Businesses in some provinces are reopening amid the easing of restrictions aimed at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic. Quebec, Ontario and Alberta are a few provinces that have given the green light to certain businesses and retailers as the provinces enter the first stage of reopening and returning to work.

According to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the advancement to subsequent stages and phases will be decided upon by public health experts. “It will take as long as it takes to get the numbers down,” Ford said in his address on May 14, as he discussed the three gradual stages of reopening the province. “If this stage is successful, the province will proceed with the reopening of more workplaces, community centres and outdoor spaces, allowing for larger group gatherings.”

During this reopening phase, COVID-19 decontamination cleanups can help ensure that staff are protected, workplaces are safe, and organizations are in compliance with the latest guidelines. Occupational health and safety regulations put the onus on management to show that they’ve completed their due diligence according to industry standards. Management must ensure that the workplace is sufficiently safe, and that workplace protocols and training are in place to help maintain a safe workplace for the future. In light of the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, these standards are more important than ever.

Companies such as Toronto, Ontario-based Altech Environmental Consultants Ltd. are helping to address reopening risks in a range of workplace environments at this critical time. Altech’s senior team of professional engineers and scientists has been providing professional health, safety and environmental management consulting to industrial and commercial businesses across Canada for more than 30 years.

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Brian Bobbie, president of Altech, warns businesses to beware of false information about the COVID-19 pandemic and proper procedures to ensure safe spaces.

“There is a plethora of misinformation published worldwide, which makes it challenging for business owners to filter out and select what is fact-based and proven,” says Bobbie. “We deliver an authoritative return-to-work protocol that meets the needs of each specific workplace, while ensuring compliance with local, national and international guidelines.”

Altech’s services include the following:

  • audit and sampling of sanitized surfaces and airflow, including the use of a certified biolaboratory and a complete engineering assessment of ventilation systems;
  • workspace programming and communications, including the design and delivery of programs and the identification of high-risk areas and the provision of key protocols;
  • specialized risk seminars and management procedures, including risk briefing seminars for management and environmental health and safety teams, a review of COVID-19 risk mitigation procedures for adherence to World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Canada guidelines, and a written report with results and recommendations.

“Businesses want to do everything in their power to prevent any of their staff and visitors from contracting COVID-19,” says Bobbie. “However, if it does happen, management can take some comfort in the fact they’ve taken all of the necessary steps to ensure that their prevention measures are thorough and effective.”

As of May 20, 2020, these are the number of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada:

Canada Confirmed Cases:


Probable Cases:




Newfoundland and Labrador 260 0 3
Prince Edward Island 27 0 0
Nova Scotia 1,044 0 56
New Brunswick 120 0 0
Quebec 44,197 0 3,647
Ontario 23,774 0 1,962
Manitoba 279 11 7
Saskatchewan 599 0 6
Alberta 6,716 0 128
British Columbia 2,446 0 146
Yukon 11 0 0
Northwest Territories 5 0 0
Nunavut 0 0 0
Repatriated travellers 13 0 0


For further information on COVID-19 cases in Canada and decontamination guidelines from Health Canada, click here.

For further information on decontamination services from Altech, a division of CHAR Technologies Ltd., click here.

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