51% of businesses inspected in Simcoe Muskoka comply with COVID-19 measures

Click to play video: 'Inspection blitz finds some big-box stores breaking rules' Inspection blitz finds some big-box stores breaking rules
York Region public health certified health inspector Nadia Varbanova shares the biggest issues and concerns she comes across during her inspections at big-box stores. – Jan 25, 2021

Of the 377 businesses that inspectors visited in Simcoe County and Muskoka last weekend, just over half — 51 per cent — complied with Ontario’s current COVID-19 safety measures.

Inspectors visited a variety of workplaces — including retail and big box stores, restaurants offering takeout and “essential” service sector establishments, like gas stations — and issued 22 tickets.

Read more: Simcoe Muskoka to move back to Ontario’s red-control COVID-19 zone on Feb. 16

“The most common violations observed were lack of safety plans, adequate screening and capacity limits,” Kalem McSween, a spokesperson with Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, wrote in an email to Global News Friday.

In Barrie, inspectors visited businesses 81 times with a compliance rate of 52 per cent. Meanwhile, inspectors conducted 40 visits at businesses in Orillia with a compliance rate of 70 per cent, while there were 33 visits to businesses in Midland with a compliance rate of 42 per cent.

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Read more: End of stay-at-home order risks greater COVID-19 transmission: Simcoe Muskoka top doc

Thirty-one inspections were conducted at businesses in Wasaga Beach with a compliance rate of 84 per cent, while inspectors visited businesses 19 times in Collingwood with a compliance rate of 42 per cent.

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Inspectors visited businesses in Alliston 19 times with a compliance rate of 39 per cent.

A chart from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour,. Provided/Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development

“Inspectors continue to conduct risk-based, proactive inspections at workplaces to check that employers understand the risks associated with COVID-19, including how to reduce spread in their workplace, and that employers are implementing measures to keep workers safe,” McSween said.

Businesses that didn’t have proper protocols in place have been flagged for potential risk-based followup inspections.

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