CK top doc threatens fines to keep agri-sector safe

(Photo courtesy of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent via Facebook)

The Medical Officer of Health for Chatham-Kent is leaving nothing to chance when it comes to local temporary migrant workers.

Dr. David Colby issued a class order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on Wednesday to help enforce COVID-19 self-isolation rules.

The order stated that all owners and/or operators of agricultural operations in Chatham-Kent that employ temporary foreign workers on a casual, permanent, temporary, contract, temporary-help, or another basis must abide by actions listed in the order to protect temporary foreign workers and the community of Chatham-Kent from the spread of COVID-19.

“Based on data available to the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit, I, Dr. David Colby…am of the opinion that there is a high risk of increasing the spread of COVID-19 within agricultural operations in Chatham-Kent,” he said. “The measures specified in this Order are necessary in order to decrease or eliminate the risks to health associated with the COVID-19.”

Colby said the order is in addition to requirements under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and Quarantine Act and orders the following actions:

  • – Ensure that all temporary foreign workers who have arrived in Canada are isolated for 14 days from the date of arrival in Canada
  • – Keep a list of names of all temporary foreign workers scheduled to arrive in Canada, their planned date of arrival, the actual date of arrival, and a plan for isolation of all temporary foreign workers
  • – Ensure that accurate and updated contact information for all workers is available to be produced to the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit within 24 hours of request in support of case management and contact tracing requirements
  • – Ensure that all workers arriving to work from any area where there is community transmission have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to entering or beginning work
  • – Conduct screening once per shift, including asking if workers are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, difficulty breathing, alterations in smell or taste, if they have travelled outside Canada and if they have been in close contact with any persons infected with COVID-19.

More actions to be taken can be found by clicking here.

Failure to comply with the order can result in a fine of up to $5,000 fine for an individual or a maximum fine of $25,000 for a corporation for every day the offence occurs or continues.

CK Public Health also reported on Wednesday that two active cases of COVID-19 have recovered. Chatham-Kent now has seven active cases in self-isolation and no outbreaks.