Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – There were 4,094 COVID-19 cases and 24 more deaths in Ontario today.
1,191 of the new cases of the virus were in Toronto, 1,041 in Peel Region, 406 in York Region, and 199 in Durham Region.
Premier Calls for Travel Lockdown
Premier Doug Ford from isolation issued this statement today: “Yesterday, we learned the extremely troubling news that 36 cases of the B.1.617 variant have been detected in Ontario. I have been calling for tougher border restrictions for months, to avoid this exact situation.
“Right now our ICU capacity is stretched to its limits by the UK variant that got through our borders late last year. I am extremely concerned about the threat of this latest variant.
“The images we are seeing from other parts of the world right now are heartbreaking. These deadly new variants are causing devastation in India and other countries. We can’t let that happen here.
“We need more action on our borders right now. The federal government must close all non-essential travel to Canada immediately. The new border measures announced at the end of this week came far too late and don’t do nearly enough to protect Canadians. Without further action we risk prolonging the third wave, or creating the conditions for a fourth one.
“We won’t put this pandemic behind us if we can’t get ahead of the these deadly variants cropping up around the world. I’m pleading with the federal government to close the border before new variants push us into more lockdowns and another crisis.”
Amazon Fulfilment Sites under Partial Closure Order
Peel Public Health has ordered the partial closures at two Amazon fulfilment centres following outbreaks of COVID-19 in the workplaces.
The orders mark Peel’s first use of Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Under the legislation, a Health Unit can order a workplace where five or more cases of COVID-19 have been found to be closed for two weeks.
The two Amazon.com fulfilment centres are at 8050 Heritage Rd. in Brampton and 12724 Coleraine Dr. in Bolton.
The Peel Region Health Unit reports that a full closure order applies to “an entire workplace premises, while a partial closure “may apply to a mass dismissal of a shift or work area.” (Source Peel Region website)
Toronto Inspections Continue
This weekend Toronto Public Health (TPH) is advancing investigations as part of the new Section 22 Class Order to address workplace COVID-19 risk.
At present, there are approximately 10 workplaces under investigation in the Toronto Public Health Reporting area.
Notification to any workplaces of actions required under the Order are expected to begin from Monday. TPH will provide further information on the application of the Order during the media briefing on Monday by Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health.
The primary objective and principal public health benefit of the Order is to separate employees from one another in workplaces where transmission of COVID-19 is identified and linked to the location. These workplaces generally do not see high traffic from the general public. This is especially so given the Province’s Stay at Home Order and provincial regulation of public facing business activity.