Toronto Public Health and Peel Public Health announced today that they will issue orders under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act that are targeted at controlling the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces in these regions. 

Specifically, the announcements (see Toronto's here and Peel's here) indicate that the anticipated orders will mandate the closure of certain workplaces, or portions of workplaces, in which there have been five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 identified within a 14-day period, and which could reasonably have been acquired through infection in the workplace. 

Under the anticipated orders, affected workplaces may be ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days. During the period of the closure, workers at the affected workplace will be required to self-isolate. It is expected that a list of prescribed essential workplaces will be exempt from full closure requirements.

The media releases issued today by both public health authorities also encourage employers to re-evaluate their operations with a view to ensuring that anyone who is currently able to work remotely is doing so. Public health authorities in these regions are also recommending that employers, in the absence of legislated paid sick days, consider providing workers with pay for the duration of any mandated period of closure. 

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