canada post retirement party

Canada Post retirement party may have had something to do with COVID outbreak

There may be some connection between a Canada Post retirement party held at a Mississauga facility and a subsequent COVID-19 outbreak that caused dozens of employees to have to self-isolate.

A portion of the Gateway West location near Eglinton Ave. E. and Dixie Road was shut down by local health authorities just over a week ago, as per new guidelines for workplace outbreaks, after 12 staffers were diagnosed over the course of the preceding seven days.

Approximately 90 workers from the facility's Exchange Office were sent home as a result.

Though outbreaks in workplaces that remain open amid lockdown have been unfortunately common, it has now been revealed that staff hosted a social gathering in the facility on April 9.

At least 13 people, some masked and some unmasked, were photographed at the retirement party, which one attendee told Global News on Wednesday is just one of multiple health and safety violations that management has turned "a blind eye" to during the health crisis.

The entire province is, of course, under a full shutdown and stay-at-home order during which private indoor gatherings are completely banned, and outdoor gatherings are limited to only those who live in the same household.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie spoke about the incident during a press conference yesterday, expressing her disappointment and calling it "incredibly irresponsible" and "shocking" behaviour.

This notably isn't the first time this location in particular has had an outbreak — one employee actually died from the virus in January after he and 120 of his coworkers came down with COVID-19 due to workplace spread in a separate area of the warehouse.

Peel Public Health is now investigating the gathering, while Canada Post — which has halted mail service to buildings where delivery personnel feel unsafe due to a lack of mask-wearing among tenants — has issued a statement to media calling it "an unfortunate and isolated incident."

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