On April 20, 2021, the Medical Officer of Health in the Peel Public Health Region (Peel) announced that an Order would be issued directing businesses with five or more cases of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days to close for 10 calendar days when such cases:
- Are identified as having been reasonably acquired in the workplace, or
- No obvious source of infection has been identified outside of the workplace.
Day 1 of the closure will be the day after the business is notified that it must close.
The Order is considered necessary to stop the spread of variants, protect the healthcare system, and save lives. It will be in effect whenever Peel is in the Shutdown or Grey-Lockdown zones of the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework.
Peel, which includes the cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the town of Caledon, is currently subject to Ontario’s province-wide stay-at-home order.
Paid Leave & Virtual Operation
In its announcement, Peel strongly recommends that, in the absence of legislated paid sick days, employers directed to close under the Order provide paid leave for affected employees and consider operating virtually as much as possible.
Businesses that are essential to the wellbeing of the community, including but not limited to healthcare, first responders, critical infrastructure, emergency childcare, and education, will be exempt from full closure.
Publication of Names of Affected Businesses
The names of all affected businesses will be published on Peel’s website while they are closed. The list will be published once the first affected businesses are notified.
Affected Employees Must Self-isolate
All affected employees are required to self-isolate and self-isolating employees may not work in any workplace.
Bottom Line for Employers
Employers in Peel are encouraged to become familiar with the Order once it is issued, ensure their compliance if they are directed to close their businesses, and consult with experienced employment counsel to ask any related questions they may have.