British Columbia | Coronavirus

BC workplace closures update

April 29, 2021

The Fraser Regional Health Authority continues to close a significant number of workplaces. Fraser Health is the region where the evidence suggests the transmission is highest in BC.

Government’s response has been to increase the intensity of their vaccination program in Fraser Health. Vancouver Coastal Health has closed a small number of workplaces under this policy.

BC began to use workplace closures as a tool to control transmission on April 5, 2021. Workplace closures are being used where there is documented transmission of COVID at the worksite, generally where 3 or more workers become ill. To determine if illness transmission is occurring at the worksite, they consider: COVID transmission sources outside of the workplace; whether contacts with a known case can explain the illness; a plausible route of transmission in the workplace; and, testing of other workers in the site after the cluster is identified.

If public health criteria show transmission has occurred at the worksite, the health authority may order the workplace closure for 10 days or longer. Immunization may be offered to larger worksites to control COVID-19. The regional medical health officers sign orders, then public health officers or WorkSafeBC prevention officers serve notice to the employer, for closure at the end of that business day. The employer will be contacted by WorkSafeBC to review COVID safety measures and ensure they are in place prior to reopening. Public health may decide not to close the worksite, based on factors in the public interest (such as the provision of needed goods or services to a community) or other measures at the work site that control the transmission of COVID-19.

For questions or more information contact

Greg Wilson
Director, Government Relations (BC)
gwilson@retailcouncil.org
604-736-0368


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