Many social services organizations are wondering whether or not they should be closing programs and are weighing the risks of remaining open against the benefits of continuing to serve your clients—people who would otherwise lose valuable supports at a time when everyone is feeling particularly stressed and vulnerable. We also know the changing nature of the information being shared makes it especially hard to know what to do.
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. Please 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.
Government Updates Regarding Social Services
- Update from PHO regarding CLBC services and COVID-19 transmission (April 1)
- Update from MCFD on guidelines for access visits for children in care (March 26)
- 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)
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 (March 18)
- Inclusion BC Press Release urging calling for a disability lens on emergency management protocols (March 20)
- 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
- 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.