Toronto Workplaces Subject to New COVID-19 Reporting Requirements

By Rich Appiah & Domenica Moran on January 6, 2021

As of January 4, 2021, employers in the City of Toronto permitted to operate under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, must now comply with a new letter of instruction issued by Toronto Public Health (“TPH”).  The new letter of instruction can be viewed here. Workplaces governed by sector-specific legislation, directives, and/or guidelines are exempt from the letter of instruction, such as schools, school boards, licensed child care programs, and health care providers.

two female co-workers in office with Covid masks on

New Instructions for Affected Workplaces

If two or more people test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day interval in connection with the workplace premises, employers must:

  • Immediately notify TPH at 416-338-7600;
  • Notify the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development and/or other relevant government authorities;
  • Provide contact information for a designated person at the workplace who is readily available to communicate with TPH and implement any additional measures that are required;
  • Ensure that accurate contact information for all workers is available to be produced to TPH within 24 hours of request; and,
  • Co-operate with TPH, which may include allowing entry to the workplace for inspection and to support enhanced infection control measures.

Affected workplaces must also implement the following infection prevention measures:

  • Ensure hand sanitizer and hand-washing facilities are provided in work and rest areas;
  • Rigorously and frequently clean all high-touch areas and areas accessible to the public;
  • Conduct or have the property owner or landlord conduct a regular review of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems;
  • Minimize instances of more than one individual in a vehicle for work-related driving, or if unavoidable, ensure face coverings are worn in the vehicle and windows are open;
  • Ensure workers physically distance by at least two metres throughout the workplace and during eating and rest periods. When physical distancing is not possible, implement barriers, such as plexiglass; and
  • Install one-way walkways to reduce close physical interactions.

Employers must also ensure all employees are aware of the income replacement and workplace-related benefits available to them if they have to self-isolate for having symptoms, being tested, or being in close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your business’ obligations.

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