TOWN HALL

Knowledgebase

The fastest route to getting vaccinated for you right now is to book with a participating pharmacy. A complete list of participating pharmacies can be found here: http://www.bcpharmacy.ca/resource-centre/covid-19/vaccination-locations
There is no current requirement for quarantining after inter-provincial travel, although non-essential travel would contravene the current public health order. In this situation, you would need to assess the risk to your business and make a decision from there whether to require the employee to self-isolate in their return.
They have good effectiveness across the board. It does vary as some vaccines have decreased effectiveness on some variants, but these are minimal changes. We expect the emergence of more variants, and something we are keeping a close eye on.
Right now in the BC vaccination framework, BC truckers have been labeled as 'next steps' in our essential worker campaign. There is attention to those workers moving across the boarder, and the different regions will look at options. It is a small number of individuals so the group is being assessed by the province.
The Alliance is collecting information from employers actively seeking immunization for their workers and will share this information with the health regions as they request it to support their programs.

To register your interest in a future phase of workplace immunizations, please send an email to [email protected] with your company name, production facility address(es), number of employees at each facility, and key contact name, and email, and phone for each facility.
The Alliance is collecting information from employers actively seeking immunization for their workers and will share this information with the health regions as they request it to support their programs.

To register your interest in a future phase of workplace immunizations, please send an email to [email protected] with your company name, production facility address(es), number of employees at each facility, and key contact name, and email, and phone for each facility.
Not at this time, but potentially in future. Some workplaces are continuing to receive priority vaccination based on overall risk assessments in the health regions, but the remainder of the current AstraZeneca supply has been diverted to high-risk neighborhoods and pharmacies.

Pharmacies with supply in other communities are also continuing to offer COVID-19 immunizations, so encouraging employees aged 40+ in high-risk neighborhoods to register (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/neighbourhood), and those outside those neighborhoods to make appointments at a participating pharmacy may be the quickest route to getting your team members immunized.

A complete list of participating pharmacies can be found here: http://www.bcpharmacy.ca/resource-centre/covid-19/vaccination-locations
Food processing is not exempt from the public health order regarding potential closures for COVID-19 outbreaks.
A good opportunity to talk about AstraZeneca. Public Health was able to extend the availability of AstraZeneca to many people. Many people took the vaccine who were under 40 to protect themselves and their communities. The emergence of knowledge of the side effects; the clotting side effect that we see in a small number of people is very concerning. We received many calls to discuss that issue. This is a rare thing that happened but was detected early though our monitoring methods in many different countries, including Canada. This is a sign that if side effects are found with any of the vaccines, the systems in place are able to respond to it, put a pause on the distribution, reopen or tweak it, and not give vaccines to the most at risk - under 40 for AstraZeneca specifically. The people who received the AstraZeneca shot who are under 40, and are now in the position to receive their 2nd shot are not encouraged to receive the AstraZeneca shot. It's possible people may be put on a new course - 2 new shots of Pizer or Moderna. People over 40 can still take their 1st and 2nd dose with AstraZeneca.
The Alliance is collecting information from employers actively seeking immunization for their workers and will share this information with the health regions as they request it to support their programs.

To register your interest in a future phase of workplace immunizations, please send an email to [email protected] with your company name, production facility address(es), number of employees at each facility, and key contact name, and email, and phone for each facility.
The fastest route to getting vaccinated for you right now is to book with a participating pharmacy. A complete list of participating pharmacies can be found here: http://www.bcpharmacy.ca/resource-centre/covid-19/vaccination-locations
People who have registered will stay on the provincial registry until their age cohort becomes eligible. However, they can get faster access to vaccination now by booking with a participating pharmacy. A complete list of participating pharmacies can be found here: http://www.bcpharmacy.ca/resource-centre/covid-19/vaccination-locations
Within Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health, right now we're moving on to vaccinating teachers, people working in daycares and first responders. If you are working in such an organization and have not heard yet, then expect to be contacted soon. There is a detailed process to reach licensed child cares, schools and we have been in touch with our partners; police, fire, emergency and medical services. This varies across the region as our colleagues in Island Health haven't had workplace transmissions that we're dealing with in VCH/FH, they are focusing on age as the biggest risk factor. Each region is a bit different. Each region has different risks and different approaches to get vaccines out. IF you are in VCH/FH - those sectors are getting a lot of attention right now with quite a bit number of people getting vaccinated each day.
While most restaurant owners have done an exceptional job of implementing controls and adhering to their COVID-19 Safety Plans, the risk remains significant and the potential for spread high. Dr. Schwandt's comparison by industry clearly illustrated (slide 17 in his presentation) that restaurants and bars have experienced far and away more COVID-positive workplace clusters than any other industry. By temporarily closing indoor dining, Public Health is trying to eliminate this vector for wide spread of the virus.
We've had our national and provincial bodies look at this very closely, trying to optimize the supply of vaccinations that we do have. We've seen other parts of the world - UK, have good success with this in controlling their pandemic in a large scale. Wide scaled coverage with a single dose is a good first goal, and probably better than lesser coverage with higher, more effective 2-doses. If we can get to 60-70% coverage of the single dose, we'll be in a much better place for preventing transmission in a population level. In bringing the pandemic under relative control sooner, wide spread use of the single dose is thought to be best. In BC right now, the plan is to give the 2nd dose 16 weeks after the 1st dose. For countries that are a few weeks ahead of us with their campaigns, we've seen really good results so we have confidence that this is the way to go.
In workplaces where there is a high degree of contact with the nature of work being in small spaces, those safety plans will continue for some time. Workplaces where we may see some relaxing of that would be outdoor spaces, recreational context. Workplaces that have been in a higher risk, even with vaccine coverage and hopefully diminished transmission at some time in the future, will still be important to keep the safety protocols in place; masking indoors, barriers in smaller spaces, all those aspects will be important. Covid will still be circulating in the population for some time, so the safety measures will not be scaled back anytime soon.
None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines cause an immunized person to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.​ If a recently-immunized person tests positive, it means that they were infected just before, or possibly after, receiving the vaccine. No vaccine is 100% effective in preventing the virus, but they have been shown to substantially reduce the incidence of asymptomatic infection and have demonstrated a high level of efficacy in preventing symptomatic and severe disease.
WorkSafeBC website would be the best place to look to for a description of the new closure process. This is very new, as it was announced quite recently by the provincial health officer. Details have been formed in the most recent days what the approach will be with feedback from all the health regions. WorkSafeBC would be the go to site for that. Each of the health authorities will be monitoring for a cluster of cases over time. They've seen a number of cases have occurred in succession that are within the workplace would come to our attention, and the direction would be that those would be closed.
The Alliance is collecting information from employers actively seeking immunization for their workers and will share this information with the health regions as they request it to support their programs.

To register your interest in a future phase of workplace immunizations, please send an email to [email protected] with your company name, production facility address(es), number of employees at each facility, and key contact name, and email, and phone for each facility.
The Alliance is collecting information from employers actively seeking immunization for their workers and will share this information with the health regions as they request it to support their programs.

To register your interest in a future phase of workplace immunizations, please send an email to [email protected] with your company name, production facility address(es), number of employees at each facility, and key contact name, and email, and phone for each facility.
It's similar process. If a new case is diagnosed, they will be reached by public health and interviewed, and looked at the contacts. This could be their household members they live with, can be social contacts, and include looking at their work place. Looking for people who are close in staying in contact with the case. Typical time frame would be 15 minutes within that 2 meters distance. Sometimes we would be concerned with contact scenarios. If people are working in close proximity for a certain task, it could be considered close contacts. If it's over 2 meters and they are working in the same room, they could be asked to isolate. Public health will asses this and make these decisions on who in a workplace needs to isolate, who may need to be notified but doesn't have to isolate. Looking at thresholds who will get which intervention, and then notify the entire workplace if it's deemed necessary - for wide spread exposure. Many workplaces have taken on some of their own contact tracing, trying to isolate people who have been in close contact. Generally speaking we ask that you wait for public health to do that. You can work with us, contact tracers, and inform us if there has been close contact is part of the day to day in the workplace. We are always looking for more information. We have experience where entire shifts/workplaces have been put off for days, which may not have been needed. The proactive work from employers is great, but please do so in consultation with public health.
We don't have the specific number province wide, it's probably over 20 and less than 30. There may be new ones issued, so that number is changing. It's not an extremely high number, however it's the number of workplaces in general. in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, a large number of those have been restaurants, which has been a major area in seeing clusters. To my knowledge, none of our current closures affected the processing sector. We hope the success of the vaccination rollout measure has helped with this. We encourage everyone to get tested with symptoms, and carry out the same measures as before.
Things have been fast moving in the rollout of vaccines, with the supply that we have changing, having some disruptions at some points, being alert and nimble to all this has been challenging for both regional health authorities and for the general public/employers who are supporting employees getting vaccinated. In relation to AstraZeneca, this will vary from region to region. Each region has been given authority to deliver vaccinations to where its most necessary. For example Fraser Health & Island Health, the attention is to farms as a high risk site, and is less so the case for VCH. Meanwhile Northern Health may look at more industrial applications that aren't as common in the south. Suggestion is - writing to the Alliance with your expression of interest to add your names and contact info to our database, and when VCH can offer vaccinations to each sector, we'll be able to contact you. Register your interest.
Assessed by your regional health authority. A medical health officer working with the contact tracing team will gather further information in most cases before applying this. If people have acquired infection outside the workplace, and its not thought to be transmission in the workplace, this would not necessarily apply. In some cases, if a workplace is deemed critical to some public functions; food processing, which many of your are part of, their are exceptions to this. This is not automatic that the case count will make a workplace close, but it is the direction from the province that the closures will proceed in the absence of those criteria.