14 workers at Richmond Hill Home Depot test positive for COVID-19
The Home Depot on Red Maple Drive in Richmond Hill is shown in an undated Google Streetview image.
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, June 16, 2020 10:20AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 16, 2020 7:39PM EDT
More than a dozen employees at a Home Depot location in Richmond Hill have tested positive for COVID-19.
A spokesperson for Home Depot Canada says that 14 associates at its store located at 50 Red Maple Drive have tested positive for the virus and are currently “in quarantine.”
The store remains open.
“We’ve taken additional steps to close the store overnight for deep cleaning,” Home Depot Canada spokesperson Paul Berto said in a written statement provided to CP24. “We’ve also adjusted hours to provide more time for cleaning and sanitizing.”
He said there have been multiple overnight cleanings at the store over the past two weeks, the last of which was conducted on June 12.
On Tuesday, York Region Public Health said that it has “conducted risk assessments on the activities” of the infected individuals while at work and believes the risk to public is low.
They are, however, advising anyone who shopped at the store between May 30 and June 9 and had close interactions with staff lasting more than 10 minutes to self-monitor for the symptoms.
They are also advising all employees at the store to get tested for COVID-19 at an assessment centre as a precaution.
“We are following up with the close contacts of these COVID-19 confirmed cases. In addition, we are conducting a follow-up inspection of the facility to review and reinforce infection prevention and control measures, physical distancing of employees and customers and reaffirming the importance of employees not working while ill,” a message posted to York Region Public Health’s website states.
Premier Doug Ford said he had heard of the outbreak at the store and offered the company assistance from the province if necessary.
“I saw the news and I will be reaching out to the president of Home Depot Canada, speaking to him and making sure that if he needs any support from our government we'll give him support,” Ford said.
Asked if the province should compel everyone inside stores to wear masks at all times, Health Minister Christine Elliott said she would leave that decision up to individual retailers.
“A number of retailers have decided that they want masks to be worn if people want to enter and that's the retailers right to do that so it's not mandatory, it's recommended, again when physical distancing can't be achieved."