KITCHENER -- Region of Waterloo Public Health officials said they will now name businesses with "significant, active workplace or facility outbreaks."

Names will be disclosed if these criteria are met:

  • Either at least 15 cases with at least 15 per cent positivity in staff and patrons, and at least 20 staff or patrons in the business; or 50 or more cases
  • Sustained transmission within the workplace
  • No significant privacy concerns

Currently, outbreaks are reported by categories, "unless there has been a public health reason to disclose the name of a workplace or facility."

In a news release, officials said this change will come into effect on Wednesday. They said it will help keep people informed about specific outbreaks while maintaining privacy and "preventing unnecessary harm to businesses."

“Outbreaks are a reflection of what we see in the community, as cases increase we also expect to see increases in the number of workplace outbreaks,” Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ryan Van Meer said in the release. “Public health works closely with workplaces and the Ministry of Labour to ensure appropriate infection prevention and control practices are in place. We are implementing this update to our workplace outbreak reporting to keep Waterloo Region informed of significant, active workplace or facility outbreaks.”

Public health will also show an estimated percentage of identified active cases, which will be updated weekly.

Outbreaks that don't meet those criteria will continue to be reported by category, unless there is a reason to disclose the name.