Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island

COVID-19 Health and Safety Information for Workers

The following provides workplace health and safety information for Island workers during COVID-19. Please check here frequently for updated information.

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) urges all workers to follow the recommendations of the PEI Chief Public Health Office during the COVID-19 crisis.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms, and may not realize they have been infected, as the symptoms resemble those from a cold or flu. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19 and may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing

What should I do if I develop symptoms?

Employers and workers experiencing symptoms (cough, fever, or difficulty breathing), should call 8-1-1 to be screened and, if necessary, directed for testing. Do not go to the workplace. Visit the Chief Public Health Office website for up to date information.

PEI Public Health – Self Assessment
PEI Public Health – When Should I Call 811?

As a worker, what can I do to protect myself from getting COVID-19 if I have to go to work?

As a worker, you have responsibilities to protect yourself as well as others. Workers should:

  • Monitor and follow the recommendations of the Chief Public Health Office.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Adopt physical distancing techniques.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
    • Workers providing essential services, including health care, must use the appropriate personal protective equipment and protocols and take steps to minimize exposure to COVID-19 while away from work.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve and not your hands.
  • Know when to stay home. Workers should follow the Chief Public Health Office recommendations for self- isolation.
  • Comply with the employer’s instructions around minimizing exposure to COVID-19.

Are masks mandatory?

Effective November 20, 2020, non-medical masks or face coverings are mandatory in all indoor public spaces in Prince Edward Island.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Stores and retail businesses;
  • Personal services and salons;
  • Restaurants (except when eating or drinking);
  • Arts, sports and recreation facilities (except during exercise or when masks cannot be worn);
  • Places of worship;
  • Government buildings where public services are provided;
  • Taxis and public transit; and
  • Workplaces that are open to the public.

Exemptions to mandatory masks include, but not limited to:

  • Children under the age of 2;
  • Children under 5 who will not wear a mask;
  • Anyone who cannot remove a mask without assistance; and
  • Valid medical reasons, such as active breathing problems (most people with underlying medical conditions can wear a mask safely).

As a worker, can I refuse work due to a COVID-19 concern?

When addressing a work refusal related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to recognize that every refusal is assessed based on circumstances specific to the worker and their workplace. A worker can refuse work if a reasonable assessment of the risk suggests there is an immediate or imminent threat to their safety. A pandemic alone is not enough reason to refuse work. Further information on Refusal to Work can be found here.