Orderly COVID-19 business plans reinstated for all BC businesses – Smithers Interior News


Preparing for a full return to school next week and a continuing wave of COVID-19 infections that could reach 10,000 per day, provincial health worker Dr.Bonnie Henry said on Friday that her latest prescription for public health is to require pandemic safety plans for all businesses.

The details need to be worked out with WorkSafeBC and individual companies, but obstacles and reducing clutter are among the options, Henry said in a Jan. 7 briefing. This does not apply to daycares, post-secondary institutions or the K-12 school system, which have their own infection reduction plans.

“It’s about re-activating all of these layers of protection to reduce the impact of omicron traffic in our communities and ensure that we can continue to operate our businesses,” said Henry. It’s all about business continuity and we know it’s proven to be effective in keeping businesses open and running them securely.

British Columbia’s public health teams reported 3,144 new cases on Friday and nine more deaths. There were 349 people hospitalized with active COVID-19 infections as of January 7, up from 324 in the past 24 hours, and 93 people in intensive care, up from 90.

The number of hospitalizations and intensive care has slowly increased with new record cases of the Omicron variant, but epidemics in the healthcare system have increased alongside community infections. The Department of Health reported 16 new outbreaks on Thursday, for a total of 37 active outbreaks across the province, mostly in nursing homes for the aged. An outbreak is declared when one or more residents test positive, or when more than one member of staff does.

Two more healthcare outbreaks were declared at the Surrey Memorial Hospital and the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge on Friday.

British Columbia health authorities continue to run COVID-19 vaccination clinics by appointment across the province for residents five years of age and older. Registration and appointment scheduling in British Columbia can be done online here, or by calling 1-833-838-2323 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.

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Legislative Assembly of British Columbia Coronavirus


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