Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Update #34
Submitted by City of Nelson Emergency Operations Centre
BC Provincial Health Officer Provides Modelling Update and Outlines Next Steps
“This is, I believe, the end of the beginning of this pandemic,” Dr. Bonnie Henry announced at today’s provincial modelling presentation.
She explained that working under the assumption that BC is currently at 30% of regular interactions, the virus can be kept in check if those interactions stay below 60% going forward. However, Dr. Henry cautioned that for the moment, we must stay the course until Premier Horgan announces the provincial framework for gradually reopening the province, which is expected to come on Wednesday.
Dr. Henry and Minister Adrian Dix identified the “Key Principles Going Forward”:
- Staying informed, being prepared and following public health advice.
- Practicing good hygiene (hand hygiene, avoid touching face, respiratory etiquette, disinfect frequently touched surfaces).
- Staying at home and away from others if feeling ill – not going to school/work.
- Maintaining physical distancing outside the household (e.g. no hand shaking or hugging, small numbers of contacts and keeping a safe distance).
- Making necessary contact safer with appropriate controls (e.g. plexiglass barriers, room design).
- Increasing environmental cleaning at home and work.
- Considering the use of non-medical masks in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained (e.g. on transit, shopping).
- Reducing personal non-essential travel.
To view the slides from today’s provincial update: http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID19_ModellingPresentationMay4.pdf
To view a recording of today’s provincial update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQBuOJ7l_xE
BC Transit to Reinstate Fares and Front Door Loading on June 1
On June 1, 2020, BC Transit will be enhancing safety measures for its provincial transit systems that will allow for a return to front door loading and collection of fares in all BC Transit communities. With the change, fares will be collected on conventional, community, and handyDART services.
BC Transit will be installing a temporary vinyl panel to allow for physical distancing for the operator and customers on all buses without a full driver door. This new safety measures aligns with the direction from the Provincial Health Officer. Other safety measures already implemented will remain in effect including: enhanced cleaning on buses and at BC Transit facilities; communication to staff and customers about physical distancing procedures; limiting passenger capacity to support physical distancing; enhancing the red line for passengers to stand behind; and vinyl panels on light duty buses.
Until June 1, rear door loading and not collecting fares will continue.
Provincial Government Creates COVID-19 Temporary Layoff Period
To ease financial hardship on businesses and to keep employees connected with their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BC government has extended the temporary layoff period to 16 weeks for COVID-19 related reasons.
Previously under the Employment Standards Act, a temporary layoff longer than 13 weeks in any 20-week period was considered a permanent layoff. With a permanent layoff, employers are required to provide employees with written working notice of termination and/or pay severance to qualifying employees, based on their length of service. Now, temporary layoffs relating to the COVID-19 pandemic can be extended to 16 weeks, if the employee agrees.
This change to the Employment Standards Act aligns B.C.’s temporary layoff provisions with the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit period. The federal period provides 16 weeks of financial support, allowing employees to take full advantage of those benefits. It also allows employees to keep their job, even if they are not working, for 16 weeks of temporary layoff. Employers will be able to quickly resume operations should the public health emergency end within that time.
The COVID-19 emergency temporary layoff provisions are not intended to be permanent and will be repealed when no longer needed.
Online Resources to Celebrate Safety and Health Week
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) will be celebrating Safety and Health Week from May 3-9 a little differently this year. With the physical distancing in place during the pandemic, workplaces will be turning to virtual activities and events to offer helpful tips to their employees and reinforce good practices and the importance of having both physically and psychologically safe work environments.
CCOHS suggests workplaces to commemorate the week and promote safety in their workplaces by:
- Listening to podcasts from the collection of topics ranging from work-related stress, ergonomics, repetitive strain injury prevention, and mental health.
- Taking CCOHS’ free online courses on mental health themes such as how to have courageous conversations, build resiliency, and promote well-being, as well as courses on office ergonomics and pandemic planning.
- Promoting important health and safety messages by downloading Safety and Health Week branded posters and shareable social media cards.
The BC Government has provided the following information today:
COVID-19 Case Statistics:
- Total cases in BC to date: 2224 — 845 in Vancouver Coastal Health; 1027 in Fraser Health; 124 in Island Health; 177 in Interior Health (Increase of 3 in 48hrs); 51 in Northern Health
- Total fatalities in BC to date: 117 (Increase of 5 in 48hrs)
- Total new cases in BC: 53 (over 48 hr period)
- Total who have fully recovered: 1417
- Total cases in Canada to date: 59, 844
- Total fatalities in Canada to date: 3,766
Important Resources & Information – COVID-19
Which businesses are open in Nelson?
BC Government Resources List for Support and Information during COVID-19
Supports for Businesses in BC:
Wellness Together Canada https://ca.portal.gs/
Anxiety Canada https://www.anxietycanada.com/
BounceBack BC https://bouncebackbc.ca/
Here2Talk for Post-Secondary Students https://here2talk.ca/home
Psychological First Aid – Over 19+ https://www.psychologists.bc.ca/covid-19-resources
Crisis Line Association of BC – 1-800 suicide (1 800 784-2433) – 24/7
www.crisiscentre.bc.ca – 24/7 – crisis and suicide intervention
Mental Health and Information Support Line – 310-6789 (no area code required)
Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868
www.kidshelphone.ca or text connect to 686868 – 24/7
Helpline for Children – 310-1234 (no area code required)
www.youthinbc.com – 24/7
VictimlinkBC – 1-800-563-0808 – 24/7 information, referrals. Immediate crisis support
HealthLinkBC – 811 or www.healthlinkbc.ca
For seniors looking for additional support at this time, call 211 or visit:
Interior Crisis Line Network – 1-888-353-2273 – 24/7
Nelson Transition House – (250) 354-4357
24/7 – Specifically for women leaving or struggling in, an abusive relationship.
Nelson Police Department Victim Services – (250) 505-5657
To help provide important information to our community, the City of Nelson has developed a dedicated webpage nelson.ca/covid19 that will be updated frequently as new information becomes available. Please sign-up for ‘City News’ on NotifyMe to receive automatic updates from the City via text or email.
The City of Nelson relies on Interior Health, BC Public Health, and the Federal Government for information related to the virus itself. If you believe you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your physician, or call the COVID-19 telephone line at 1-888-COVID19, to be assessed or call the testing clinic hotline at (250) 551-7500 to be triaged for testing.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, fever, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.
These symptoms may not present themselves for up to 14 days, but you may be a carrier of the virus; therefore it is important to follow the guidelines set out by the health experts.
To check your symptoms or get updates from the BC Government you can download the BC COVID-19 App or visit this website
The City of Nelson thanks the public for doing their part to help maintain a safe and healthy community and for understanding the importance of this evolving situation.