Covid-19 Updates

Please note the following COVID-19 updates for January 7, 2021:

Extension of province-wide restrictions

On January 7, 2021 BC’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO) ordered an extension to existing province-wide restrictions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Specifically, the sections of the gatherings and events order concerning visitors in private residences and allowable/prohibited events (sections A, B and C) that were to expire on January 8th have been extended to February 5, 2021 at midnight.

  • All events and social gatherings are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions.
  • All non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province.

PHO updates re: varsity sport and retail occupancy limits

Varsity sport

On December 24, 2020 BC’s Public Health Officer (PHO) amended the Gatherings and Events Order to expand and clarify restrictions on sports and fitness activities. These changes include permitting varsity sports subject to conditions, such as allowing participants to train or practice only with their home institution, ensuring participants maintain three-metre physical distancing, and prohibiting spectators.

For the sake of clarity, “varsity sport” includes only formally recognized sports rather than intramural or other informal fitness activities. It is defined as follows:

  • “Varsity sport” means a sport for which the eligibility requirements for participation are established by a national association for the regulation of intercollegiate athletics, or which is designated as a varsity sport program by a post-secondary institution, and includes fitness training, sport training, practice and competition.

Retail occupancy limits

Previous guidance on retail occupancy limits has been incorporated into the Gatherings and Events Order to emphasize the need for stores and malls to prevent overcrowding and congestion. This includes requiring operators to calculate maximum occupancy based on five square metres/person in publicly-accessible areas.

Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response. Please share this update broadly within your respective institutions. 

COVID-19 Resources:

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On December 7th, 2020 the Provincial Health Officer extended province-wide restrictions as noted below:

Extension of PHO province-wide restrictions

On December 7, 2020 BC’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO) ordered an extension to existing province-wide restrictions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

  • The PHO Gatherings and Events Order, which has been in effect since November 19, 2020, has been extended to January 8, 2021 at midnight.
  • All events and social gatherings are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions.
  • All non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province.

Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response. Please share these updates broadly within your respective institutions. 

COVID-19 Resources:

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Please note the following COVID-19 updates for November 25, 2020:

Non-medical mask requirements in all indoor public settings and workplaces

November 24th an Order in Council (OIC) and Ministerial Order were issued as the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced alignment of the Province’s measures under the Emergency Program Act  with the Provincial Health Officer’s (PHO) guidance, mandating that masks must be worn in indoor public places.

  • Masks are required in all indoor public spaces, including in all post-secondary institutions where people circulate freely, such as hallways, stairwells, elevators, etc. but they are not mandatory in non-public areas such areas as classrooms and enclosed office spaces where individuals can maintain physical distancing.
  • Post-secondary institutions may implement more stringent mask requirements based on their individual situations.
  • The mask requirement does not apply to people unable to wear a mask or put on or remove a mask on their own.

Clarification on daily COVID-19 health screening – WorkSafe BC Requirement

All employers, including post-secondary Institutions, have an accountability to ensure that every worker performs a daily COVID-19 health check before entering the workplace.

  • Health checks are mandatory self-assessments conducted by workers (not by the employer).  Workers are to confirm with their employer, in written or verbal format, that they have reviewed the complete list of entry requirements (included on this COVID-19 entry check poster) and that none of the prohibited criteria apply to them for that day.
  • It will be up to individual institutions on how best to implement.  However, the WorkSafeBC website provides a number of examples for consideration.

Evolving PHO guidance

COVID-19 Resources:

  • If you require advice regarding a potential COVID-19 case, please contact your local Medical Health Officer

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