Workplace closures in Peel to end when province enters step one of reopening, Section 22 Order updated

A person walks past an Amazon Fulfillment Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Peel and Toronto will close businesses with five or more COVID-19 cases linked to the workplace under new guidelines to help curb the spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The Region of Peel announced Thursday it is revising its Section 22 Order for workplace closures ahead of the province entering its first stage of reopening.

The order initially put in place by Peel Public Health, mandated any business with five or more known COVID-19 cases occurring within a span of 14 days or fewer, where cases “could have reasonably acquired their infection at work,” or no other source of transmission can be identified, to close.

The move was made to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the variants of concern in workplaces. Several Amazon fulfillment centres were closed partially following the introduction of the order.

The revisions will see Peel Region end automatic workplace closures on the day that the province enters step one of its reopening plan, which is scheduled on June 14.

Additionally, the revisions also order the “explicit” addition of eye protection as part of personal protective equipment requirements where physical distancing cannot be observed.

The amended order will also include revised isolation and testing requirements for asymptomatic workers to state that public health will provide specific direction during investigations.

The order was originally put into place on April 20, 2021 by Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh.

Toronto Public Health followed suit later that day, also announcing that they would enforce automatic workplace closures, but have not yet announced when they will reverse the practice.