Health officials in Peel Region and Toronto have ordered all businesses with five or more recent COVID-19 cases to close down.
Peel Public Health first issued the order, that those businesses with more than five cases over the last two weeks are required to close for 10 days. “Businesses essential to the well-being of our community will be exempt from full closure. This includes healthcare, first responders, critical infrastructure, emergency childcare, education and others,” reads a statement from Peel Region.
“Workplaces that remain open continue to be a major driver of COVID-19 cases in Peel, as they have been throughout the course of our emergency response,” Dr. Lawrence Loh, medical officer of health for Peel Region, said in a news release Tuesday.
The City of Toronto followed suit shortly after. “We are doing everything we can as a city government to help essential workers facing the third wave of this virus,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “I urge all employers to follow the public health advice to stop outbreaks and protect their employees including against the financial consequences of the illness.”
It is expected some businesses could begin to close by this Friday.
The move by officials in the GTA comes as provincial policymakers go back and forth on the issue of paid sick days. On Tuesday, opposition leader Andrea Horwath pushed the Ford Government on providing such a program to Ontarians for the second day in a row. The majority government voted down the motion without notice on both days.