The provincial government announced plans for a gradual return to normal life amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday.
Starting next weekend, meetings with two to six guests are OK, as long as there is a strict understanding that no one will socialize if they have COVID-19 symptoms, including coughing and sneezing.
Even signs of long-term affection such as hugging extended family members may be acceptable, as long as the recipient is not vulnerable to serious illness.
The goal, according to public health officials, is to allow a return to about 60% of normal interactions, without causing an outbreak of infections.
As of Wednesday, B.C. had 2,255 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – an increase of 23 cases from Tuesday – and 3 additional deaths. A total of 124 people died from the new coronavirus in British Columbia.
Priority sectors could start reopening in mid-May
On Wednesday, the province laid out guidelines for the reopening of certain sectors of the economy, with the understanding that physical distance and hygiene measures can be maintained.
Priorities starting in mid-May will include restarting parts of the health system that were inactive, such as dental care, physiotherapy and chiropractic, scheduled surgeries, outpatient services, diagnostic tests and services. imagery.
British Columbians can also expect the return of services such as hair salons, retail stores, museums, libraries, restaurants, pubs, office workplaces, public transportation, leagues sports and daycare.
Nightclubs, bars and casinos are not expected to reopen anytime soon, and the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people will remain in effect. Conventions, big concerts and the live audience in team sports are out of the question.
In order to reopen, B.C. employers must have clear policies to ensure that anyone with symptoms of a cold, flu or COVID-19 does not enter work, said provincial health officials.
Sick-day policies should be made with the knowledge that staff will stay home more often sick, depending on the province, and employers should come up with plans to meet the needs of the elderly and those with health conditions.
Different sectors will be asked to develop plans on how they can meet the expectations of public health officials, and WorkSafeBC will work with industry associations to ensure that these plans are adequate.
In all cases, the priorities will be physical distance measures to keep people two meters apart, masks if this is not possible and frequent cleaning – especially for areas affected by large numbers of people.
Employers are urged to discontinue face-to-face meetings, encourage homework where possible, and where this is not the case, consider setting up shift teams.
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