COVID-19 News Update

COVID-19 Updates as of July 22nd, 2020 by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)

Public Exposures Website

The lifting of some restrictions, re-opening of businesses and increased social interactions the number of possible contacts individuals have in the community and can lead to more instances of potential public exposures in the event of positive cases. Check for recent exposure locations here www.vch.ca/COVIDexposures.

The public exposures website will be used for situations where Public Health determines there may have been low-risk public exposures of COVID-19 and are unable to contact all possible contacts. VCH Public Health teams continue to follow up with all confirmed COVID-19 cases and their close contacts.

Anyone who has visited the listed locations at the specified times is simply asked to monitor themselves for symptoms and continue with their daily activities. Anyone who develops symptoms, however mild, is asked to call their family doctor or 8-1-1, seek testing and then self-isolate. Notifications related to flights, worksites, cruises, long-distance bus and train travel and public events are posted on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s public exposures website.

Safety Plans

VCH Environmental Health also continues to work with WorkSafeBC to help businesses and facility operators develop safety plans and provide support in complying with Provincial Health Officer Orders. COVID-19 safety plans templates for restaurants, cafes, pubs and personal service establishments such as salons, along with other resources such as checklists for farmers’ markets, are available at www.vch.ca/COVID-19. Guidance documents that VCH has prepared for licenced businesses during the pandemic can be found under the Environmental Health section of our Vancouver Coastal website at www.vch.ca. Additional information can be found on the WorkSafeBC and BC Centre for Disease Control websites.

Amended Order for Bars and Nightclubs

Dr. Henry announced that because of increased risks within bars and nightclubs, and the recent links to exposure in these locations, the provincial health officer’s order is being amended. All patrons must now be seated at a designated seat. There is no liquor self-service or dancing, and measures need to be in place to reduce lineups and gathering outside. Changes in the requirements of events have also been made to further reduce the potential for transmission.

Provincial State of Emergency Extended

Yesterday, the B.C. government formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, to allow the government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe. Actions taken in the previous two weeks to support British Columbians include:

  • releasing an economic and fiscal update for 2020-21 to provide a summary of COVID-19 investments to date, as well as a scenario of revenue and deficit projections;
  • extending the temporary authorization that permits food-primary and liquor-primary licensees to sell and deliver sealed, packaged liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal for off-site consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic; and.
  • laying out the details of a repayment framework to be put in place later this summer, helping renters and landlords to transition and tenants in arrears to maintain their housing when the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent is lifted ahead of Sept. 1, 2020.

The extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials. Farnworth made the original declaration on March 18, 2020, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency. For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit the website: http://www.bccdc.ca/.

 

Key Messages to Share

  • Practice physical distancing if you have to go out;
  • If you think you have COVID-19 take the self-assessment here: thrive.health
  • Anyone in the VCH region with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, however mild, can now be assessed for and get a COVID-19 test http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid19/testing
  • Self-isolate at home for 10 days if you have COVID-19 symptoms – Find helpful posters, handouts and other resources about COVID-19 here.

 

For a full list of updates from Vancouver Coastal Health including community exposure events and current case-numbers visit http://www.vch.ca/covid-19

COVID-19 Advisory

Restaurant and retail closures will have an economic impact on our member businesses and their employees. We understand that all levels of government must take necessary precautions for the sake of public health. The SGBIA supports measures that will help to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We are currently working with other business organizations to track the economic impact of COVID-19, and are advocating for a recovery strategy that will assist our member businesses as well as the larger business community.


During these times of uncertainty please stay safe and healthy, South Granville! Please keep in mind this is a fluid and rapidly changing situation.

At this time, due to low transmission in BC, all levels of government have recommended that business can continue providing efforts are made to keep a one-metre distance as often as possible. There are no recommendations at this time at adjusting operating hours for your business.

Key considerations

  1. Support your Employees.
    No employer should feel like they have to lay off a worker because of the virus, and no one should have to worry about their job if they have to be quarantined. That’s why the Government of Canada’s $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund goes towards support for employers and workers through the Work-Sharing program, and by waiving the one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance sickness benefits.
  2. Financial Implications and Business preparedness
    The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, as well as Business Development Canada, has developed helpful and comprehensive guides to help you with planning and preparedness.
  3. Business Travel and Event
    Companies should consider the impacts of international travel on their operations. Canada has several active travel health notices for COVID-19 for countries around the world. These are updated regularly based on ongoing risk assessments.

Read here for more details on the above.

Trends

  • Workplaces and communities should be practicing social distancing.
  • Restaurant reservations are down to 33%.
  • As of March 1st, business on the books for air reservations made until the end of the year for flights to Vancouver is down by -5.2% overall. Priority markets of concern include Australia, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and China.
  • March and April are expected to experience sharp declines in bookings (-22% for the month of April). China is particularly affected because of the continued travel advisory and flight cancellations.
  • Group travel and VFR (visiting friends and relatives) are more heavily impacted overall
  • Local organizers can expect that Chinese, Japanese and Italian nationals will not be travelling to attend global events, due to travel and other restrictions
  • It is important to note that wherever possible events are being rebooked rather than cancelled, however in-house hotel conventions are experiencing some cancellations.
  • Globally, business travel is anticipated to slow due to corporate travel policies putting restrictions in place.
  • Whenever possible, booking agent and cruise lines are working collaboratively to encourage re-bookings (rather than cancel trips
  • On a positive note, the Port of Vancouver has accepted 10 additional sailings for 2020 as of late February. While international bookings are declining, we may see a possible increase in both domestic and U.S. passengers. The cruiseship season has been deferred but not cancelled.

Checking for symptoms

If you or someone you know is experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms, call your local primary care provider or 8-1-1. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 7-1-1. You can also conduct an initial self-diagnosis at the provincial government’s HealthLinkBC page.

Resources

Whether it is a public health issue, natural disaster, or other emergencies, it is important to be prepared and ensure you have an up-to-date business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Here are some other resources to assist you in your planning.

Information and Planning Sources

Business

Checklists

Guides

Templates and Tools

Dedicated Number for Immediate Access to Employment Insurance Benefits

The one-week waiting period has been waived for employees who are in quarantine or who are ordered to self-isolate. Employees in quarantine who wish to get the one-week waiting period waived are to call: 1-833-381-2725.


Emerging Updates