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Thirteen staff members at Toronto quarantine hotel test positive for COVID-19

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TORONTO —
Public health officials have confirmed 13 cases of COVID-19 linked to a hotel in Toronto that is being used as a federal quarantine facility for those entering Canada from abroad.

On Saturday, Toronto Public Health (TPH) confirmed they were investigating the cases at the Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport Hotel, located near Highway 27 and Dixon Road, but the city did not disclose the exact number of those infected at that time.

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa was also tight-lipped when asked about the number of cases Monday while citing privacy concerns and the status of the investigation.

In a news release Tuesday, the city said that all 13 infections are linked to staff members at the hotel who are now following the guidance of TPH.

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Despite the number of cases, the city says the risk remains low because the facility is not open to the public. 

“TPH continues to work with the facility to identify all cases, and with Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to review and ensure appropriate public health and infection prevention control measures are in place,” the city said.

Both TPH and PHAC conducted on-site inspections of the hotel today and found that there is a “strong adherence to public health measures.”

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The city says that it is now working to determine if a partial closure of the hotel is warranted.

Under the Workplace Class Order introduced last month, the city has the power to close any workplace where there are five or more COVID-19 cases reported within a 14-day period.

The city says that the hotel will not be fully closed because it “provides an essential service to keep Torontonians safe.” If a partial closure is ordered, the city says it will post accordingly to its “Active Outbreak” list here.

The Crowne Plaza hotel is one of the 20 government-approved quarantine facilities in the city. International travellers entering Canada must stay at one of the hotels for three nights as they await the result of a COVID-19 test they are required to take upon arrival.

Those with negative test results can continue their 14-day quarantine at home. 

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