B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic at the B.C. cabinet offices in Vancouver, March 18, 2020. (B.C. government)

Many businesses can still carry on, B.C. COVID-19 doctor says

Employers need to provide cleaning options for work space

A large grocery store may have room for hundreds of customers without having them crowd together, and effective application of coronavirus rules will vary from business to business, B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

At her daily briefing on COVID-19 preparation March 18, Henry urged businesses to take their own measures to protect customers and staff, making sure there is hand cleaning available.

“For businesses for example, grocery stores, pharmacies, it will vary by the business how you will need to implement these measures,” Henry said. “That will mean enhanced cleaning of your premises, but also for employees so they can clean their hands frequently, they can clean the surfaces around them, and they’re able to have hand cleaning in all parts of the business.”

RELATED: 45 more coronavirus cases in B.C., total now 231

RELATED: 6,800 foreign workers allowed in to fill farm jobs

Keeping one to two metres of separation between customers can be done differently, such as at one Victoria area produce store where the checkout lineup is marked in squares so people don’t stand too close together.

“If you’re a grocery store that’s a very large one, that may mean that you can accommodate several hundred people without them having to come in close contact with each other,” Henry said. “If it’s a very small business, it may have to be one at a time.”

Henry reminded employers that they should not be asking for doctors’ notes for people who want to stay home, which many people are doing if they have respiratory symptoms or have recently returned from travel outside Canada.

Henry’s latest order has kept schools and bars closed, restricting some restaurants to take-out or minimal seating and shut down all gatherings more than 50 people. People using public transit should also maintain distance between each other, and employees should avoid congregating on breaks and work staggered hours if possible to reduce contact with others.


@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

Presence of auxiliary volunteers missed at Salmon Arm hospital during pandemic

Shuswap Lake Health Care Auxiliary still chips in two iPads so patients can connect with families

Column: Helping one another through these challenging times

Director’s Notes by CSRD Area C director Paul Demenok

Okanagan real estate market stable; bracing for slowdown due to COVID-19

Real estate board projects slowdown as the economic impacts of the pandemic continue to develop

May fundraisers for Salmon Arm non-profits postponed

Literacy Alliance spelling bee, Hit2Fit boxing event on hold due to COVID-19

COVID19 pushes Salmon Arm boxing coach into students’ living rooms

Needs of students with Parkinson’s prompts Bulldogs’ Peggy Maerz into Zoom Room

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Food support continues for Okanagan students despite school closures

Kids aren’t going hungry thanks to Kal Rotary and Starfish Backpack program

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents on Highway 1

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19: Central Okanagan fire departments only responding to serious medical calls

The new directive from Dr. Bonnie Henry does not change the public safety response of firefighters

Most Read