Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)

Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)

Check your workplace COVID-19 safety plans, Dr. Henry urges

Masks in public spaces, distance in lunchrooms for winter

B.C.’s steep rise in COVID-19 infections is largely a result of social gatherings such as weddings, funerals and parties, but virus contacts spread out to workplaces, schools and senior homes, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

After daily positive tests jumped to more than 300 over the weekend, Henry imposed a new order limiting house guests to no more than a family’s “safe six,” advised against Halloween parties and recommended non-medical masks be worn in all public places as B.C. heads into winter.

“As part of this, I’m asking businesses to review your COVID-19 safety plans with this in mind,” Henry said Oct. 26. “If your employees are in a high-traffic area or amongst many people outside of your household while at work, a mask can help protect you and those around you. And we need to wear them as we are going into this season.

“Please also ensure that appropriate protocols are in place in lunchrooms and other spots where people would normally gather because those are also areas where we now see people transmitting this virus to each other.”

WorkSafeBC inspects work places for compliance with public health orders, gives advice to employers and takes questions and reports of possible violations. As of mid-October, WorkSafeBC has conducted more than 17,000 COVID-19 related inspections, with nearly 7,000 of those on service locations such as hotels, restaurants, gyms, hospitals, schools, real estate and hair salons.

The next highest categories for inspections are retail sales operations such as supermarkets and service stations, and construction activities.

RELATED: B.C. shatters COVID-19 record with 817 weekend cases

RELATED: Chilliwack school closes for a week due to infections

“What we are seeing in some work places is the carpooling, the sitting together in the lunch room or having a coffee together and we may need to look at how we do that in a certain businesses and maybe the room where everybody goes to have lunch is too small and we need to find additional spaces for people to be able to keep their safe distance during those times in the workplace,” Henry said.

“In terms of schools, the masking policy we have in schools, particularly for older students, making sure we are all wearing masks when we are in the common areas and, yes, we do need to pay attention to staff, teachers, educators who are also either carpooling to work together, having breaks together, having meetings together.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heating cable laid in the cold frame, awaiting the layer of sand. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Greenhouse growing in the winter

I have a heating cable I’ve never used that I’m contemplating putting to work in the cold frame

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: If you don’t have anything nice to say…

Dear Sarah, the letter began. I hope you mail a note from… Continue reading

Bhagwan Mayer. (Photo submitted)
Organizer of transporting the World’s Largest Hockey Stick to Cowichan remembered

Bhagwan Mayer a “hard-working fellow who cared about his community.”

Paula Foot narrates a collection of stories to appeal to the imaginations of the young and young at heart with a new album​ ‘Moments with Miss Paula: Stories for Fall and Winter’. (Submitted)
New album of stories from Cowichan storyteller offers children a world of magic

The stories will appeal to six-, seven-, and eight-year-olds

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read