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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Quick Facts

COVID-19: Quick Facts for Seniors Care

Updated: November 26, 2020, 4:09 p.m.

B.C. health officials announced 887 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 29,973.

Frequently Asked Questions

As stated by the World Health Organization, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered of these viruses causes COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19, see the World Health Organization.

Use the self-assessment tool available from the BC Centre for Disease Control: https://covid19.thrive.health/
Be sure to read the page set up by the BC Centre for Disease Control for all questions relating to the symptoms, transmission, and personal protection relating to the coronavirus. You may also use the BCCDC's self-assessment tool.

See it here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)

Self assessment tool: https://covid19.thrive.health/ 
Self-monitoring Self-monitoring is monitoring for symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days. During this time, monitor your own health and the health of your children and close contacts that are older or chronically ill. Individuals who are self-monitoring are allowed to attend work and school and participate in regular activities.

Self-Isolation Self-isolation means staying home and limiting your contact with others for 14 days. This helps to lower the chance of spreading the disease because symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. During this 14 day incubation period, there is a small chance you can spread germs even though you don’t feel sick. This is why it is important for people at risk of having been exposed to the illness are asked to self-isolate.

To learn more, visit Health Link BC: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus-disease-covid-19
For the latest information, seniors care providers can visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's website on COVID-19 here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Employers are also encouraged to seek information from the BC Ministry of Health here: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus-disease-covid-19

Island Health has released a quick reference guide on COVID-19 and human resources, which includes FAQs related to travel and self-isolation; exposure and safety in the workplace; and leaves and pay. Download the PDF here.

For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)

More information on how to prepare for COVID-19 is available through the Government of Canada website here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html

Translated content (handouts and videos) in multiple languages: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)/translated-content-coronavirus-(covid-19)

General information about COVID-19 can also be found at the World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Feeling stressed and anxious is a normal response to difficult situations. We know that care providers and care workers work in a challenging and demanding environment; with the COVID-19 virus people may be feeling a heightened anxiety. If you, or a co-worker, is finding it difficult to manage that stress, we encourage you to ask for help. Together, we will overcome the challenges we face today.

What can you do if you’re feeling stressed?

  • Talk to your supervisor about resources that may be available to you.
  • Share your feelings with a friend or co-worker.
  • If available, access your Employee and Family Assistance Program
  • Utilize resources from the Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Check out the resources at www.safecarebc.ca
Workers are encouraged to see this infographic from the World Health Organization.
On March 9, BC Care Providers Association reached out to the other industry associations for the seniors care sector and the Ministry of Health to form a working group and immediately begin daily briefing calls. The leadership from SafeCare BC, Denominational Health Association and the BC Seniors Living Association accepted the invitation to form this working group that will include an Assistant Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Health.

By increasing communication among the associations and government, it will allow for quicker response times and help our respective members by providing the best information available.
On Friday, March 6th the provincial government announced new pandemic procedures being put in place. Read that release here.

As of March 12th, the B.C. provincial government is advising:
  • that all event organizers to cancel any gathering larger than 50 people.
  • that all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States, be canceled. Anyone returning from travel outside of Canada will be asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return. There are some exceptions for essential health care workers
  • that employers excuse staff for sick leave without requiring a doctor’s note, if their employees are ill or required to self-isolate.
  • that K-12 education classes are being canceled.
  • that anyone who can work-from-home or attend online classes do so.
If you are a manager or purchaser for a long-term care, assisted living residence, or home support organization, and you are imminent danger of running out of necessary supplies, please contact SafeCare BC. SafeCare BC will work to triage requests with the local Health Authorities and Ministry of Health. This issue is a top priority for both BCCPA and SafeCare BC.

Please contact SafeCare BC at info@safecare.bc.ca or by their online contact form:  https://www.safecarebc.ca/protecting-yourself-from-infection-covid-19/

If you are a member of the public, BCCPA asks that you do not stockpile medical supplies and do not purchase masks. These supplies are needed more urgently medical professionals, and can be used more effectively by health care professionals. Learn more.
The province has created a phone service to provide non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30 am - 8 pm at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 604-630-0300
Long-Term Care Facilities are currently advised to restrict visitors to essential visits only. Restricting visitors will minimize the risk of the introduction of COVID-19 into facilities and allow staff to focus on caring for residents, rather than monitoring and screening visitors. Examples of essential visits include, but are not limited to:

    • visits for compassionate care (end of life and critical illness)
    • visits considered paramount to resident care and well being, such as assistance with feeding or mobility
    • existing registered volunteers providing services as described above only.
For further direction, please see direction from the BCCDC here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-professionals/clinical-resources/covid-19-care/clinical-care/long-term-care-facilities-assisted-living  

If you are a visitor to care home's in BC, please follow all protocols being put in place by the care home, including hand-washing. Please do not visit care homes if you are sick or showing symptoms of illness.
According to the Provincial Health Officer, essential health care workers are partially exempt from the 14-day isolation period. Essential health care workers may report to work, but must self-isolate when not at work. They must also take enhanced precautions while at their care site.

Essential workers are people who provide services that are considered critical to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning and who have been determined by the leadership of their organization, on an individual basis, to be critical to delivering these essential services.

You can learn more here: https://bccare.ca/2020/03/health-care-workers-exempt-from-14-day-isolation-period-after-international-travel/

Further direction for Health Care Workers from the Provincial Health Officer can be found here: https://bccare.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Letter-for-HCWs-March-15-2020.pdf
The BC Ministry of Health is working closely with the regional health authorities to ensure safe staffing level's at BC's health care facilities and care homes. Innovative solutions being considered include recruiting student nurses, recalling retired health care professionals, and more effectively utilizing internationally educated nurses.
The BCCDC and the Provincial Health Officer have created a resource for long-term are homes and assisted living residences in light of COVID-19. This resource is intended for both care providers and health care professionals.

Find it here: https://bccare.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID19_LongTermCareAssistedLiving_V8_March-13-2020.pdf
There is a selection of helpful posters available at this page from the World Health Organization website – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

The World Health Organization (WHO) website has excellent posters that cover a range of issues. Visit the link here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
Workers in B.C. have the right to refuse work if they believe it presents an undue hazard. In those circumstances, employers need to consider the refusal on a case-by-case basis, depending on the situation. Further legal information regarding an employer's responsibility in these situations can be found here.

Employers are encouraged to contact SafeCare BC if they encounter a situation where an employee is seeking to refuse unsafe work relating to COVID-19.

https://www.safecarebc.ca/protecting-yourself-from-infection-covid-19/
Please send BCCPA your question via our contact information form below and we will respond to your inquiry.
Pulver, Crawford and Munroe have developed a comprehensive outline of employer responsibilities in light of COVID-19.

You can find it here: https://bccare.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Article-00197739xE4B5A-1.pdf

In the News

To read a summary of the COVID-19 related media in B.C. and beyond today, click here.

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Recommended Web Page

Visitors to this website are strongly recommended to visit SafeCare BC’s “Protecting Yourself From Infection: COVID-19.”