Supporting the health and welfare of vulnerable populations during the pandemic requires balancing measures that need to be taken to prevent transmission of COVID-19 against the risks of withdrawing your essential services such as housing/shelter, food security, mental health supports, personal care, overdose prevention, harm reduction.
What we have heard from the Office of Provincial Health is that as long as the following conditions are adhered to, they are not recommending that community services be closed. Interim guidance for social service providers regarding the prevention and control of COVID-19 can be found here (dated April 4). Please also review this letter from the Provincial Health Officer to BC’s Social Services Sector (dated March 18) with advice and recommendations.
>> Groups of people must remain smaller than 50 persons
>> Groups of people must be able to maintain the recommended social distancing
>> Enhanced disinfecting of surfaces, particularly “high touch” surfaces
>> Frequent hand washing takes place and people avoid touching their face
>> Decreased opportunities for cross-group interaction
Adhering to these conditions may require some changes in how services are delivered (e.g., more outside time, not travelling on transit, bringing groups together in smaller numbers). Information specific to Federation member organizations can be found on the member’s page of our website (click Members or Login in the top right corner of this page). Additional information and resources have been collected below and will be updated as things progress.
MCFD Practice Bulletins and Interim Guidelines
The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has developed the Interim Practice Guidelines and Practice Bulletins in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note: Some hyperlinks inside the documents below may not be publicly accessible.
BCCDC COVID-19 Survey
Public health and government leaders have made significant decisions impacting every aspect of our lives in recent weeks. The BC Centre for Disease Control wants to hear from you as the province plans to ease restrictions while keeping citizens safe—especially those most vulnerable. You can complete the BCCDC COVID-19 Survey here. The survey will be open until May 31st.
Government Updates Regarding Social Services
- Minister Katrine Conroy’s “thank you” to community based professionals [MP3, 5.76MB] Password: Telus123
- Minister Katrine Conroy’s “thank you” to caregivers [MP3, 5.23 MB)] Password: Telus123
- Update from MCFD on ‘pandemic pay’ wage top-ups and eligibility (May 21)
- CLBC Updates on hospital visit policy for people with disabilities (May 20)
- Updated COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings (May 15)
- CLBC Update for service providers regarding recovery planning (May 13)
- Recording of Dr. Behn Smith’s presentation at the MCFD Town Hall for service providers (May 12)
- Dr. Behn Smith’s presentation slides from the MCFD Town Hall for service providers (May 12)
- Update from MCFD on changes to Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program (May 6)
- BC Go Forward Strategy Briefing PDF (May 6)
- BC Go Forward Management Strategy Document (May 6)
- Update from the Social Services Sector Roundtable on COVID-19 (May 5)
- CLBC Update on Interim Guidance for Critical Incident Reporting (April 28)
- CLBC Emergency Funding Information for service providers (April 27)
- Update from the BC government on companies, societies, co-operatives meeting electronically (April 22)
- Update from the Social Services Sector Roundtable on COVID-19 (April 21)
- News Release from CLBC on emergency supports for home share and support service providers (April 21)
- MCFD letter to AIDP, IDP, ASCD, SCD Service Providers on the use of online platforms for service delivery (April 16)
- Update from the Social Services Sector Roundtable on COVID-19 (April 14)
- Update from CLBC on Reporting COVID-19 incidents after hours (April 9)
- Updated testing guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control (April 8)
- Update from the Social Services Sector Roundtable on COVID-19 (April 6)
- BC government update on the Societies Act and Annual General Meetings during COVID-19 (April 6)
- Update from MCFD on the provincial CCRR Program’s Application for Funding (April 6)
- Guidance for Social Service Providers on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in their Facilities (April 4)
- Update from PHO regarding CLBC services and COVID-19 transmission (April 1)
- Update from the CRA on income tax filing and payment dates for charities (March 30)
- Update from MCFD on Child Care Resource and Referral centres during the COVID-19 outbreak (March 25)
- WorkSafeBC/CLBC update on the extension of Occupational First Aid Certificates (March 25)
- Update from MCFD Centralized Services HUB on screening process during COVID-19 (March 23)
- Letter on support for childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 20)
- Letter from Deputy Minister Allison Bond on support to contracted service providers (March 20)
- Letter from the Minister of State for Childcare on COVID-19 (March 18)
- Letter from the Provincial Health Officer to BC’s Social Services Sector on COVID-19 (March 18)
- Update from MCFD on COVID-19 and Provincial Centralized Screening (March 13)
Updates from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO)
On April 15th, The Federation hosted a teleconference information session with Dr. Danièle Behn Smith from BC’s Office of the Provincial Health Officer. On the Members-Only page, you can read an in-depth summary of the information Dr. Behn Smith provided in response to the questions put forth by Federation members.
CLBC is also hosting some useful and informative calls with Dr. Behn Smith from the PHO that are posted on their website. You can find recordings of those calls and additional resources here.
Government Updates Regarding the Use of Technology
- Update from CLBC on the use of technology (March 30)
- Citizens’ Services update on the broader use of tech in COVID-19 response (March 29)
Resources & Info for Social Services
- Recording of the webinar with MCFD Deputy Minister Allison Bond on COVID-19
- Inclusion BC Press Release urging calling for a disability lens on emergency management protocols
- WorkSafeBC: COVID-19 and the workplace
- BCCDC Info for Employers & Businesses
- CSSEA’s COVID-19 Update Webpage
- CMHA resources on managing stress and anxiety and how to talk to children about public health emergencies
- CBC Local COVID-19 Updates Page—BC advisories, updates, and cancellations
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice For Canadian Employers from the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia & Yukon
- Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark Global HR Lawyers COVID-19 Employer Support Page
- PDF slides deck from March 19th webinar: “COVID-19 and the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know Now” hosted by Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP.
- BC Government Child Care Response to COVID-19 Website (updated regularly)
- Government of Canada COVID-19 Website
- BC Centre for Disease Control—COVID 19 Website and Common Questions
- BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool
Social Distancing Information
- CBC Podcast on the science behind the public health directions (CBC)
- Visualizing “social distancing” and what “flattening the curve” means (Washington Post)
- The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’ (Atlantic)
- Convincing Boomer Parents to Take the Coronavirus Seriously (New Yorker)
- How to talk with your older parents about the COVID-19 pandemic—and have them actually listen (CNBC)
COVID-19 Data and Dashboards
- ViriHealth: Canada Coronavirus COVID-19 Tracker
- ESRI Canada Outbreak Tracker and Resources Hub
- Johns Hopkins University Global COVID-19 Dashboard
Symptoms and Protection
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms include fever, cough, tiredness. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.
What should I do if I feel sick?
Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority (811 in BC). Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.
What can I do to protect myself?
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
Keep your distance from people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Unless you’re already infected, masks won’t help you.
Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.