Section 22 Class Order for Workplaces
Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Class Order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to help enforce COVID-19 requirements within workplaces.
This Class Order does not apply to:
- A licensed child care program that is in compliance with guidance issued by the Ministry of Education;
- Health care providers and health care entities as defined in Section 77.7 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act who are subject to the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directives issued thereunder, other than the portion of premises used for the sale of goods that are neither medication nor health related supplies in pharmacies;
- Schools and school boards licensed under the Education Act; and
- Schools and private schools within the meaning of the Education Act, that are operated in accordance with a return to school direction issued by the Ministry of Education and approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Effective Tuesday, May 4 at 12:01 am all workplaces in Hamilton must comply with the following requirements, with limited exceptions noted below.
Every person who owns, operates, or occupies a workplace or persons responsible for a business or organization in the City of Hamilton, where employees or the public are regularly present, shall, unless excepted from this Order, comply with the requirements set out below.
1. If two or more cases of COVID-19 are identified in connection with your workplace premises within a 14-day interval, immediately notify Hamilton Public Health Services. To notify Public Health, call 905-974-9848, option 6 daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, or after-hours at 905-546-2489.
- When there are two or more cases of COVID-19 related to your workplace premises, or upon notification by Hamilton Public Health Services, you must ensure that the following steps are taken:
- Prepare the list of close contacts of these persons and provide the list to Hamilton Public Health Services, when requested;
- Notify the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board;
- Provide contact details of the most responsible decision-maker at the workplace premises and ensure that this person is readily available for contact by Hamilton Public Health Services to implement any additional measures immediately as required by Hamilton Public Health Services;
- Follow all Hamilton Public Health Services instructions pertaining to contact tracing and identifying workers who need to isolate, including ensuring that any instructions as specified by Hamilton Public Health Services are communicated to workers; and
- Cooperate with staff and representatives from Hamilton Public Health Services including allowing entry into the workplace premises for inspection and to support enhanced infection prevention and control measures and recommendations.
2. In addition to notifying Hamilton Public Health Services as soon as you become aware of two or more individuals who test positive for COVID-19 within a 14 calendar-day period in connection with your workplace, you must notify Hamilton Public Health Services as soon as you become aware of five or more individuals who test positive for COVID-19 within a 14 calendar-day period in connection with your workplace.
3. Owners, operators, occupiers or persons responsible for a workplace premises that has been closed by notice under this Order shall post the notice at the entrance in a manner that is conspicuous to the public in a form provided by Hamilton Public Health Services indicating the workplace premises is closed.
4. The worker requirements below shall be communicated by the owners or occupiers of a workplace premises or persons responsible for a business or organization to all workers impacted by a closure/mass dismissal notification pursuant to this Order.
During periods where:
- the geographic area of the City of Hamilton is placed in the Grey – Lockdown zone under the Province of Ontario’s Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, and applicable Ontario regulations,
- the Province of Ontario has enacted a Shutdown (“Shutdown Zone”) under applicable legislation, or
- under similar provisions in any successor legislation,
AND when a workplace premises has five or more laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases within a 14 calendar-day period where the cases could reasonably have acquired their infection in the workplace premises, or where no obvious source of infection has been identified outside the workplace premises, Hamilton Public Health Services may require, by written notice, either full workplace premises closure or shift or work area mass dismissal be implemented for a minimum period of 10 calendar-days or as specified by Hamilton Public Health Services.
Hamilton Public Health Services may require, by written notice, other significant interventions, based on the above or an alternative set of criteria where it deems such interventions necessary to address circumstances at a specific workplace premises.
Hamilton Public Health Services may give notice verbally as an initial step to implement a closure or shift or work area mass dismissal or other significant intervention of a workplace premises and follow up with a notice in writing when possible.
Closures will allow Hamilton Public Health to stop further spread of COVID-19 between employees while cases in the workplace are investigated.
Hamilton Public Health will determine the extent of the closures:
- A full closure applies to an entire workplace premises.
- A partial closure may apply to a mass dismissal of a shift or work area.
These workplaces may be exempt from the full closure requirements of this Order, but are subject to the other requirements in the Order:
- First responder emergency services such as Fire, Paramedics, Police and their communication services;
- Critical infrastructure such as water/wastewater treatment facilities, utilities, telecommunications and IT, transportation, and energy;
- Government services; and
- Services required to maintain the health of animals.
Notwithstanding the above, temporary access to a closed place of business is authorized, unless otherwise prohibited by any applicable law, for the purposes of:
- performing work at the place of business in order to comply with any applicable law;
- allowing for inspections, maintenance and repairs to be carried out at the place of business;
- allowing for security services to be provided at the place of business; and
- attending at the place of business temporarily,
- to deal with other critical matters relating to the closure or reopening of the place of business, if the critical matters cannot be attended to remotely; or
- to access materials, goods or supplies that may be necessary for the business to be operated remotely.
None of the above precludes a business from operating remotely, without persons attending at the workplace premises referred to in this Order.
Every worker shall comply with the requirements set out in the Class Order, Section C.
If a workplace closure, or shift or work area mass dismissal is required in accordance with this Order, all workers who are identified by Hamilton Public Health Services or who are identified by an owner or operator or occupier of a workplace who is following Hamilton Public Health Services instructions, must self-isolate as follows:
- COVID-19 positive workers must confine themselves to their home or isolation facility, and await further instructions from Hamilton Public Health Services, and isolate themselves from others, until they have complied with the criteria issued by Hamilton Public Health Services, or are specifically advised by Hamilton Public Health Services that they are permitted to leave their home/isolation facility, or unless they require emergency medical attention.
- Workers who have been identified as a close contact must remain in self-isolation for 14 calendar days from their last exposure to a COVID-19 positive person.
- Workers who are or become symptomatic:
- If tested, must remain in self-isolation until they receive a negative test result, have no fever and their symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours. If they receive a positive result, they are then subject to the Order as a person described in 4.1(a) above.
- If not tested, must remain in self-isolation until both the expiry of a 10-day period that begins on the day on which they show symptoms, and until they have no fever and their symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.
- Workers who have been physically attending a workplace premises which comes under closure notice, who are not symptomatic, may be directed by Hamilton Public Health Services to self-isolate for a period of 10 calendar days or for such time as the workplace premises is closed.
Workers of a closed workplace premises shall not work in another workplace during their period of isolation.
- Symptomatic workers should get tested as soon as possible from the date of onset of symptoms.
- Workers who test positive for COVID-19 shall notify their employer immediately.
- Asymptomatic workers are encouraged to seek testing.
Testing is not required to re-open the workplace premises or for a worker to return to work if they are asymptomatic and medical notes are not required for a worker that has completed their isolation period to return to work.
Workplaces that fail to comply with the order may be liable for a fine of up to $5,000 and a corporation may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000, each for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.
Employers should be aware that:
- Businesses may still operate remotely, without persons attending the workplace premises.
- Temporary access to a closed workplace is permitted in certain situations (see above).
- Testing is not required to re-open the workplace premises or for a worker to return to work if they are asymptomatic.
- Disclosure of the names of all affected businesses will be published on our website while they are closed and removed once the closure is over.
- Employers required to close under these provisions are strongly recommended to provide paid leave for impacted employees.
- Failure to comply may result in fines as outlined in the Order.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can I contact if I have questions about the Class Order?
You can contact Public Health:
Email: [email protected]
COVID-19 Hotline: 905-974-9848
Under what authority did Hamilton Public Health Services issue a class order related to workplaces?
The Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) authorizes the Medical Officer of Health to issue a class order to address the risks presented by the potential spread of COVID-19 to residents of Hamilton.
Why did the Medical Officer of Health issue this class order?
This class order was issued as a result of the continued increase in the numbers of people contracting COVID-19 in Hamilton. The class order strengthens Hamilton Public Health’s ability to reduce the loss of life from COVID-19, and preserve and protect the capacity of our health care system to respond and to provide care for those who need it. It also underscores how important it is for each resident to protect our community and save lives from COVID-19. While the vast majority of workplaces are compliant with instructions from public health authorities to address cases of COVID-19 in the workplace, there are workplaces who do not take their responsibilities seriously enough or do not cooperate with Hamilton Public Health during workplace investigations. This class order is a legal tool to help ensure that all workplaces follow the measures required to protect employees.
What should I do if I am concerned that a workplace is not following the order?
Hamilton Public Health Services is responsible for following up on concerns of non-compliance with the order. To report an issue, please call Hamilton Public Health Services at 905-974-9848.
Can a workplace challenge the order?
Individuals identified in the class order may challenge the order by appealing to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board. Visit the Health Services Appeal and Review Board website for contact information.
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