This week the City of Toronto was made aware of four employees who work at St. Lawrence Market who have tested positive for COVID-19. One employee is a staff member of the City’s Facilities Management section and three employees work at three different merchant stores in the Market.
The City is advising the public of these cases in the interest of transparency. The risk to the general public is low, as the interactions with employees with infections would have been brief (lasting one to two minutes), while employees and patrons were wearing masks and maintaining physical distance as much as possible.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is conducting an investigation related to these cases including contact tracing. The employees last worked at the Market on December 24, 26 and 31. All close contacts have been notified and are self-isolating and monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from the last possible date of exposure.
To protect the privacy of the individuals, the Market cannot disclose the identity of the people at individual businesses who have tested positive.
St. Lawrence Market works closely with TPH to ensure the safety of all customers, employees, merchants, vendors, farmers and everyone inside the Market. The Market will remain open to provide food access to Toronto residents and the community. The provision of fresh food also has positive health benefits, especially during the circumstances of a province-wide shutdown. TPH advises that there is no evidence of COVID-19 spread through food.
During the COVID-19 health emergency, the Market Complex has implemented extensive precautions to keep all customers, merchants, farmers and vendors safe and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Precautions include strict line management, including outdoor lines, mandatory use of masks in all areas of the Market Complex, enhanced sanitization, appropriate physical distancing, entrance management and continuously monitored capacity management in all Market buildings.
On Monday, the City announced additional measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces and encourage additional transparency measures for COVID-19 cases in workplaces. Further information on workplace transmission is available on the TPH COVID-19 dashboard
There are currently high levels of community transmission of COVID-19 in Toronto. Transmission can occur while living in the same household, commuting to work in the same car, or working in close contact with a person who is infected with COVID-19. This is why employees and patrons must take appropriate preventive measures at all times.
Under the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework under the Reopening Ontario Act, indoor social gatherings and organized public events are prohibited (except for a funeral, a wedding or another religious service or rite which is limited to 10 persons), as well as having family or friends who are not members of your household in your home for a social visit (except one single person who lives alone who may join a social gathering with another household indoors).
All people in Toronto should adopt steps for self-protection. Individuals should only consider leaving their homes for essential activities such as work, education and fresh air and exercise. As much as possible, residents are asked to limit contact to only those in the same household, keep at least two metres (six feet) apart from people not in the same household and wear a mask when outside of their homes, especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult. Residents should wash hands frequently and remain at home when ill.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check here for answers to common questions before contacting the TPH COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
St. Lawrence Market is a renowned international food market featuring 120 merchants, vendors and farmers, offering fresh produce, meats and specialty items. Serving Toronto residents and international visitors since 1803, the market is regularly recognized as one of Toronto’s most popular destinations and was ranked the number one food market in the world by National Geographic. The St. Lawrence Market Complex consists of St. Lawrence Hall, the South Market and the North Market – the latter now in its temporary home at 125 The Esplanade.
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.