Huron Perth Public Health issues class order: employers of migrant workers

Farm workers are an essential part of our food supply chain and in recent weeks we have seen COVID-19 transmission and outbreaks occurring on farms in other parts of the province.

In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread within farms who employ Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) or migrant workers, in Huron and Perth counties, Dr. Miriam Klassen, Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health has issued a Section 22 order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. 

This order applies to all Huron and Perth farm owners, operators and temporary help agencies who employ migrant workers, including TFWs.

“Proper self-isolation and public health measures were already part of public health guidance provided to owners and operators,” says Dr. Klassen. “This order does not come as a result of issues identified with our farms, but rather serves as a legal mechanism to ensure the health and safety of workers is protected and HPPH guidance is followed.”

“The Chief Medical Officer of Health has recommended medical officers of health consider issuing a Section 22 as a legal mechanism to ensure that we are all doing everything we can to protect the health and wellbeing of TFW or migrant workers, and Huron-Perth residents.”

The order requires employers of migrant workers, including those in the Temporary Foreign Worker program, to follow any direction provided to them by Huron Perth Public Health, including:

  • Ensuring employees self-isolate as necessary, with proper supports in place.
  • Ensuring employees work exclusively in one workplace.
  • Ensuring public health measures are followed on the work site.
  • Ensuring that contact information is available, and that employees are able to communicate with HPPH if case and contact management is required.
  • Cooperation with HPPH staff where positive or suspect cases of COVID-19 are identified.

Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act authorizes the Medical Officer of Health to issue a class order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to address the risks presented by the potential spread of communicable diseases. This includes the potential spread of COVID-19 to Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) or migrant workers residing and working in Huron and Perth counties.

The order is effective from 12 p.m., Tuesday, June 30 and will remain in effect until the Medical Officer of Health determines it is no longer required.

For a complete list of requirements, please visit www.hpph.ca/TFW to see the complete order.

As of June 30, there are 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Huron and Perth. There are currently no outbreaks in any facilities.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit www.hpph.ca/coronavirus