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Health department cracks down on big box, grocery stores

Public Health inspectors visited 53 big box and grocery stores in Durham this past weekend as part of a provincial enforcement blitz to ensure compliance with COVID-19 public health measures.

Durham Region Health Department completed 21 of the inspections and issued six warning letters. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development issued three tickets and three occupational health and safety orders. Warnings, orders or tickets were issued for non-compliance with various public health measures, such as having a safety plan, active staff screening, proper use of masks or face coverings, and proper cleaning and disinfection.

Durham Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Kyle says public health inspectors and tobacco enforcement officers have been working throughout the pandemic to ensure compliance with public health measures, noting they continue to respond to complaints, conduct inspections, and educate business owners, operators and staff on the actions required to comply with regulations, instructions and public health advice.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic’s second wave last September, public health inspectors have responded to over 4,700 inquiries and complaints related to lack of compliance with COVID-19 public health measures,” says Kyle. “Staying informed will help ensure compliance and continues to be of upmost importance as we all work together to fight COVID-19.”

According to the region, inspections of big box stores and grocery stores will be ongoing.