Toronto sets January date for city workers to return to the office, amid rising COVID-19 cases, Omicron uncertainty
Toronto is set to begin a return to work plan for city employees, as the city struggles with the increasing pandemic coronavirus cases, increasing concern over a shortage of personal protective equipment, and uncertainty about how soon the city will return to full operations.
While it is unclear when, or even if, Toronto will be able to reopen the city during the current pandemic, the city government is already moving forward with a series of plans and initiatives to ensure the long-term health and safety of the city.
While the city is waiting to see how many people eventually test positive for COVID-19, the city is also preparing plans to quickly identify and quarantine anyone who has visited any COVID-19-related hotspots.
An example of the city’s plan to monitor people and make quarantine announcements in order to protect the health of city workers:
To ensure transparency, city officials on Thursday released a spreadsheet mapping out where people living in Toronto have tested positive for COVID-19.
The city is also planning to issue a comprehensive list to all workers who have been on leave since March, which will help identify anyone who is on sick leave and is at risk of becoming infected.
The city expects the list to be issued by early next week, and will give out the full list for free download on January 20.
To prepare for the list’s release, the city is working with Toronto Public Health to identify the location of all potential hot-spot areas, and will use this information to build a map and plan the quarantine process.
“It’s critical that Toronto’s COVID-19 response be made as efficient and effective as possible: in the early testing, quarantine and social distancing measures that can be put in place; in the implementation of those measures; and in getting people back to work quickly when possible,” said Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Barbara Yaffe.