The City of Toronto has issued a Section 22 order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act that will require owners and operators of a workplace to notify Toronto Public Health as soon as they become aware of five or more individuals associated with their workplace who test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period. The Order is effective Friday, April 23 at 12:01 a.m.
Upon investigation, these workplaces could be required to fully or partially close or dismiss shifts or teams. The order may also apply to workplaces with less than five COVID-19 cases, if it is determined that significant action is required to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
The Order sets out exemptions, primarily for daycare, health workers and educators. The order then sets workplaces that could be exempt from full closure requirements, including transportation (trucking).
Prior to the announcement, OTA and a number of members provided the mayor and Medical Officer of Health’s office with arguments why the trucking industry needs to be exempt from the Section 22 Order. OTA and its membership outlined the essential service role trucking plays in moving all goods that residents in Toronto rely on during the pandemic and how disrupting trucking services could have a very negative impact on the supply and availability of essential products throughout the City Of Toronto.
In response to OTA’s request, City of Toronto officials stated to OTA that city understands the critical importance of the trucking industry and will apply discretion in its investigations, if necessary, in these workplaces under this order. In its press release, the City of Toronto went on to state the following regarding enforcement of Section 22:
“This capacity is designed to be flexible, so that implementation of the order is undertaken to achieve public health objectives while supporting the need for people to work and operate their businesses to the extent possible given the levels of COVID-19 and infectiousness of COVID-19 variants.”
The trucking industry has had an outstanding record of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Should members have any questions regarding enforcement please e-mail [email protected]
A full copy of the City of Toronto press release is available here.