Three employees at Eglinton Crosstown work site infected with COVID-19
Construction crews are shown working on the Eglinton Crosstown near Bathurst Street and Eglinton Avenue.
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, March 25, 2020 9:41AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 25, 2020 1:31PM EDT
One of the Eglinton Crosstown project’s work sites has been shut down after three workers tested positive for COVID-19, officials confirm.
Crosslinx Transit Solutions, the consortium tasked with building the LRT, confirmed to CP24 that the employees worked in the office at the West Portal site, located near Black Creek Drive and Eglinton Avenue.
One employee is confirmed to have the virus and two others are presumptive positive but are waiting for official confirmation from the national lab in Winnipeg.
“Our thoughts are with the workers and their families,” Crosslinx said in a statement emailed to CP24. “The site office has been closed for deep cleaning. It’s expected to reopen next Monday.”
Crosslinx said it is notifying all people who may have been in contact with the infected workers and providing them with Toronto Public Health’s self-assessment tool. They are also been advised to speak with their health care provider.
The team who worked with the three infected workers will not be working for the next 14 days, Crosslinx added.
Anne Marie Aikins, a spokesperson for Metrolinx, Ontario’s provincial transit agency, said there is a “clear expectation” with all of their contractors at all construction sites that measures are taken to ensure the health and safety of workers.
These measures, Aikins said, include health checks with employees before they begin work, such as temperature checks, strategies to maintain social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing work sites, adequate handwashing facilities and hand sanitizers at sites, and making it clear that workers should stay home if they are not feeling well.
Staff must also stay in self-isolation for 14 days after travel, Aikins added.
In recent months, the $5.3B project has fallen behind schedule. In February, Metrolinx’s CEO confirmed that the 19-kilometre rapid transit line would not meet its target to open by September 2021. He instead suggested it would now likely open sometime in 2022.
Construction projects like Crosstown are considered “essential” in the Ford government’s latest emergency declaration and thus can remain operational.
It is not clear what impact the pandemic is having on the project’s overall timeline.