PICK A SIDE: Should Peel follow Toronto's lead and start naming workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks?

 

With the recent news that Toronto has begun publicizing significant workplace outbreaks for larger companies/businesses, there’s been a lot of discussion about whether or not Peel should follow suit.

Currently, Peel Public Health names long term care homes, retirement homes, and schools/childcare centres where outbreaks have been declared.

While public health does keep track of the number of outbreaks for different types of workplaces (such as retail, food processing, and manufacturing/industrial), it doesn’t name the workplaces themselves unless it believes that there is a risk to the public.

Brampton mayor Patrick Brown strongly advocated for naming workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks, saying the workplace should be named regardless of how many infections it reports.

“I don’t care if it’s five infections, or three infections, I think we should side on complete transparency. There’s no downside with transparency,” Brown said in a recent interview.

“In my opinion, every workplace where there’s an outbreak should be listed, just like we do with schools and long term care centres.”

Brown says Peel’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh is looking at Toronto’s new policy and will likely adopt it in Peel, although nothing has been confirmed at this time.

Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie says the current policy is to avoid naming workplaces due to the potential stigma it can cause them, as well as the possibility that the workplace won’t cooperate with public health for contact tracing.

Crombie says the region is continuing to contact trace as much as possible, although not to the degree they used to, as the high number of cases means public health officials can no longer contact trace every single positive case.

Should Peel begin naming workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks? And do you think the region should take a similar approach to Toronto, or simply name all workplaces reporting infections? Let us know in the comments.

Should Peel follow Toronto’s lead and start naming workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks?

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