Quebec sends 1,000 prevention agents to workplaces to boost coronavirus safeguard measures

Quebec is sending teams of prevention agents to offices, retail stores and other worksites to inform employers and workers on health measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The measure, which was announced on Monday by the province’s labour ministry, comes as confinement rules designed to contain COVID-19 are loosened and thousands of people head back to work.

The government is redeploying 1,000 workers from other departments — including the Health and Social Services Ministry and the City of Montreal — to visit workplaces.

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The teams will be deployed across the province, including hard-hit Montreal. They were trained by the province’s workplace health and safety board (CNESST).

As part of the plan, the agents will visit different workplaces or do followups. They will inform people about physical distancing and answer questions on health measures implemented to contain COVID-19.

“This initiative will provide concrete support to employers and workers so that the health standards set by the public health department are respected,” Labour Minister Jean Boulet said in a statement.

The teams will do visits and followups in more than 20 fields, including retail stores, spas and construction companies. The province will continue to send prevention workers to other sectors as they reopen.

Quebec, which leads the country in caseload and deaths attributable to the respiratory illness, is gradually reopening parts of the economy and education sectors.

With files from the Canadian Press

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