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Toronto order cracking down on COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces takes effect Friday

Last Updated Apr 22, 2021 at 11:33 pm EDT

A Toronto Public Health sign is seen at Dundas and Victoria streets on Aug. 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

The Section 22 order from the City of Toronto requiring workplaces where there are five or more COVID-19 cases to close, with some exceptions, will take effect at midnight on Friday.

A news release from the city says investigators from Toronto Public Health will have additional capacity to respond to workplace COVID-19 outbreaks.

Under the order, owners and operators of a workplace must notify TPH as soon as they become aware of five or more people associated with their workplace who test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period. The order could also apply to businesses with less than five COVID-19 cases.


RELATED: Toronto cracks down on workplace COVID-19 outbreaks, ordering closures


An investigation will be undertaken and a decision will be made on whether the workplace will either have to close, partially close, or dismiss certain shifts or teams.

Toronto Public Health will notify the owner of the extent of the closure and which employees will need to be sent home to isolate.

Child care centres, schools and health care entities are exempt from the Section 22 order while the following businesses will be exempt from a full closure:

  • First responder emergency services such as fire, paramedics, police and their communication services
  • Shelters
  • Critical infrastructure such as water/wastewater treatment facilities, utilities, telecommunications and IT, transportation and energy
  • Public-facing or other critical government services
  • Services required to maintain the health of animals
  • Other workplaces as determined by Toronto Public Health for reasons of health, safety or otherwise where in the public interest.

Toronto has been reporting workplace outbreaks for businesses with 20 or more employees since Jan. 4.

Here is the current list of businesses on the city’s website which include an Amazon fulfillment centre and a Public Health Ontario lab: