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COVID-19: Peel Public Health orders partial closure of 2 Amazon fulfillment centres

Click to play video: 'New Toronto, Peel Region measures aimed at stopping workplace COVID-19 outbreaks' New Toronto, Peel Region measures aimed at stopping workplace COVID-19 outbreaks
WATCH ABOVE: Sean O'Shea reports on new measures in Toronto and Peel Region that allow public health to temporarily shut down workplaces with five or more confirmed COVID-19 cases – Apr 23, 2021

Peel Public Health has ordered the partial closure of two Amazon fulfillment centres under a new order that allows the health unit to temporarily close businesses experiencing COVID-19 cases.

The medical officer of health for Peel Region, Dr. Lawrence Loh, issued a Section 22 order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act earlier this week and it took effect Friday.

Read more: Peel, Toronto could begin workplace closures to control outbreaks

The order allows closures to happen for 10 days after five cases have been identified and “have been reasonably acquired in the workplace” within 14 days. Affected workers then have to self-isolate.

On Saturday, the health unit said the first two businesses affected are both Amazon fulfillment centres: one on Heritage Road in Brampton and another on Coleraine Drive in Bolton. It’s not clear how many cases are at each location.

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Read more: Amazon, Maple Leaf Foods, Maple Lodge Farms in Peel Region to hold COVID-19 vaccine clinics

Both are listed as having a partial closure order, which officials said could mean a dismissal of a shift or work area.

“We anticipate more closures will be enacted in the days to come,” Loh said in an interview with Global News Saturday afternoon.

Loh said there are currently six other workplaces that health officials are working to contact and gather further information on and added that three others that were being considered for closure had already proactively shut down.

He said the cases at the Amazon centres have been “limited to specific parts of the facility,” hence the partial closure order.

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Last month, the Amazon centre on Heritage Road was ordered to temporarily close due to an outbreak involving hundreds of cases.

Toronto’s medical officer of health issued a similar Section 22 order, which also took effect Friday.

In a news release issued Saturday afternoon, Toronto officials said there are around 10 workplaces currently under investigation.

“Notification to any workplaces of actions required under the order are expected to begin from Monday,” the release said.

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