Toronto Public Health to Regularly Publish COVID-19 Workplace Outbreaks, Announces New Measures for COVID-19 Workplace Safety
On January 4, 2021, Toronto Public Health (TPH) announced that, as of January 7, 2021, it will be publishing information regarding COVID-19 workplace outbreaks in the City of Toronto on a weekly basis. The information will be organized by business sector based on the North American Industry Classification System, and will be disclosed where a public health risk exists when:
- there is evidence of sustained transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace;
- a significant proportion of staff have been involved in the outbreak;
- the outbreak is of a significant duration; and
- the workplace is large enough that privacy concerns/risks are mitigated.
It is anticipated that workplace outbreak information will be made available on TPH's COVID-19 dashboard.
TPH has also issued a letter of instruction to those businesses in the City of Toronto currently permitted to operate under the Reopening Ontario Act outlining additional requirements to limit opportunities for COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. These include the following measures:
- Immediately notifying TPH of two or more people who test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days that are connected to the workplace setting by calling 416-338-7600.
- If two or more people test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days that are connected to a workplace:
- cooperating with TPH personnel to support enhanced infection prevention and control measures and recommendations;
- notifying the Ontario Ministry of Labour and any other relevant government authorities;
- providing TPH with accurate and up to date contact information for all workers within 24 hours to support case and contact tracing; and
- providing a designated contact to work with TPH to immediately implement any additional required measures to reduce virus spread.
Licensed child care programs, schools, and school boards are currently exempt from these instructions due to sector-specific legislation, directives, and guidelines governing COVID-19 measures in these settings.
Further information regarding the new requirements may be found in the letter of instruction, accessible here.
Additional sector-specific COVID-19 information and guidance documents published by TPH are accessible here.