Essential information to help you better understand what COVID-19 is and how it spreads, so you can take steps to prevent workplace exposure.
Latest Update - November 19th, 2020: Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has issued a new public health order to help reduce social interactions and travel. As part of this effort, face masks have now been made mandatory in all indoor public spaces.
Read our article on PPE Face Masks to discover where and when masks are mandatory, effective types of masks, and where to source masks for business use.
Update - November 7th, 2020: The Provincial Health Officer issued a new public order to reduce social interactions and suspend indoor group physical activities, such as spin and yoga classes and indoor sports, in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions for two weeks until November 23rd, 2020 at 12pm. This is in response to a rise in positive COVID-19 cases in these regions.
Indoor group physical activities can only resume when the business has updated their COVID-19 safety plan and received plan approval from their local Medical Health Officer.
The order also stated that all businesses and worksites must conduct active daily in-person screening of all onsite workers using the COVID-19 symptom checklist that is part of every business restart safety plan.
- Workplaces must ensure that all workers and customers maintain appropriate physical distance and wear masks when appropriate
- Extra care should be taken in small office spaces, break rooms and kitchens
What is COVID-19?
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
What Are the Symptoms?
COVID-19 symptoms can appear up to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. Symptoms, including fever, cough, chills, sore throat, headache, and fatigue, are similar to the flu and common cold. View the most common COVID-19 symptoms.
Anyone with symptoms can get tested for COVID-19. Use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to see if you might need to seek medical advice or get tested.
What to Do if Sick
If you or an employee are sick it's vital to focus on minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19. The most important thing to do is self-isolate by staying home and avoiding coming into contact with other people. You should also wear a face mask when around other people, cover your coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands and clean surfaces often.
For more information about what to do if you are sick, as well as more general COVID-19 information, visit the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website.
What Can Businesses and Individuals Do to Prevent the Spread?
All business should have a Safety Plan. Individuals should follow some basic good habits to help prevent the spread, including:
- Practice good hygiene, including washing your hands frequently and properly, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve, and cleaning surfaces regularly.
- Staying home if sick
- Practicing physical distancing whenever possible and reducing the number of contacts to a small group of people you see often.
- Wearing face masks or other PPE to help prevent the spread. On November 7th, 2020, the government announced "the expectation is that everyone wears a mask in all indoor public spaces."
Learn more about these little things that make a big difference.
Employees in B.C. have the right to a healthy and safe workplace. Here's what workers should do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The "Safe Six" and Your Business
Latest Update: If your business or residence is in the Fraser Health or Vancouver Coastal region, new restrictions to limit social gatherings for two weeks were announced on November 7th, 2020. Read the Provincial Health Officer Order.
The B.C. government introduced the “safe six” in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 due to large gatherings in private homes. The following guidelines are specific to private homes, rather than places of business:
- Your "safe six" is a group of the same six friends or extended family members you see regularly
- You should be in their “safe six” and they should be in yours
- You shouldn’t be having physical contact (no hugging or kissing) with your “safe six” but can be in close proximity (less than 2m)
- There is no need for any restrictions on physical contact with people you live with (i.e. immediate family, partner, roommates.)
Home Businesses and the "safe six"
All businesses should have COVID-19 safety plans in place as per WorkSafeBC. A licensed business in a home can still operate as per their safety plan, providing it considers things like enough space for physical distancing and hand washing/sanitization stations being available.
Mental Well-Being and COVID-19
There are plenty of positive actions business owners and managers can take to protect and nurture their own mental health, and the mental health of their team. Get some tips for business owners and mental health resources.