deciem covid

Toronto reports significant COVID-19 outbreak at cult beauty brand DECIEM

One of the most-successful skincare brands ever to come out of Toronto, if not Canada, has been outed by public health officials as a COVID-19 hotspot that currently poses a "significant public health risk."

DECIEM — lovingly billed as the "abnormal beauty company" since its inception in 2013 — is one of the first-ever brands named by the City of Toronto in its new database of workplaces with active coronavirus outbreaks.

Unveiled yesterday, the city's list will be updated every Thursday and only features three companies to date: DECIEM, Sofina Foods Inc. and TTM Technologies Inc.

No specific details have been provided by the city for any of the workplaces named — not even precise locations for where the outbreaks ocurred.

In the case of DECIEM, which did not return a request for comment, the outbreak could be centered on any of six retail stores around the city, or around the company's head office in Toronto's Liberty Village.

The fast-growing brand currently boasts more than 1,000 employees across 35 stores worldwide as well as its headquarters.

Widely praised for its affordable and innovative skincare lines, which include The Ordinary, NIOD, and Hylamide, DECIEM has emerged in recent years as a major power player on the beauty scene in Canada and beyond.

This, despite years of corporate weirdness and sporadic shutdowns preceding the tragic death of eccentric founder Brandon Truaxe in early 2019.

All DECIEM stores in Toronto have been closed to the public since late November, when Ontario put the region into full lockdown mode amid spiking cases of COVID-19.

All local retail locations were open for in-store pickup prior to Dec. 24, but are now listed as "temporarily closed." It is not clear if this has anything to do with the current provincewide shutdown, which does still permit in-store pickup and delivery,

Only three DECIEM stores are currently open in Canada, all of them in Vancouver, while dozens remain open across the U.S., Australia, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Customers can still purchase DECIEM products online, but the company itself warns that "you may experience longer than normal transit times for your order."

A dedicated COVID-19 updates page on the brand's website makes no mention of any outbreaks. It does, however, assure customers that packages are safe to open as "all employees continue to wear gloves when handling product and shipments."

"We are following all recommendations from public health agencies and have been educating employees on hand-washing, hand-sanitizing, and social distancing measures in the workplace and at home," reads the site.

"For several weeks, we have been actively protecting symptomatic employees and the workplace by sending them home (with pay) to recover."

It is not clear which workplace the brand is referring to with the sentence above, but based on the city's new registry of active outbreaks, at least one Toronto location seems likely.

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