COVID-19 health and safety measures

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Important COVID-19 health and safety measures have been put in place to protect hearing room participants, employees and visitors.

If you test positive for COVID-19 in the 10 days following your in-person hearing please ensure that you let local public health officials know that you visited the IRB.

You do not need to inform public health officials of the reason you were at the IRB.

What to expect when you arrive for your hearing

You must arrive 30 minutes before the hearing start time indicated on your Notice to Appear.

When you arrive, physical distancing measures will be in place:

  • KN95 masks are required in all public spaces and will be provided upon entry.
  • If you are exempt from wearing a mask (see the list of exemptions below), please contact the applicable division in your region before attending your hearing so appropriate arrangements can be made in advance.
  • Always keep a 2 metre (6 feet) physical distance between yourself and others.
  • Follow wall signs and any instructions provided to you by IRB employees and security guards.
  • All public spaces will be disinfected frequently throughout the day.

People who are exempt from wearing a mask

  • children under the age of 2.
  • individuals with a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a mask. This can include but is not limited to:
    • medical condition, mental health condition, cognitive condition or disability that prevents wearing a mask.
    • medical condition that makes it difficult to breathe.
    • people who are hearing impaired or are communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, and where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • individuals who are unable to put on or remove a mask without assistance.
  • individuals requiring accommodation in accordance with the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Floor lobbies, hallways and waiting rooms

  • Once you arrive at the location of your hearing, you will be required to line up and present your identification.
  • A security guard will provide you with directions to the registration desk and/or hearing room. Remember to maintain physical distancing. Follow all directions provided by registration desk employees when providing or completing documentation.

Hearing rooms

  • For some hearings involving more participants, the hearing may proceed in two separate hearing rooms joined by videoconference.
  • KN95 masks must be worn at all times in hearing rooms, including when testifying or providing submissions, subject to exemptions. Individuals who wish to be exempted should raise their request with the presiding member.
  • At the discretion of the presiding member, individuals participating in a hearing may be asked to remove a mask temporarily - for example, to clarify an audio issue - in order to ensure a full and proper hearing.
  • Hearing rooms are disinfected before your hearing starts and again after you leave.
  • Inside the hearing room distancing measures are in place. Plexiglass barriers have been installed in all hearing rooms. Audio devices in hearing rooms have been reconfigured to allow for better recording. Speak clearly and loudly so the decision-maker is able to hear you through the barriers.
  • Please sanitize your hands when entering and leaving the hearing room. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available at the entrances and on the table.

Public washrooms and water fountains

  • It is recommended to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom.