Regional public health officials are hoping to stop significant workplace outbreaks in their tracks by catching the symptoms early.
They have tightened the criteria for when they can disclose outbreaks at a workplace, facility and event.
Effective Friday, Region of Waterloo Public Health will be disclosing cases at a workplace of 10 or more people if at least five workers test positive for COVID-19.
This new protocol will also apply to other congregate care settings in Waterloo Region.
"We expect that outbreaks will continue to occur, but the size and scope of the outbreaks should be better controlled due to ample availability of vaccine, ability for workplaces to enact vaccination policies, and strong infection prevention and control requirements," said Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang.
There will be exceptions made in the scenario that disclosing an outbreak will lead to "significant privacy concerns".
For more significant outbreaks -- when 25 or more workers are sick, public health promises to provide weekly updates on how many cases have been resolved.
The new rules, affecting any workplace of ten or more with at least five sick people, will not affect LTCs, retirement homes, schools, or child care facilities.
Before the Friday announcement, public health officials would only report outbreaks if there were fifteen or more cases with at least a 15 per cent positivity rate among staff and patrons, and at least 20 employees or patrons in the workplace or facility.