News release: April 20, 2021
Peel introduces expedited workplace closures to stop spread of variants and protect workers and our community
Brampton, ON. (April 20, 2021) – Today, Peel Public Health will issue an updated Section 22 Order on workplaces (Class Order for Workplaces with COVID-19) that will direct all businesses with five or more cases of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days to close for 10 days where:
- The cases could have reasonably acquired their infection at work, or
- No obvious source of infection has been identified outside of the workplace.
With rapid and wider spread of variants as observed in our data, the updated Section 22 Order provisions are necessary to quickly stop spread, protect our healthcare system and save lives.
Workplace exposures in Peel Region continue to drive the region's high case counts of COVID-19. Expedited closure will also allow Peel Public Health to investigate workplace exposures without risk of continued spread.
Peel Public Health strongly recommends that employers directed to close under this Order provide paid leave for impacted employees.
Businesses essential to the well-being of our community will be exempt from full closure. This includes healthcare, first responders, critical infrastructure, emergency childcare, education and others. The complete list is being developed and will be included in the Order.
The names of all affected businesses will be published on our web site while they are closed. This list will not be published until the first businesses affected are notified this week.
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.
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. With variant spread we are also seeing transmission occur more quickly and widely.
At this critical juncture in our pandemic response, the updated provisions in this Section 22 Order are necessary to quickly stop variant transmission in workplaces, support rapid workplace investigations, and protect our essential workers and our community.
In the absence of legislated paid sick days, we also call on all employers impacted by expedited closure to provide paid leave for all employees impacted by COVID-19 or these new safety measures, and to consider moving as many operations as possible virtually to reduce risk.
— Dr. Lawrence Loh, Medical Officer of Health, Peel Region.
Region of Peel
The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected Community for Life for approximately 1.5 million people and over 175,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel's services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter @regionofpeel and Instagram @peelregion.ca.