Here's what Toronto is changing about workplace COVID-19 enforcement

Mar 4 2021, 11:15 am

Toronto workplaces that have an active COVID-19 outbreak will have stricter enforcement as the city prepares to potentially enter the Grey Zone.

On Wednesday, Toronto’s medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, implemented a Section 22 Class Order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act for workplaces with an active COVID-19 outbreak to help prevent the spread of the virus and variants of concern.

The order outlines additional public health requirements to promote more rigorous management of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The enhanced protocols are as follows:

  • Ensure the use of masks by every worker in the workplace at all times for the duration of the outbreak. Exceptions are for eating and drinking and other limited exemptions.
  • Follow Toronto Public Health instructions pertaining to COVID-19 testing for workers.
  • For a workplace common area like washrooms, lunch rooms, and change rooms, to have physical distancing, limiting capacity to 25%, and posting signage indicating the maximum number of people permitted in each common area.
  • Provide contact information for a designated contact person at the workplace to manage communications and implement any additional measures as required by Toronto Public Health.
  • Maintain a record of every worker that attends the workplace during the outbreak.
  • Comply with instructions from infection prevention and control personnel from Toronto Public Health, including allowing entry into the workplace for inspection and to support enhanced infection prevention and control measures.
  • Post Toronto Public Health signage about physical distancing, hand washing and mask wearing.

The order states that failure to comply with the Class Order may result in enforcement action, including a fine of $5,000 for an individual or $25,000 for a corporation for every day or part of each day for which non-compliance occurs or a ticket in the amount of $750.

De Villa and Mayor John Tory have recommended that Toronto move into the Grey Zone on Monday once the Stay at Home orders are lifted, which the province is considering.

If permitted, it would allow retail stores to reopen at 25% capacity.

The targeted approach for workplaces is being done as a protective measure for the gradual reopening of the region.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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