Location of all COVID-19 workplace outbreaks in Toronto to be released starting next week, including one major one with nearly 70 cases

Nearly 70 workers at a downtown construction site tested positive for COVID-19 over a one-month period following the holidays but details about the outbreak were never publicly released by Toronto Public Health.

Toronto Public Health began releasing the location of “significant” workplace outbreaks earlier this month following a request from the city’s Board of Health.

At the time Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that the location of outbreaks would be released in situations where there was “sustained transmission” and “the workplace is large enough that the risk of privacy concerns are mitigated.”

But for reasons that remain unclear the outbreak at the Well condominium construction site on Front Street has not been included in any of Toronto Public Health’s weekly updates so far.

In a statement provided to CP24 on Thursday, Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vinita Dubey said that Toronto Public Health is investigating the outbreak at the Well construction site and “is working closely with the lead contractor and sub-contractors to assess risk and to advise on appropriate public health measures.”

Dubey also said that Toronto Public Health will begin sharing information about all workplace outbreaks next week and not just ones of “significance.”

“We would have started sooner, but we are in the middle of our transition to the province’s system for public health case and contact management, a big transfer of over 80,000 records,” she said.

According to the Ministry of Labour, there have been 68 positive cases at the Well construction site since Dec. 27.

In a statement, the project management firm Deltera said that all employees who were positive for COVID-19 have already completed isolation and been cleared to return to work.

The last positive test was on Jan. 22.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with Public Health and the Ministry of Labour, who regularly inspects all sites involved in this project. Their officials last inspected our site on February 2nd and we were found to be in full compliance and no orders were issued,” the statement reads. “We continue to work closely with Public Health and rigorously follow all health and safety protocols.”

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