The Guardian (Charlottetown)

Toronto area will close some workplaces amid surge


TORONTO — Canada’s biggest city Toronto and neighborin­g Peel, both of which are in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19 infections, have said they would order businesses to close if they had outbreaks involving five or more people, medical officials said.

The closures would be for a minimum of 10 days if workers “could have reasonably acquired their infection at work,” according to a release from Peel Public Health.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is sending federal health-care workers to help Ontario, the country’s most populous province, which includes Toronto and Peel.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford stopped short of closing workplaces like warehouses or manufactur­ers when he imposed a stay-at-home order over the weekend.

On Tuesday, Ontario’s science advisory table, which offers advice to the provincial government, called for paid sick leave, the closure of nonessenti­al workplaces, and “public health guidance that works.”

“Our case counts are at an all-time high. Our hospitals are buckling. Younger people are getting sicker.

The disease is ripping through whole families,” the science advisors said in the brief.

On Tuesday, Ford’s government appeared to open the door to implementi­ng paid sick leave after months of refusing to do so.

Canada has been ramping up its vaccinatio­n campaign, but still has a smaller percentage of its population inoculated than dozens of wealthy countries, including the United States and Britain.

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