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KFL&A Public Health directs local restaurant workers to get tested for COVID-19

KFL&A Public Health. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

Due to a rising number of positive COVID-19 cases identified in local restaurant workers, KFL&A Public Health is requesting that all restaurant workers get tested for COVID-19. The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Beechgrove will be able to test restaurant workers in the afternoons on November 19, 20, 21 and 22. Booking an assessment appointment can be done online here.

“In the last two weeks 15 COVID-19 cases have been associated with workers at 10 different Kingston fast food locations,” explained KFL&A Public Health following the notice. “Out of an abundance of caution we recommend restaurant staff get tested. The risk to the public is very low, no customers have been linked to these cases.”

As previously reported, those cases have included several Mcdonalds, Tim Hortons, A&W, and Domino’s Pizza locations.

“If a worker tests positive for COVID-19, please call KFL&A Public Health for the appropriate next steps,” urges KFL&A Public Health in the directive. “The steps include the actions that operators need to take after a positive case in a worker as well as when workers should get tested. Please do not send staff to get tested right away, as the timing when contacts get tested is crucial to having an accurate and representative test,” the instructions continue.

In the release, KFL&A Public Health reminded all restaurant owners that employees must stay home when they have any symptoms of COVID-19, and all workers must participate in active screening before entering the workplace using the Workplace Screening Tool.

Ontario’s new COVID-19 response framework requires that food and drink establishments adhere to the applicable public health measures at each level. According to KFL&A Public Health, some of the recent changes and clarifications to the framework applicable to food and drink establishments include:

1) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirement

PPE is required if staff are providing services within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering indoors, and are not separated by an impermeable barrier (e.g., plexiglass). PPE must protect the eyes, nose, and mouth (goggles or face shields and surgical or procedural masks). Cloth face coverings are not considered PPE.

2) Measures for lineups

Establishments are responsible for ensuring patrons who line up or congregate outside maintain at least 2 metres distance from others, and wear a mask or face covering.

3) Changes to restrictions in operating hours

When KFL&A area is in the green level, establishments may resume regular operating hours and the restrictions on the hours of sale and consumption of liquor no longer apply. Restrictions will apply at yellow, orange, and red levels of the framework.

4) Clarification of outdoor dining definition

The definition of an outdoor dining area has been clarified under O. Reg 364/20(FR).

KFL&A Public Health says that additional public health measures will be coming into effect to mitigate community spread of COVID-19.

Businesses may visit the Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces webpage for more information, or call KFL&A Public Health at 613-549-1232.

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