Eight workers, along with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd, tested positive for COVID-19 last month, ordering Toronto Public Health to declare a workplace outbreak at Scotiabank Arena and ban the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The outbreak, discovered through rapid antigen testing at the site, forced about 20 housekeeping and event staff to self-isolate from 21 April. Healthy employees can return to work on Wednesday 5 May. No area of the building was ever closed.
In a statement, the MLSE stated that “with pay leave provisions supporting staff needed to disassociate themselves from this closure or influence and mandate on-site COVID-19 to ensure the safety of ongoing employees Continues to use rapid testing. ” Operation at the venue. “
The outbreak occurred when the Leafs were on a road trip outside the West, which began with a two-game stand against the Vancouver Canucks, who were back through the team to play after COVID-19 and ice it Was kept for more than three weeks.
The outbreak MLSE landed on the list of the city’s most recently released workplace outbreaks. Under provincial health law, Toronto health officials Allene de Villa can issue what is known as a Section 22 order to prohibit operations at a workplace. Such an order may be, partially or completely, a workplace with five or more connected cases of COVID-19 or other evidence of transmission.
The ban under Section 22 usually lasts for at least two weeks.
Dr. De Villa took power of Section 22 in late April and the city enforced it in 20 workplaces. These range from car dealerships to fast-food restaurants, construction companies to furniture makers. MLSE is the only sports-related business to be included in the list.
The MLSE has been conducting essentially rapid trials for all three visitors to the Scottishbank Arena for almost three months, including staff and media covering the Leaf Games. Testing is also in place at other MLSE locations, including a training facility for Toronto FC, where an MLSE spokesman said the test had replaced a different positive case.
Although rapid testing is less accurate than lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with false negatives in up to 30 percent of cases, it is considered an important tool in the arsenal for arresting viruses, especially in those locations. But where a large number of people can gather.
“Testing protocols have been very important in the whole process of keeping people safe, and when a positive test is identified, to include it and trace all contacts, to make sure everyone stays safe Is. Itself, but also keeps the community safe, “said Dave Haggith, senior director of communications for MLSE.
Scotiabank Arena is also usually home to the Toronto Raptors, but that team was forced to play their home game in Tampa this season, while the Canada-US border is closed, as Toronto to start the Blue Jays His operations were forced to form the basis of this season in Dunedin, Fla. Seven Canadian NHL teams are playing the regular season period, which ends next week, and the single-Canadian division has the first two playoff rounds. With the prospect of an out-of-Canada ban likely to remain for the foreseeable future, it is not yet known whether a team coming out of the Canadian group will see an American team in a conference final during the upcoming playoffs Will face off against – or where it can play its home games during the Stanley Cup Finals, should it make it yet.