First Charges Laid by Peterborough Public Health for Non-Compliance with Proof of Vaccination Requirements
Written by Communications, October 8, 2021
Peterburgers Charged Under the Reopening Ontario Act
Today Peterborough Public Health laid its first charges under the Reopening Ontario Act for failing to comply with proof of vaccination checks against Peterburgers, a restaurant located at 25 George St. North in Peterborough.
“Indoor dining is well-known by this point to be a high-risk activity for spreading COVID-19. That is why limiting it to vaccinated patrons along with other public health measures is critical so these businesses can remain open safely,” stated Donna Churipuy, Director of Public Health Programs and Incident Commander for the local COVID-19 emergency response. “Peterborough Public Health is prepared to enforce proof of vaccination requirements and all other public health measures so that local residents are protected, and sincerely thanks the majority of establishments in our area who are abiding by these measures to keep our community safe.”
Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health confirmed that Peterborough Public Health Inspectors used a progressive enforcement approach at Peterburgers, beginning with education to the operator on Friday, September 24. This was followed by issuing a written warning notice on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. This warning notice was delivered in-person by Public Health Inspectors and discussed with the owners. This warning was further discussed via email correspondence between Peterborough Public Health and the owners. On Friday, October 1, 2021 the owners of the restaurant confirmed their intent to comply during a follow-up inspection.
Ingram advised that due to ongoing public concern and the receipt of additional complaints after October 1, the investigation continued this week. “While we were hopeful that the business would comply, continued investigation this week, confirmed ongoing noncompliance by the establishment. As a result, three charges were issued to the owner of the establishment on Friday, October 8, 2021”, said Ms. Ingram. The charges are under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 and are for failing to confirm proof of vaccination and identification of indoor diners, failing to ensure the use of masking and face coverings in the indoor area, and failing to collect contact information for patrons remaining at the premises to dine.
Peterborough Public Health is working with enforcement partners to continue to monitor this premises and the situation. Addition enforcement action will be taken, if necessary.
“We are all in this together. The more everyone follows all public health measures, the sooner we can control the spread of COVID-19 and avoid another lockdown, a goal we all have,” said Ms. Churipuy. “Unvaccinated residents are becoming the reservoirs for this virus, and until we reach 90% immunity levels, we will need policies like proof of vaccination certificates to limit the chain of transmission in the community.”
Ms. Churipuy noted that according to recent data shared by the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, unvaccinated people have a 7-fold higher risk of symptomatic COVID-19 disease, a 25-fold higher risk of being in the hospital and 60-fold higher risk of being in the ICU compared to the fully vaccinated.
Peterborough Public Health discloses current enforcement actions relating to the Reopening Ontario Act on its website here: https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/your-health/inspections-and-enforcement/reopening-ontario-a-flexible-response-to-covid-19-act-2020/. It can also be found on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca by clicking on the “Inspections” link at the top of the homepage.
Members of the public can report complaints to Peterborough Public Health relating to non-compliance with proof of vaccination requirements or other COVID-19 public health measures online by visiting the “Reporting Complaints” section of its website. Every complaint received is investigated.
For further information, please contact:
705-743-1000, ext. 391