The COVID-19 situation in Toronto remains dire and further action is needed in workplaces where the risk of transmission is high. The Section 22 Order issued by the Medical Officer of Health is effective Friday, April 23 at 12:01 a.m.
Investigators from Toronto Public Health will have additional capacity to act in response to workplace COVID-19 outbreaks, as part of the effort to reduce the spread of the virus in Toronto. This capacity is designed to be flexible, so that implementation of the order is undertaken to achieve public health objectives while supporting the need for people to work and operate their businesses to the extent possible given the levels of COVID-19 and infectiousness of COVID-19 variants.
Issued under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the Section 22 order will require owners and operators of a workplace to notify Toronto Public Health as soon as they become aware of five or more individuals associated with their workplace who test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period. Upon investigation, these workplaces may be required to fully or partially close, or dismiss shifts or teams. The order may also apply to workplaces with less than five COVID-19 cases, if it is determined that significant action is required to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Workplaces exempt from the order listed below.
Toronto Public Health will notify the owner or operator of the workplace regarding the extent to which closure is required and which employees need to be sent home to isolate for 10 days. Any workplace subject to the order and full closure will post signage provided by Toronto Public Health at all entrances to the premises.
Since January 4, Toronto Public Health has reported the names of workplaces in outbreak that employ 20 or more people. The information published online is updated weekly on Thursdays and includes the workplace name, number of COVID-19 cases related to the setting, and date the outbreak was declared (and when it was declared over, where applicable).
The order will be in effect until Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health deems it is no longer necessary to control the spread of COVID-19 in Toronto.
The Section 22 order does not apply to the following workplaces:
The following workplaces may be exempt from full closure requirements:
Components of the Order will still apply to the workplaces listed above, and Toronto Public Health may still dismiss shifts, work area or team, where transmission has occurred. Toronto Public Health may also implement other preventative measures when deemed necessary.
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