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The Toronto Order

The Toronto class order made pursuant to Section 22 (5.0.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (“Toronto Order“), which can be found here, requires owners, operators or occupiers of a business to notify Toronto Public Health via the online COVID-19 Workplace Reporting Tool as soon as they become aware of 5 or more COVID infections in the workplace within a 14-calendar-day period. The Toronto Order grants discretion to the City to order a full or partial closure of the workplace, or shift/work area mass dismissal, when there has been 5 or more confirmed or probable COVID cases within a 14-calendar-day period. Once closed, the owners, operators and/or occupiers of a workplace cannot attend the workplace unless necessary to:

  • comply with any applicable laws;
  • allow for inspections, maintenance and repairs to be carried out;
  • allow for security services to be provided;
  • to deal with critical matters relating to the closure of the workplace if they cannot be done remotely; and
  • access materials, goods, or supplies that may be necessary for the business or organization to continue to operate remotely.

Licensed child care programs, schools, school boards, healthcare providers and entities are exempt from the Toronto Order. A number of additional workplaces may be exempt from the Toronto Order, including emergency services (fire, paramedics, police), shelters, critical infrastructure, and other workplaces as determined necessary to remain open for reasons of health, safety or otherwise by Toronto Public Health.

Businesses who fail to comply with the order may face a fine of up to $25,000 for every day or part of each day the offence occurs or continues, and individuals may receive a fine of up to $5,000 per day.

Toronto Public Health has not published a timeline for when the Toronto Order will expire.

Neither the Toronto Order nor the Peel Region Order described below prevent businesses from continuing to operate under remote work arrangements.

Asymptomatic workers of businesses that have been ordered to close in Toronto and Peel Region must self-isolate for a minimum period of 10 days, and in Peel Region, for as long as the workplace remains closed.

The Peel Region Order

Similarly, the Peel Public Health Order (“Peel Order“) which can be found here, allows the city to order closure of a workplace with 5 or more confirmed COVID cases within a 14 calendar-day period, if workers could reasonably have acquired the infection at the workplace, or there is no obvious source of infection outside of the workplace. The Peel Order allows the City to order closure for a 10 day calendar period.

The Peel Order requires owners, operators or occupiers of a workplace to notify Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 or 905-584-2216 (for Caledon) if there are 2 or more COVID cases identified in the workplace within a 14-calendar day period.

As with the Toronto Order, the Peel Order allows for temporary access to a closed workplace, for similar purposes as those outlined in the Toronto Order (i.e. complying with applicable laws, allowing for inspections, etc.). The Peel Order also does not apply to schools/childcare, emergency infrastructure, healthcare facilities, shelters, etc. The potential fines that may be issued against businesses and individuals pursuant to the Peel Region Order are identical to those under the Toronto Order.

The Peel Region Order came into effect as of April 23, and will remain in effect for as long as Peel Region is in the Grey-Lockdown or Shutdown Zone under the COVID-19 Response Framework.