Halton’s top doctor issues COVID-19 workplace safety plan

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Published September 8, 2021 at 3:03 pm

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, has recently issued a COVID-19 workplace safety plan.

The amended Letter of Instructions to businesses and organizations has been laid out in an effort to keep staff and customers safe amid the ongoing pandemic.

Two existing sets of instructions, issued on Feb. 12 and May 8, will be replaced by the amended instructions, which are meant to be easier to understand and implement.

They will outline key public health measures that workplaces must take in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while also providing guidance in the event that one or more workers present the potential for an outbreak.

Businesses and organizations with 100 or more workers physically present at the workplace, including those working in the community, will now be required to establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 safety plan.

Additionally, they will be required to establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 workplace vaccination policy.

The amended instructions will also provide additional contact tracing measures which will help Halton Region Public Health in situations with high-risk COVID-19 exposures and prevent further spread of the Delta variant.

Halton’s Class Order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, which requires those with or exposed to COVID-19 to self-isolate, has also been amended by Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

Effective 12:01 a.m. on September 10, 2021, it will reflect new Provincial directions for case and contact management of the virus.

Key amendments to Halton’s Class Order include updated guidance for how long people must self-isolate based on their symptoms, reducing the length of time people with high-risk exposures must self-isolate from 14 to 10 days and relieving people with high-risk exposures who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 infections of the requirement to self-isolate, at the discretion of Halton Region Public Health.

“Thank you for your ongoing efforts to comply with public health requirements, which I know many experience as increasingly onerous 18 months into this pandemic. We are nonetheless facing a critical time in our combined efforts against COVID-19, in Halton Region and in Ontario,” said Dr. Meghani in the amended instructions.

“The rapid and continuing spread of the Delta variant of concern – with increased transmissibility and disease severity – means that we must fully engage to protect our community and our health system capacity. Workplaces can play a critical role in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”

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