Around 80 employees and contractors who work at a Canada Post facility in Mississauga have been instructed to self-isolate amid a COVID-19 outbreak.
A statement from the postal service said Peel Public Health directed afternoon shift employees at the Toronto Exchange Office on Tuesday to isolate for 10 days.
The office is located at Canada Post’s Gateway facility, which experienced an outbreak earlier this year involving hundreds of cases.
“Canada Post received the direction from Peel Public Health regarding shift three at the Toronto Exchange Office on April 27 under a section 22 order on workplaces,” the statement said.
“We have moved to quickly comply and notify employees. In the last seven days, 12 employees who work in the location have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in Peel Public Health’s declaration of an outbreak at the Toronto Exchange Office.”
The statement said workers at the Gateway facility continue to be offered voluntary on-site rapid testing.
“Paid leave provisions” are in place for employees, Canada Post said.
Jan Simpson, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said her members expect Canada Post, health authorities, and governments to do what is necessary to keep employees safe.
“We’re concerned for our members who are sick and those who are scared, but Peel Public Health has taken the risk of workplace transmission seriously and has acted quickly,” said Simpson.
The statement went on to say that the Toronto Exchange Office is where inbound international items arrive and added that while contingency plans are being made to minimize the impact on customers, those expecting international mail can anticipate delays.
The same facility had a massive COVID-19 outbreak in late January with at least 273 confirmed cases. Canada Post said processing at the facility returned to normal on Feb. 18.
Additional workplace closure orders in Peel Region
The news comes as Peel Region announced five more partial workplace closures Tuesday.
Affected businesses include a Canadian Tire distribution centre in Brampton and a car dealership in Mississauga.
A Peel Public Health spokesperson told Global News a partial closure order for the Canada Post facility will appear on their website Wednesday.
The medical officer of health for Peel Region, Dr. Lawrence Loh, issued a Section 22 order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act last week and it took effect Friday.
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 were both Amazon fulfillment centres: one on Heritage Road in Brampton and another on Coleraine Drive in Bolton.
—With files from The Canadian Press