Toronto announced new measures for all businesses yesterday. While the policies announced are not significantly different from regional policies in other areas, Toronto Public Health did announce that they would be publicly disclosing the names of workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks when and if they meet the following criteria:
- There is evidence of sustained transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace;
- A significant proportion of staff have been involved in the outbreak;
- There is a significant duration of the outbreak such that it has led to additional cases;
- The workplace is large enough that risk of privacy concerns are mitigated.
For businesses that do not habitually publicly announce cases, this could present an increased risk. We have flagged for the City that businesses, many whom are struggling to remain viable, must not be discredited in a way that is unfair or irreparable.
Among other changes, Toronto Public Health now requires businesses to notify the health unit when two or more persons test positive in a 14 day interval in connection with your workplace – similar to a policy by the Ottawa Public Health Unit. The lack of social distancing in the workplace during staff breaks/lunch continues to be an area of policy focus, with requirements on the business to ensure workers are socially distanced on breaks. Other rules include minimizing instances of more than one individual in a vehicle.
For more, click here to see Toronto’s full PDF on today’s announcement.