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

The total rainfall amount from the two sets of frontal waves is forecast to be near 100 mm (file photo)
Rainfall warning issued for Bella Coola

The total rainfall amount is forecast to be near 100 mm and could result in localized flooding

The Bella Coola RCMP are investigating the cause of the fire (Caitlin Thompson photo)
RCMP investigating Bay Motor Hotel fire

Anyone with information is asked to call Bella Coola RCMP 250 799 5363 or Crimestoppers

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before Phillip Tallio’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

A third-party crew cut the Telus fiber line on Tuesday, Nov. 17, resulting in a nearly 24hr communications blackout for the Valley (Black Press Media)
Recent outage highlights vulnerabilites in local communication infrastructure

A third-party crew accidentally severed the cable on Highway 20, resulting in a valley-wide communications outage

The Bay Hotel burned to the ground last night (Christina Hoppe photo)
Bay Hotel burns to the ground in early morning fire

The building was abandoned and had been falling apart for years

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read