Special Edition | COVID-19 Safety Plans Required for All Businesses; Access to Rapid Tests for Businesses
Good afternoon accommodation community,
In a press conference this morning, Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry; Minister of Health, Adrian Dix; and Education Minister, Jennifer Whiteside, provided an COVID-19 update amid surging cases of the Omicron variant. During the briefing, it was announced that a new order will be in place requiring businesses to once again implement a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
Reactivating COVID-19 Safety Plans:
The Ministry of Health is working with WorkSafeBC to enforce the new order which will require all businesses to have a COVID Safety Plan, a public health order that had been used previously in the pandemic.
Further details on the order are expected within the week.
The order is specific to businesses, and does not apply to childcare and K-12 schools.
Dr. Bonnie Henry also advised that WorkSafeBC has reactivated their COVID-plan supports for businesses, and the organization will be available to answer business owners’ questions.
While details on this order have not yet been made public, the BCHA will provide an update as soon as the information is available, details of which will be published here.
We understand that the majority of you have continued to adhere to your previously mandated Safety Plans. If you have relaxed measures such as separation of employees and guests, use of PPE, and attention to customer flow, among other safety precautions, now is the time to re-visit those plans. We will share additional details as soon as we can.
With the intention of keeping businesses open and employees safe, the Government of BC has launched Safe Screen BC, to begin enabling businesses to access rapid antigen tests.
Organized in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), Safe Screen B.C. will guide businesses through the required application process for provincially available test-kits and support businesses in the set-up of onsite rapid workplace screening programs for employees.
Safe Screen B.C. supports businesses interested in offering voluntary screening for employees without symptoms in close contact settings. Participating businesses will be asked to contribute a fee to cover the cost of the services provided by the Safe Screen B.C. program which include: tailored support services to apply for test kits, access to a custom-designed reporting solution, and access to training resources and additional support services to assist businesses with the implementation of onsite rapid screening. Test kits are provided free of charge by the province via Health Canada Rapid Screening Program for employers COVID-19 rapid testing and screening in workplaces: What employers should know – Canada.ca
Organizations that classify as long-term care, not for profit or are in the education sector are not eligible for this program.
While test kits are provided free of charge by the province, participating businesses are asked to contribute a one-time fee to cover the cost of the services provided by Safe Screen B.C. program. The program fee is determined based on the size of the company. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Safe Screen B.C. participants will have access to:
Safe Screen B.C. toolkit
Tools and resources for businesses to set up and execute rapid screening in the workplace, including template operating procedures, site plans, quick reference sheets and checklists
Support and guidance
Tailored support to apply for test kits and set up an onsite employee rapid screening program
Streamlined reporting software
A user-friendly reporting solution for managing Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) reporting requirements
Employee FAQ library
A library of employee FAQ templates for common rapid screening questions
Facilitated virtual training sessions on how to fulfill application criteria and execute rapid screening