COVID-19 Information for Social Services

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

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

Resources & Info for Social Services

HR Resources

Government Websites

Social Distancing Information

COVID-19 Data and Dashboards

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.