Peel Public Health ordered Amazon Canada to close its Brampton facility and have workers self-isolate for 14 days starting at 12:01 a.m. ET on March 13.
Globe and mail policy reporter Laura Stone detailed the closure on Twitter, noting that the move occurred through Article 22 of the Health Promotion and Protection Law.
Additionally, Stone shared a statement from Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Region Medical Officer:
“This Amazon facility is in a vulnerable community and employs thousands of people. Immediate action must be taken to protect these essential workers and the community where they live. This was a difficult but necessary decision to stop further spread both at the facility and in our community. Essential workers remain the backbone of our community and I continue to urge both employers and legislators to provide paid sick leave to anyone affected by COVID-19. “
Loh also noted that “variants of concern” were detected at the facility over the past week.
– Laura Stone (@l_stone) March 12, 2021
In a statement, Peel Public Health noted that all workers must self-isolate until March 27.
“Current public health research has determined that high-risk exposure to COVID-19 cannot be ruled out for everyone who works at Amazon Heritage,” the statement said. Peel Public Health also noted that while COVID-19 infection rates decreased in Peel, rates within Amazon facilities increased significantly.
CP24 notes that the city of Brampton closed a Brampton Transit bus route serving Amazon facilities earlier this week due to COVID-19 cases, which involved nine bus operators. Instead, Amazon used rented buses to transport workers to the facility. However, Loh said there was no link between Amazon and the Brampton Transit outbreaks.
The closure of the Amazon facility comes as Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford continues fight a provincial paid sick leave program. Brampton is a suburb of Toronto.
In other Amazon news, the e-commerce giant has revealed that it will not build a massive warehouse in the protected Duffins Creek wetlands in Pickering, Ontario.