Toronto Public Health reported only one outbreak of COVID-19 at a construction workplace in the week leading up to and including Dec. 30 as the province reeled from the onset of the Omicron variant.
EllisDon reported six cases at the Michael Garron hospital site Dec. 24. There was no closure associated with that outbreak.
That number was minimal compared with other workplace outbreaks that week. Several restaurants had 15 or more cases each, three Toronto Police stations had outbreaks of six, 18 and seven cases respectively and the Metro Toronto Police headquarters also reported three cases.
EllisDon communications director Dustin Luchka said the company has endeavoured to resume rapid testing at its sites but access to supplies has been a problem.
“Sites are continuing to be operational,” stated Luchka. “We report all cases to Toronto Public Health and it is their discretion for full or partial closures.”
The firm continues to enforce COVID protocols at its offices and worksites, including social distancing, screening before site entrance, staggered breaks and lunches.
Last fall EllisDon announced it would require Canadian employees working at any location on company business to be fully vaccinated for COVID by Nov. 1.
“The one protocol we have reverted back to is mandatory mask wearing at all times,” Luchka said. “For a while we loosened that protocol to allow people to not wear a mask as long as they were outdoors and were able to maintain six-feet social distance. This was in alignment with public health. Three-ply masks are also mandatory.”
But the lack of inventory of rapid tests has prevented the builder from reinstituting testing practices it employed earlier in 2021, he said.
“We’re hopeful that changes,” Luchka added.
Toronto Public Health reports on COVID outbreaks at workplaces with 20 or more employees once per week. The next report is due Jan. 6.
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