The order requires employers of migrant workers to ensure their workers self-isolate when necessary, ensure public health measures are followed and they must work with HPPH staff where positive or suspect cases of COVID-19 are identified.
HURON/PERTH - Huron Perth Public Health has issued a Section 22 order under the Health and Protection and Promotion Act for all farms with migrant workers.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen issued the order today, effective at noon and it will remain in effect until further notice. The order requires employers of migrant workers, including those in the Temporary Foreign Worker program, to follow any direction provided to them by Huron Perth Public Health, including:
- Ensuring employees self-isolate as necessary, with proper supports in place.
- Ensuring employees work exclusively in one workplace.
- Ensuring public health measures are followed on the work site.
- Ensuring that contact information is available, and that employees are able to communicate with HPPH if case and contact management is required.
- Cooperation with HPPH staff where positive or suspect cases of COVID-19 are identified.
Dr. Klassen says farm workers are an essential part of our food supply chain and in recent weeks we have seen COVID-19 transmission and outbreaks occurring on farms in other parts of the province.
"Proper self-isolation and public health measures were already part of public health guidance provided to owners and operators. This order does not come as a result of issues identified with our farms, but rather serves as a legal mechanism to ensure the health and safety of workers is protected and HPPH guidance is followed. The Chief Medical Officer of Health has recommended medical officers of health consider issuing a Section 22 as a legal mechanism to ensure that we are all doing everything we can to protect the health and wellbeing of TFW or migrant workers, and Huron-Perth residents."
Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act authorizes the Medical Officer of Health to issue a class order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to address the risks presented by the potential spread of communicable diseases. This includes the potential spread of COVID-19 to Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) or migrant workers residing and working in Huron and Perth counties.