COVID-19 is a potentially severe communicable illness that is transmitted from person to person, as well as by contact with contaminated objects. A provincial emergency order has closed all businesses and public offices other than grocery stores, medical offices and a short list of essential services. However, even in these settings there is still a risk of transmission of COVID-19.
The following policies have been developed by the Kol HaCOVID Task Force in conjunction with the COR and are intended as best-practice guidelines that align with local public health recommendations available at this time. The guidelines will reduce, but not entirely eliminate, the risk of COVID-19 in store employees, customers and the community at large.
These guidelines are not intended to supersede or overrule any Public Health requirements and will be updated as new information becomes available. Please also refer to the updated Toronto Public Health website at www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19 for further resources and additional information.
- We HIGHLY RECOMMEND that all stores make phone/web orders and delivery available immediately. Stores should use these methods rather than having customers come to the store in person.
- If you do not have facilities to deliver, taking phone/web orders and having customers pickup their order would be the next best option.
- If stores choose to allow some customers in-store, the maximum number of staff & customers allowed in store at any time must be confirmed with the COR. (Recommended: 2-5 Staff & 2-10 customers, depending on the size of the store).
- Zeh Lozeh has graciously offered volunteer services when possible to assist with door control during peak times. They can be contacted at 647-793-7700.
- Limit customer shopping time. (Recommendation is 10 min).
- Leave 5-minute buffer window between groups of customers in order to avoid crowding at entrances and to allow sufficient time to clean frequently touched store surfaces.
- The flow of customers entering and exiting the store should be separated in order to minimize interactions of 6 feet/2 meters. Customers should not enter and exit through the same door, if available.
- Any line-up of customers waiting to enter store must respect social/physical distancing of 6 feet/2 meters between individuals. It is the responsibility of store management to ensure compliance.
- All staff and employees MUST wear masks and gloves at all times in the store.
- Staff must wash or sanitize their hands prior to beginning their shift and at each instance of donning or removing their gloves in accordance with the relevant guidance from Toronto Public Health (https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/971a-COVID-19-WashYourHands.pdf). This poster should be printed and be made visible to all customers and staff at multiple points throughout the store.
- If a staff member or employee must use their cell phone, smartphone or other hand-held electronic device during business hours, these must be properly sanitized (if safe to do so) at the start of each shift. In addition, the device must be re-sanitized at any time when the device comes into contact with one’s face (irrespective of mask use), hands or other body surface.
- No produce, bakery products, deli counter or take-out products should be touched directly by customer. A store employee must be assigned to distribute these items as necessary, or these may be pre-bagged.
- Stores must sanitize all high-touch surfaces (carts, credit card machines etc.) at a minimum of 1 time per 2 hours and the remaining of the surfaces 2 times daily. Only use industrial/hospital grade cleaning solutions.
- Cashier lineups must respect physical distancing of 6 feet/2 meters radius (recommend tape on floor to assist).
- Maintain space between cashiers and customers (recommend plexi glass or other physical barrier where possible).
- Staff who have experienced any symptoms over the past 48 hours (at a minimum) or who are contacts of a COVID-19 case may not be on the store premises. They must strictly follow current and up-to-date recommendations from Toronto Public Health (toronto.ca/home/covid-19).
- Consider an early morning shopping slot/hour exclusively for older customers to shop themselves and minimize exposure. Phone/online delivery systems or in-car shopping are strongly preferred for these individuals.
- Have an appropriate number of staff members designated to assist with ‘In Car’ shopping, for elderly or other people that should not be entering the store. These at-risk customers must wait in the car while this done.
- If you will be allowing in-store shopping, we strongly recommend that you set up an online system for clients to pre-book a time slot to enter the store. This will keep a steady flow of customers within the store and minimize long line-ups outside the store. We are working on finding a comprehensive standardized solution that will work for everyone.
The Kol HaCOVID Task Force on Kosher Food Establishment Safety Guidelines
Dr. Chaim Bell
Dr. Ari Greenwald
Dr. Barry Pakes
|Task Force Committee:
Dr. Nesya Jacob
Dr. Avi Orner
Dr. Ron Phillipson
Dr. Jeffery Rothenstein
Dr. Moshe Weinstock
This guideline is also endorsed by the broader Kol HaCOVID medical community (www.kolhacovid.com)
Effective Date: March 29, 2020