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York orders contact lists for social gatherings at private residences, businesses

Social gatherings at private residences and all commercial estabilishments must keep track of attendee names, phone numbers under new public health order
2021 01 17 COVID-19 enforcement task force

People hosting gatherings in private residences or commercial establishments must now keep contact tracing lists under a new order from York Region Public Health.

The order will require anyone who hosts a social gathering in those places to keep a list with names and phone numbers to provide to York Region upon request. The order will go into effect tomorrow, Sept. 4, and is beyond the province’s requirements mandating tracing lists for a select number of establishments like event spaces, restaurants, recreation centres and casinos.

Failing to comply with the order could result in fines of up to $5,000 for each day the offence occurs. The region said earlier this week that it was considering such an order to manage the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant.

“These actions are deemed necessary after several instances of non-cooperation or delayed in the furnishing of the information, resulting in more people being infected unnecessarily," York medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji said. 

In a separate amendment for its order on self-isolation, York Region Public Health is also now requiring people who are people who have a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis to provide information about who they may have been in contact with to York Region, within 24 hours of request. 

Both orders are under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. The gathering order also states people must provide any other information requested about gatherings for COVID-19 case management. People must also ensure their gatherings follow public health regulations. 

The move comes as COVID-19 cases are rising across the province and within York Region. York also faced contact tracing challenges with a Markham basketball tournament in August, with organizers fined for failing to keep a proper list of attendees. 

Full details of the orders are available on the regional website