Workers at 2 Ontario Toyota plants allowed to return to work despite COVID-19 exposure

By News Staff

Southwestern Public Health is investigating a COVID-19 exposure at two of Toyota Canada’s plants, one in Cambridge and the other in Woodstock.

An employee at one of the plants tells CityNews upwards of 150 workers may have been exposed to the virus. They say that on Thursday afternoon, employees received a letter from the public health unit stating that they may have been exposed on March 25 and that they should self-isolate until April 8.

Despite being identified as a “high-risk close contact”, employees were told they could return to work as long as they observe physical distancing measures.

“During your self-isolation you may continue to go to work but you must go directly to work and home again,” reads the letter. “While you are at work it is important you maintain your isolation meaning you avoid any close contact (within 6 feet) of any co-workers until your isolation period is over.”

In a statement to CityNews, Dr. Joyce Lock, the Medical Officer of Health for the Southwestern Public Health Unit, says the letter employees received provides specific directions on what is referred to as ‘work self-isolation,’ which is an option in some situations where it can be done safely.

“Our team is working very closely with Toyota to ensure any of the identified contacts attending work are doing so safely using appropriate (Infection Prevention and Control) measures.”

The Health Unit has not confirmed the number of exposed or infected employees citing privacy issues.

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