On Monday, January 4, 2021, the City of Toronto announced new measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces, as well as to increase employer and government accountability. These measures create additional safety and reporting requirements for workplaces.
The Toronto Board of Health COVID-19 Dashboard will now contain new information to better illustrate the characteristics of COVID-19 in Toronto workplaces and will include specifics about workplace outbreaks across 11 categories, including pharmacies, grocery stores, offices, construction, warehousing, manufacturing facilities and others. The Dashboard will be updated on a weekly basis, every Thursday.
Additionally, Toronto Public Health has provided new instructions for employers and businesses to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. These instructions include, but are not limited to:
- A requirement that employers and businesses immediately inform Toronto Public Health when they become aware that two or more employees have contracted COVID-19.
- Employers and businesses must designate a contact person who will implement any measures required by Toronto Public Health.
- Instances where more than one individual is traveling in a vehicle related to work must be minimized.
- Rigorous and regular cleaning is required in all high-touch areas as well as areas that are easily accessible to the public. Regular functional assessments of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are also required.
- Where reasonably possible, employers must ensure that physical distancing of employees by at least 2 metres is practised.
- Employers must also ensure that employees are aware of benefits or pay that they may be entitled to in the case that COVID-19 prevents them from working in the normal course.
The measures and instructions are intended to support businesses, employment and the economy during the pandemic by ensuring people can work in safe conditions.
Further information can be found here:
- Medical Officer of Health Instructions for Workplaces
- Medical Officer of Health’s Letter of Instruction
- Toronto COVID-19 Dashboard
We will continue to monitor and provide updates as soon as they become available. The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving with new measures being adopted or modified at both the federal and provincial level.