24 June 2020 – On-site testing and support for agriculture and agri-food sectors

Type of Intervention: Regulation, Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Health, Private Sector and Businesses
Intervention Categories: Planning and strategy
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development; Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams

Overview: The Ontario government is implementing a three-point plan to reduce risk of transmission on farms and in the community in the Windsor-Essex region due to recent outbreaks in the area, especially in agriculture and agri-food sectors. The region is lagging behind the rest of the province in terms of reopening, as they are unable to enter Stage 2 due to the higher risk posed by COVID-19 in that area. The three point plan includes: ongoing, expanded on-site testing at farms to reduce potential spread of the virus, access to employment benefits for temporary foreign workers, and new public health guidance issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health. This guidance allows COVID-19-positive, asymptomatic workers to continue working on farms as long as public health measures are followed to reduce the risk of transmission. This intends to provide clarity and assurance that public health officials will develop a plan to ensure essential workers in the sector can return to work safely and meet operational needs for the business.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/06/ontario-takes-immediate-action-to-stop-covid-19-outbreaks-in-windsor-essex.html

Other links: 1 2 3
Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group
Source of Evidence or Justification: Sub-national, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health
Evidence/Justification: This three-point plan was developed in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials. Most specifically, the public health guidance point of the plan was issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and follows that public health officials will maintain their role in assisting with test interpretation and return-to-work plan development specifically for this region and the agriculture and agri-food sector. It is also noted that the Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health experts will continue their monitoring of the evolving COVID-19 situation throughout the province.