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

Canadians paid more for various categories of groceries including lettuce and meat in October. (USDA/Submitted)
Canadians paid more for food and housing in October as inflation rose

Lettuce prices rose more than 25 per cent in October thanks to bad weather and disease

Vehicles involved crashes in Oak Bay from 2019. (ICBC Screenshot)
A crash on Foul Bay Road near Carnarvon Street in 2018. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Foul Bay Road a corridor of crashes in 2019

Last year, 63 crashes in Oak Bay involved vehicles

A seabin is able to intercept and collect floating debris in calm bodies of water. This is one of two installed in the North Saanich Marina by a group of local businesses thanks to the proceeds from Blue Friday sales in 2019. (Provided by Maya Bellay)
Blue Friday to support more trash skimmers in Greater Victoria waters

Seabins can collect up to one-and-a-half tons of floating debris per year

An economic recovery plan in progress since April offers various recommendations for the region to overcome the impacts of COVID-19. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Greater Victoria economic ‘reboot’ plan tackles impacts of COVID-19

Newly-formed task force looks at various sectors, industries

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Randy Bell. (File photo)
Former northern B.C. mayoral candidate arrested after allegedly refusing to wear mask

Randy Bell handcuffed and given a warning at Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Smithers

James Corden on the Late Late Show talking about BC Ferries on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (Screenshot)
‘You’ll see it when you see it’: BC Ferries mask graphic gains James Corden’s attention

Turns out, James Corden fans were just as quick as B.C. social media users to pick up on the dual imagery

Andrew Wilkinson addresses a BC Liberal Forestry Rally in Campbell River on Oct. 17, 2020.
Andrew Wilkinson quits as BC Liberal Leader, party to choose interim replacement

Wilkinson had previously said he would stay in his role till a new leader were to be selected

Most Read