OHS Canada Magazine

B.C.’s public health officer urges businesses to ensure proper measures in place

Employees should be screened daily, meet virtually as much as possible


October 9, 2020
By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
Categories
Health & Safety

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s provincial health officer is urging businesses to ensure they are in compliance with health and safety standards to protect employees from COVID-19.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says public health teams would provide guidance if a worker contracts the illness but it’s up to businesses to make it easy for anyone who is unwell to stay away.

Henry says employees should be screened daily, tracked for where they’re working and who they’re with, and meet virtually as much as possible.

She says businesses should contact WorkSafeBC with any concerns about what is expected of them and get guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

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Henry reported 110 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 10,066 cases and one more death, amounting to 245 fatalities from the illness. Fourteen long-term care homes and three acute-care facilities are currently experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19.

Thanksgiving advice

Henry says people wanting to see their loved ones and help staff feed them at long-term care homes on the Thanksgiving weekend should stay away to protect others.

“This virus is very pernicious and when it gets into that environment, it can spread so rapidly,” she says.

“The workers in long-term care, by necessity, need to care for all of the residents in that facility, or at least in their area. If we have one visitor for every single person in there, that increases the risk dramatically and it increases the risk for staff and the residents in that community.”

Henry says the coming respiratory season will mean long-term care homes will need to have enough personal protective equipment to protect staff in case of an uptick in infections.