Photo retrieved from the F.D.A

With the recent developments in our country and province with regard to COVID-19, there are many questions our business community may have. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.

Several business support organizations have released information for businesses planning around the virus, workplace and employer resources and more. The British Columbia Economic Development Association has released a guide for businesses and organizations to consider, including points like:

  • A well-designed plan can protect your employees and keep your business functioning during a disease outbreak.
  • Determine what people and resources are required for your business to operate.
  • Identify the health risks your employees may face.
  • Ensure your Policies are responsive and quickly adaptable.
  • Create a culture of wellness, and apply infection control measures.
  • Prepare for social distancing. Social distancing is an intervention to increase the physical distance between people to reduce the risk of disease.
  • Separate any sick employees immediately, and encourage the disclosure of any illness upon arrival at work, or beforehand.
  • Prepare for employee absences resulting from illness.
  • Your business is only as healthy as your employees. Encourage them to take steps to prepare for staying home if needed.
  • Establish a communication protocol. Determine how you will relay information about the outbreak to employees and business partners or in the case of local governments your citizens.
  • Get input from your workforce. Your plan is more likely to be successful if you get buy-in from employees and partners.
  • Educate your team and any stakeholders on your plan.
  • Develop a process for activating your plan.
  • Stay informed. Every disaster including a disease outbreak is different, and the intensity of an outbreak can vary from one location to another. Stay alert to recommendations from federal, provincial, and local public health experts, and adapt your plan accordingly.

BCEDA has also released information and suggestions for employers, including things like:

  • How the virus spreads.
  • Who should seek medical evaluation for COVID-19.
  • What to do if you suspect a staff member is at risk.
  • Whether staff should travel.
  • How to prepare, prevent and plan.
  • Information on hygiene etiquette
  • And more….

We encourage everyone in our business community to go through each of the following documents in order to be as informed as possible:

BCEDA Guide for Businesses and Organizations

BCEDA Workplace and Employer Resources and Suggestions

BDC Monthly Economic Letter: What does the Coronavirus mean for your business?

For those curious about support for businesses, check out this recent article from CBC.

CoronavirusDisaster Preparedness

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