Bus service resumes in Brampton after giant Amazon warehouse shut down due to COVID-19 outbreak
A Brampton Transit bus is seen in an undated file image.
TORONTO -- Three bus routes serving industrial areas of west Brampton will resume full service today, a week after they were diverted from the area or shut down entirely due to a COVID-19 outbreak investigation that eventually shut down an Amazon fulfillment centre.
Brampton Transit says the 11 Steeles, 51 Hereford and 511 Züm routes will all return to regular service today.
Last week, all three routes were cancelled or diverted due to a Peel Public Health investigation into the COVID-19 infections of nine bus operators in recent weeks
Mayor Patrick Brown told CP24 at the time one of the operators was in a coma in hospital due to his case.
“Working collaboratively with Peel Public Health in conducting a review, service is returning and there continues to be no additional risk to operators, the public or users of transit beyond the general community transmission risks,” the City of Brampton said Tuesday.
On March 11, Peel Public Health said it had decided to close the Amazon fulfillment centre at 8050 Heritage Road, which was served by the bus routes, due to the detection of more than 200 cases of COIVD-19 among its 5,000+ workers in the last few weeks.
More than 600 cases were found at the facility since Oct. 2020, including 10 that screened positive for a variant of concern.
All workers must now self-isolate until March 27.
Amazon said they would be paid for the self-isolation time but it is not clear whether they will be compensated by the company itself or through the federal Sickness Recovery Benefit.
The gigantic online retailer also said it would challenge the decision to close the facility in the courts.
The Ministry of Labour says it has been at the facility twelve times since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and issued eight orders to rectify issues.
It continues to investigate the outbreak.
Peel Public Health said the decision to reduce bus service in the area was not tied to the outbreak of COVID-19 at the Amazon facility but a source told CP24 the persistent generation of cases at the facility was the reason behind the transit shutdown.