Peel Public Health is ordering all businesses with five or more linked COVID-19 cases in the previous 14 days to close for 10 days.
“Workplaces that remain open continue to be a major driver of COVID-19 cases in Peel, as they have been throughout the course of our emergency response,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh said in a statement Tuesday. “With variant spread we are also seeing transmission occur more quickly and widely.”
The first closure could be ordered as soon as Friday and Public Health will post the names on its website once the businesses are alerted.
“This will be hard on them and their employees, but aggressive action is needed because of the rapid and wider spread of variants in Peel,” the Region of Peel said in a statement. “These closures will let us investigate fully without risk of continuing spread. And it will help save lives.”
Exemptions to the full closure include health care, first responders, critical infrastructure, emergency childcare and education.
The updated provisions of the Section 22 Order will be in effect whenever Peel is in the Shutdown or Grey-Lockdown zones of the provincial framework.
Closure will happen for businesses that have 5 cases that are identified to have been reasonably acquired in the workplace over a 14-day span or no obvious source of infection has been identified outside the workplace.
Closure will last 10 calendar days, with day 1 starting the day after the business is notified that they must close.
All affected employees must self-isolate. Employees who are isolating are not permitted to work in any other workplace. This further restricts spread should they have been exposed in their workplace.
Absent legislated paid sick days, employers required to close under these provisions are strongly recommended to provide paid leave for impacted employees.