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53 big box, grocery stores inspected in Durham

A total of 53 big box and grocery stores were inspected over January 16 and 17 as part of the provincial enforcement blitz, to ensure compliance with Covid-19 public health measures, according to Durham Health.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Kyle, said the Health Department inspected 21 of these stores and issued six warning letters, while 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.

Public health inspectors were joined by provincial inspectors, as well as local bylaw and police officers, in this initiative to help protect workers and customers in response to rising Covid-19 cases. Inspections focused on ensuring that workers and patrons were wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and following all public health and safety measures.

Throughout the pandemic, public health inspectors and tobacco enforcement officers have been working to ensure compliance with public health measures that will help keep everyone safe. They continue to respond to complaints, conduct inspections and educate business owners, operators and staff on the actions that are required to comply with regulations, instructions and public health advice, said Dr. Kyle in a statement.

“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. Staying informed will help ensure compliance and continues to be of utmost importance as we all work together to fight Covid-19,” he said.

“Inspections of big box and grocery stores will be ongoing, as compliance with public health measures can help prevent further illness spread in our community. Thank you to all local businesses, employees and residents for remaining committed to following public health advice and working hard everyday to keep everyone safe,” he added.

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