Today, Toronto Public Health and Peel Public Health announced that they will each issue Section 22 Orders that will require certain businesses with five or more cases of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days to close for a minimum of 10 days.

Toronto Public Health's Section 22 Order

Toronto Public Health announced that it will implement a Section 22 Order to require the closure of certain workplaces, or portions of workplaces, where five or more cases are identified within a 14-day period and where cases could reasonably have been acquired through infection in the workplace. The resulting workplace closure will be in effect for a minimum period of 10 calendar days. During the workplace closure, workers at the affected workplace will be required to self-isolate.

According to the announcement, certain workplaces, such as health care facilities, schools, child care centres, and workplaces providing critical services may be exempt from full closure requirements.

The Section 22 Order will be available by Friday April 23, 2021.

Peel Public Health's Section 22 Order

Peel Public Health announced issuance of an updated Section 22 Order on workplaces (Class Order for Workplaces with COVID-19). The updated Section 22 Order directs all businesses with five or more cases of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days to either close the full workplace premises or shift or implement a "work area mass dismissal" (the specifics of which will depend on the direction of Peel Public Health authorities as the term is not defined in the Section 22 Order) for a 10 calendar-day period (with day 1 starting the day after the business is notified that they must close) where:

  • the cases could have reasonably acquired their infection at work; or
  • no obvious source of infection has been identified outside of the workplace.

Workers are required to self-isolate as follows:

  1. COVID-19 positive workers, workers who have been identified as a close contact, or workers who are or become symptomatic must self-isolate as set out in Peel Public Health's Section 22 Class Order dated February 24, 2021;
  2. workers of a workplace premises under closure notice who are not symptomatic must self-isolate for a period of 10 calendar days or for such time as the workplace premises is closed.

Additionally, self-isolating employees are not permitted to work in any other workplace.

The following workplace premises are exempt from the full closure requirements of Peel Public Health's Section 22 Order:

  • Schools/childcare;
  • Pharmacies;
  • Healthcare facilities, including vaccination clinics;
  • Shelters;
  • First responder emergency services such as Fire, Paramedics, Police and their communication services;
  • Critical infrastructure such as water/wastewater treatment facilities, utilities, telecommunications and IT, transportation, energy;
  • Government services;
  • Services required to maintain the health of animals;
  • Other workplace premises exempted from closure by Peel Public Health.

Peel Public Health advised that the names of all affected businesses will be published on its website while they are closed, however, the list will not be published until the first businesses affected are notified this week.

The updated Section 22 Order will be in effect whenever Peel is in the Shutdown or Grey-Lockdown zones of the provincial framework.

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We are continuing to monitor for the Section 22 Orders and will update this publication as additional information becomes available.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.