COVID-19 business inspections coming December 3-5

·1 min read

CORNWALL – Helping businesses stay safe and open is the goal of a provincial COVID-19 education and enforcement campaign for businesses that will happen in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region later this week.

The “multi-ministerial” team from the provincial government will be working with the EOHU to visit local businesses, conduct assessments, and promote health and safety requirements needed according to the COVID-19 Response Framework.

The visits are prescribed under the Reopening Ontario Act passed earlier this year.

“The aim of the campaign is to ensure that workplaces have the resources and information they need to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said a release from the EOHU.

“EOHU public health staff, in collaboration with local enforcement partners, have been working diligently with businesses in our region to help ensure they can operate safely and protect their workers and customers,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health for the EOHU. “We know many businesses have made enormous efforts but still need some assistance. We’re pleased that the provincial campaign coming in early-December will provide added support.”

The visits will see officers assess business owners and provide guidance on how to fix any compliance issues. While the goal of the campaign is to educate, officers do have the power to deal with infractions with fines and other measures.

The inspection blitz began in early November in Peel Region with 350 businesses visited. Most of the infractions dealt with improper mask wearing, or a lack of screening measures in place.

If charges are warranted, a person or a business can be fined $750 for an offence, up to a maximum fine of $100,000 for a prosecuted offence.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader