COVID-19

We are providing the following page related to the current status here and globally on the COVID-19 virus and best practices to reduce the spread of the disease. This information, primarily from the World Health Organization, Public Health Agency of Canada and B.C. Centre for Disease Control, may be useful to inform your employees, customers and partners about what they can do.

Updated: April 7, 2020

Today is World Health Day

GLOBAL STATUS

  • The World Health Organization has classified the COVID 19 risk assessment to be very high with more than 1,362,936 reported cases of COVID-19 globally in 183 countries and territories.
  • Over 64,373 people have lost their lives.
  • The U.S., Spain, Italy, Germany and France have each surpassed the number of reported cases in China. 

CANADA & BRITISH COLUMBIA STATUS

  • Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians aged 65 and over; with compromised immune systems; and with underlying medical conditions. There are also increased risks for Canadians who have travelled abroad.
  • In Canada, there are more than 16,667 confirmed cases
  • 1,266 confirmed cases in B.C.
  • 1,348 confirmed cases in Alberta
  • 4,347 confirmed cases in Ontario 
  • 8,580 confirmed cases in Quebec
  • 323 people have died of COVID-19
  • The trend has shifted from Canadians acquiring the virus as a result of traveling to community transmission.

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

Minimize exposure to yourself, your employees and the greater community. COVID-19 causes more severe illness than flu. At this time, there aren't any vaccines or specific antiviral medicines to prevent or treat the disease which is why we must do everything we can to contain it. Experts recommend a comprehensive approach:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid others who are unwell
  • Stay home when you are unwell
  • Contact your health-care provider ahead of time so you can be safely assessed. Wear a mask to protect others.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel
  • Self-isolate for 14 days after traveling outside of Canada
  • Consider work from home arrangements
  • Practice social distancing (maintain 2m distance from others, forgo handshakes and other social greetings, avoid crowds and gatherings)
  • Stay up to date and comply with the advice of local health authorities

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

COVID-19 B.C. Support App

The B.C. Ministry of Health strongly urges anyone who has symptoms - including a fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficulty breathing - to self-isolate for 14 days.

For more information on COVID-19, refer to HealthLink B.C.'s COVID-19 website.

If you are unsure about your symptoms or have questions or concerns, contact HealthLinkBC (8-1-1) at any time.

The province has created a phone service to provide non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30 am - 8 pm at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 604-630-0300.

HEALTH SOURCES & RESOURCES

BUSINESS RESOURCES

Province of B.C. - List of COVID-19 Essential Services 

COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

CALL TO ACTION: Canadian manufactures needed to help meet the need for medical supplies

Support to businesses

Avoiding layoffs

Access to credit

Support for farmers

Supporting financial stability

More flexibility

Support for individuals

Support for individuals and families

Support for people facing unemployment

Support for people who are sick, quarantined, or in directed self-isolation

Support for people who are unable to work

BCBC MEMBERS PROVIDING RESOURCES/EXPERTISE

Air CanadaDeloitte
Norton Rose Fulbright
Asia Pacific Foundation of CanadaEmily Carr University of Art and DesignPacific Blue Cross
Association for Mineral Exploration British ColumbiaErnst & YoungPrince Rupert Port Authority
BC Hydro & Power AuthorityFaskenPwC Management Services
BC Public School Employers Association
FinningRBC Royal Bank
Bell
GlaxoSmithKlineRio Tinto
Bennett JonesGlobal Public AffairsRogers Communications
Blake, Cassels & GraydonGreater Vancouver Board of TradeRoper Greyell
Borden Ladner GervaisHarris & CompanyRoyal Roads University
British Columbia Chamber of Commerce
HSBC BankSimon Fraser University
British Columbia Construction Association
ICBA (Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C.)TD Bank
British Columbia Institute of Technology
ICBCTELUS
Caldwell PartnersInnovative MedicinesTerramera
Canadian Western BankJustice Institute of British ColumbiaThe Conference Board of Canada
Capilano UniversityKorn/Ferry International
Tourism Vancouver
Capital Regional DistrictKPMGTransLink
Catalyst Paper
Langara CollegeUniversity of British Columbia
Central 1 Credit Union
Lawson LundellUniversity of Northern British Columbia
CIBC
Lifelabs
University of Victoria
Clark Wilson
LifeSciences B.C.
Vancity Credit Union
Coast Capital Savings
London DrugsVancouver Airport Authority
Concentra Bank
Marsh Canada LimitedVancouver Community College
Conseil Du Patronat Du Quebec
McCarthy TetraultVancouver Island University
Corix
Mercer InternationalVancouver Public Library
CPABC
MNPWorkSafe

Northeastern University

KEY PUBLIC HEALTH SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS

WORKPLACE PREPAREDNESS PRACTICES

  • Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic; surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly
  • Put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled
  • Display posters promoting hand-washing – ask your local public health authority for these or look on www.WHO.int.
  • Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefings at meetings and information on the intranet to promote hand-washing
  • Make sure that staff, contractors and customers have access to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water
  • Brief your employees, contractors and customers that anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3 C or more) needs to stay at home
  • Develop a plan of what to do if someone becomes ill with suspected COVID-19 at one of your workplaces
  • Clearly communicate your policies around sick time
  • Develop a contingency and business continuity plan for an outbreak in the communities where your business operates
  • Businesses or operations that require front line retail and service personnel or that operate plant, construction and field operations are taking steps to protect their employees, customers and contractors while maintaining business operations as best as possible, including use of shift rotations, requiring higher on-site or camp sanitization, improved hygiene and proximity protocols within safety requirements and customer needs.
  • Many firms are encouraging employees to start working from home and telecommute where possible.
  • Many organizations are moving quickly to cancel in person meetings with greater than 25 participants as well as all significant events and unnecessary travel, instead making use of electronic, video and other digital communication platforms.
  • Employers are asking employees to self-declare if they have travelled outside of the country in the last 14 days or are exhibiting symptoms while also offering extended sick day support through self-isolation along with guidance on accessing EI funding if required.
  • The provision of regular, transparent and consistent information to all employees, customers, suppliers and contractors on what is happening, what you know and don’t know and what your policies are.

HOW TO ISOLATE AT HOME WHEN YOU HAVE COVID-19

Isolation means staying at home when you are sick with COVID-19 and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to others in your home and your community. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, it is expected that you take the following measures.

Limit contact with others

  • Do not leave home unless absolutely necessary, such as to seek medical care.
  • Do not go to school, work, other public areas or use public transportation (e.g. buses, taxis).
  • Arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your door to minimize contact.
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, keep at least 2 metres between yourself and the other person. Keep interactions brief and wear a mask.
  • Avoid contact with individuals with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems and older adults.
  • Avoid contact with pets if you live with other people that may also be touching the pet.

    Keep your hands clean

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and dry with disposable paper towels or dry reusable towel, replacing it when it becomes wet.
    • You can also remove dirt with a wet wipe and then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm or into a tissue.

    Avoid contaminating common items and surfaces

    • At least once daily, clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch often, like toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes.
    • Do not share personal items with others, such as toothbrushes, towels, bed linen, utensils or electronic devices.
    • Use regular household disinfectants or diluted bleach (one part bleach and nine parts water) to disinfect.
    • Place contaminated items that cannot be cleaned in a lined container, secure the contents and dispose of them with other household waste.
    • Put the lid of the toilet down before flushing.

    Care for yourself

    • Monitor your symptoms as directed by your healthcare provider or Public Health Authority.
    • If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your healthcare provider or Public Health Authority and follow their instructions.
    • Get some rest, eat a balanced diet, and stay in touch with others through ‘communication devices’.