Information about transitioning from COVID-19 Safety Plans to communicable disease prevention in Step 3 of the BC's Restart plan.
BC's Restart outlines the four steps to reduce restrictions in public spaces and in workplaces. Step 3, starting on July 1st, 2021, begins a transition period for businesses in how COVID-19 is managed in workplaces.
On this page:
- Transitioning From COVID-19 Safety Plans
- What is Communicable Disease Prevention?
- What do Businesses Need to Do?
- Useful Resources
Transitioning From COVID-19 Safety Plans
Beginning with Step 3, you will no longer be required to maintain a COVID-19 Safety Plan, and will instead transition to communicable disease prevention.
- Read the PHO statement to employers on transitioning from COVID-19 Safety Plans to communicable disease prevention
What is Communicable Disease Prevention?
A communicable disease is an illness caused by an infectious agent or its toxic product that can be transmitted in a workplace from person to person. Examples of communicable diseases that may circulate in a workplace include COVID-19, norovirus, and seasonal influenza.
- Read WorkSafeBC's OHS Guideline G-P2-21 Communicable disease prevention
Ongoing risk reduction measures include:
- Have policies to support staff who have symptoms of a communicable disease, so they can avoid being at the workplace when sick
- Promoting hand hygiene at work
- Maintaining a clean work environment
- Ventilate buildings effectively
- Support employees in receiving vaccinations as far as possible
Read more about communicable disease prevention on the WorkSafeBC website.
What do Businesses Need to Do?
Reduce the risks
To help employers in the fundamental components of communicable disease prevention, WorkSafeBC has developed Communicable disease prevention: A guide for employers. This guide describes a four-step process to help employers reduce the risk of communicable disease in their workplace, including:
- Understanding the level of risk in the workplace
- Applying the fundamentals and implementing appropriate measures
- Communicating policies and protocols to all workers
- Updating measures and safeguards as required
Respond to elevated risks
COVID-19 may still circulate, even with high rates of vaccination. Certain communicable diseases, including COVID-19, may also elevate from time to time or on a seasonal basis.
This may occur at a local or regional level or within a workplace. In these cases, employers will be advised by medical health officers or the provincial health officer of the measures they need to take to manage the risk.
Employers must monitor for communicable disease related information from their regional public health officials and the provincial health officer related to their area and industry, and to follow that guidance and direction should additional measures be necessary in their workplace.
Maintain some COVID-19 safety protocols
While the majority of measures implemented at workplaces to manage the COVID-19 pandemic through 2020 and the beginning of 2021 will no longer be required in most workplaces, it's possible that some of the same or similar measures may be required to manage communicable disease transmission in the workplace. These include around:
- Physical distancing
- Masks for non-health care settings
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting
- Worker transportation
- Shared worker accommodation
Guidance around risk levels and appropriate protocols will be provided by regional public health officials and the provincial health officer.