Toronto sets January date for city workers to return to the office, amid rising COVID-19 cases, Omicron uncertainty
Toronto workers have a few months to go until they can return to the office, but health officials are still waiting on the province to provide guidance on when and under what conditions they can do so.
The city announced Tuesday morning that it will hold off on implementing its own protocols, instead asking the provincial government for more details on when staff can work from home or if they must comply with an employer-mandated sick-leave agreement.
After four days of online consultations, Toronto Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. David McKeown says he’s pleased to have gotten answers.
“Our goal in Toronto has been and always will be to limit the spread of COVID-19 both in the community and in the workplace,” he told reporters Tuesday morning, adding all Ontario governments are working together to provide answers to the city. “That is not easy, that is not quick, but that is our goal for the people of Toronto.”
As of Tuesday morning, Toronto had 45 active and 24 hospital cases of COVID-19, and two deaths.
The city confirmed three new COVID-19 cases at the same time it announced the return date for employees to return to the office.
The city will start to allow staff to work from home in phases, from April 1. City staff will be sent home for a certain amount of time, with the remaining staff scheduled to return to the office by March 2.
The city has said it will send workers home with the same amount and types of information each day they return to the office.
It says it does not anticipate any delays in starting to provide services, adding: “Our goal is to ensure there is as much consistency as possible between what we do and what we don’t.”
Health officials still want to hear more from the province in the coming weeks.
“We are asking that the province provide all the information that they