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

Just Posted

President of the Tahltan Central Government, Chad Norman Day, surveys Tahltan territory by helicopter in this July 2019 handout photo. The Tahltan Nation and the British Columbia government have struck what officials say is a historic agreement for shared decision-making for the nation’s territory in northwestern B.C., a hot spot for mineral exploration. Day says the deal shows they are “getting closer and closer to a true nation-to-nation relationship.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Tahltan Central Government
Tahltan Nation, B.C. government sign agreement for shared decision-making

Deal commits the province and the northwest B.C. nation to developing a land-use plan

Hours of practice each day on the part of dancer Braya Kluss keeps her at a high performance level, someting reflected in the competitions she has won. (Submitted Photo)
Remote Tahltan community faces uncertainty with no ‘real’ timeline on Telegraph Creek Road

Provincial transportation ministry says the timeline for road repairs is ‘weather dependent’

Shown is a T-6 Harvard flown by Bud Granley, who has performed at the Vanderhoof Airshow “more times than any other performer,” said Anne Stevens. (Anne Stevens - Vanderhoof International Airshow Society)
Vanderhoof International Airshow a no-go for 2021

Airport open day planned for September

Five rehabilitated grizzly bears were released this month into the Bella Coola area. The Northern Lights Wildlife Society will also be delivering 36 black bears to areas across the province where they were previously found. “They’re ready to go and they’re already trying to get out,” says Angelika Langen. “We feel good when we can make that possible and they don’t have to stay behind fences for the rest of their lives.” (Northern Lights Wildlife Society Facebook photo)
The train station in Smithers pulls into view in a 1959 video of a train trip from Vernon to Prince Rupert. (Screen shot)
VIDEO: Rare footage of Smithers in 1959 featured in train tour video

8mm film converted to video shows Vernon to Prince Rupert by train and Rupert to Vancouver by ship

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, four deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Most Read