An Amazon facility in Brampton must close and all employees must self-isolate for 14 days from midnight on Saturday amid a COVID-19 outbreak, Peel Public Health told Friday, “The latest investigation into the public Health has shown that a high risk of COVID-19 cannot be ruled out for all Amazon Heritage employees. In recent weeks, the rate of COVID-19 infections in Peel has decreased, while the rate at this facility has increased significantly, ” so dr Lawrence Loh read Friday

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Coronavirus: Mayors of the Peel Region are calling for the move to the red zone in the province’s color-coded frame

All employees at the facility at 8050 Heritage Road must register by Jan. March self-isolate unless “they have tested positive in the past 90 days and completed their isolation period according to public health instructions,” it continues

The health unit said it worked closely with Amazon to contain the outbreak, which began in October and has since been linked to more than 600 cases, nearly half of which have occurred in the past few weeks as the closure would Also allow the company to make “additional operational changes” recommended by the health unit to help prevent future outbreaks, Loh said

“There is evidence that these cases are actually spreading outside of the previously identified clusters,” he said

Several of the recently found cases involved more contagious variants of COVID-19, although these are not believed to be a major driver of transmission, Loh said

“This Amazon facility is in a vulnerable community and employs thousands of people,” Loh said. “Immediate action must be taken to protect these essential workers and the community in which they live”

The decision was difficult, but necessary to prevent the outbreak from spreading further in both the facility and the community, “said Loh

“The basic workforce remains the backbone of our community, and I continue to urge both employers and policymakers to provide paid sick leave to everyone affected by COVID-19,” he said

Loh said his public health department has asked Amazon to provide workers with all the resources they need to properly isolate themselves, including paid vacation

An Amazon Canada spokesperson argued that the risk of contracting the virus at the facility was low, saying that a recent round of testing came back with a positivity rate of less than one percent

“We don’t believe the data will support this closure and we will appeal this decision,” said Dave Bauer in an email. “This closure may have short-term effects on our Canadian customers, but we will work on it to recover as soon as possible ”

The news comes two days after Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown urged the province to ease restrictions in the Peel Region

Both mayors have loudly expressed their wish that the region will move from the gray exclusion zone to the red zone within the color-coded frame of the province

Crombie previously said she has asked Premier Doug Ford and Loh to bring Mississauga to the red level so that gyms can reopen with capacity constraints and indoor restaurants and personal care services can also be reopened with constraints

Meanwhile, Brampton City Council voted on Wednesday to ask the province to move the Peel region to the red zone as soon as possible

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World News – CA – Brampton Amazon facility must close, workers must self-isolate in the event of an outbreak: Peel Public Health