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Work self-isolation not a good idea: UW prof

Despite being identified as high-risk contacts after a COVID positive case last week, workers at two Toyota plants were allowed to return to work under strict measures
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Work self-isolation.

It's a term you may not have heard until this past weekend, after Toyota workers in Cambridge and Woodstock were identified as high-risk contacts, following the positive COVID-19 test in a third-party worker administering rapid testing at the plants.

Zahid Butt, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, said he only heard the term recently, and isn't a fan.

He said self-isolation should be self-isolation, adding there is a risk of transmission.

He said the problem has to do with logistics, from separate entrances or separate washrooms for those who are high-risk, so they can stay away from others.

"I'm not really sure how that is possible," Butt said.

Region of Waterloo Public Health said work self-isolation is "an option in case and contact management in particular situations, means maintaining self-isolation measures outside of work and following a strict set of protocols at work that includes physical distancing, use of personal protective equipment, heightened screening, testing, minimizing risk related to travel to and from work, and additional infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures for a period of 14 days after a potential exposure."

Public health is also working closely with Toyota to make sure identified contacts going to work are doing so safely.

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