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Ontario adds forest products suppliers to essential workplaces list


March 24, 2020
By Kristina Urquhart

Ontario companies that ensure the global supply of forest products are considered essential workplaces and will be permitted by the province to stay open during widespread closures that are designed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes suppliers of pulp and paper, lumber, wood fuel and other forest products.

Yesterday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that non-essential businesses would be forced to temporarily close for at least two weeks to increase social distancing and reduce the amount of people in public.

Ontario reported 78 new COVID-19 cases on Monday morning, which bumps total for the province to 503.

Supply chain businesses – those that supply other essential businesses or essential services with the support, supplies, systems or services, including processing, packaging, distribution, delivery and maintenance necessary to operate – will also be permitted to stay open.

Businesses that will stay open are asked to establish protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.

What else is an essential business versus a non-essential business? Read the Ontario government’s comprehensive list of essential workplaces.

At-risk workplaces will be ordered to close by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 and where possible, take the necessary measures so staff can work from home allowing operations to continue.