Hamilton issues Section 22 order to deal with workplace COVID-19 outbreaks

Hamilton public health has issued a Section 22 class order to help identify and contain COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces.

The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and requires employers to notify public health if there are two or more cases of the virus in a two-week period.

If there are five or more cases in that time frame, that workplace could be fully or partially shut down for ten days if it’s confirmed to be a workplace outbreak.

“What happens next is based on what the investigators find when they talk to the workplace and look at what is happening, what potential sources of transmission are there,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, the city’s medical officer of health.

“Sometimes it is just a case that there have been five cases that have all been community-based… and there’s really no workplace issue.”

The order is similar to the ones adopted in Peel and in Toronto.

READ MORE: Peel Region to order businesses with 5+ COVID-19 cases to temporarily close

There are some exceptions, such as child care, shelters, emergency services and critical infrastructure.

Currently, 17 of the city’s 38 outbreaks are in workplaces.