not a source of infection to other people.
Studies show that older adults, people of any age with chronic medical conditions or who are immunocompromised, and those living with obesity are at risk for more severe disease and outcomes from COVID-19. Inform employees about these factors so they can make informed decisions.
Note that this guidance is just some of the adjustments organizations can make during a pandemic. Adapt this list by adding your own good practices and policies to meet your organization’s specific needs.
Disclaimer: As public and occupational health and safety information is changing rapidly, local public health authorities should be consulted for specific, regional guidance. This information is not intended to replace medical advice or legislated health and safety obligations. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.