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

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Interior Health to host virtual town hall Friday, March 27

The Q&A forum begins at 6 p.m. PDT, link in story

West Kootenay octogenarian helping develop low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Peter Brockley is working with his doctor son, Graham, to develop the unit that could save lives

Interior Health issues alert following confirmed COVID-19 case on WestJet flight

The public exposure alert comes following the March 21 WestJet flight from Calgary to Kamloops

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read