What is considered an essential service in the response to BC coronaviruses?


The provincial government has described what can be considered an essential service as it introduces substantial new measures to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
As part of British Columbia’s response to the pandemic, essential services are defined by the government and the provincial health worker as services that people rely on in their daily lives.

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This differs from what is designated an essential service under the British Columbia Labor Relations Code, which requires that certain sectors always provide a basic level of service if they take employment measures during a conflict. of work.

Essential services, as defined in COVID-19, “should and are encouraged to stay open,” says the province, as long as they obey public health orders to reduce the spread of the virus.

All other businesses, if they have not already been ordered to close, “may remain open” as long as they obey public health orders.

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The ban on gatherings of more than 50 people and a required physical distance of one to two meters between people led to the forced closure of bars, restaurants, cafes and personal service businesses such as hair salons and spas .

With specific regard to child care, the province says that child care must prioritize the care of children whose parents are front-line workers such as health workers, first responders and law enforcement.

Here is the B.C. list of essential government services:

Health services

All health care services, including acute care, secondary / long term care, coroners services, health care providers working inside and outside an acute care facility and other health services, including public health, drug treatment centers, safe injection sites, COVID-19 tests, clinical research supporting the COVID-19 response, blood / plasma donation services and emergency pre-hospitalization services.

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Other health services and care providers, including doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance staff, pharmacists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists and assistants, social workers, mental health and addictions – use workers, including peer helpers, speech-language pathologists, diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists, counselors, chiropractors, naturopaths, dentists, crisis centers, workers outreach, overdose and harm reduction services, meal programs.

First health responders (paramedics) providing emergency care.

Pharmaceutical production, medical laboratories / research, medical tests, pharmacies, manufacturers of medical supplies and equipment, wholesale, distribution and stores, and analytical test laboratories related to testing the finished product for pathogens and contaminants.

Safety supplies (e.g. work clothes, personal protective equipment, medical / pharmaceutical / laboratory supplies, etc.) stores, manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators.

Wholesale medical distribution.

Health plans, billing and medical information.

Law enforcement and emergency personnel

First responders, including police, firefighters and public safety, including law enforcement, commercial vehicle safety, correctional and detention services, rangers, security and safety services protection, court services, enforcement, and communications and dispatch support for first responders and volunteers, such as search and rescue and public safety volunteers.

Public sector workers for peace, order and good government, and employees of contracted service providers in these areas, including the maintenance of technical infrastructure to support this work and compliance with health and public security,

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Companies providing support to police and correctional services; operations and services in support of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canada Border Services Agency; emergency management personnel at local, regional and provincial levels; companies that provide overall continuity of aggregate supply to support critical infrastructure repairs and emergency response needs (for example, sandbags, armor stone barriers, etc.) and equipment and uniform suppliers for first responders.

Service providers for vulnerable people

Businesses and non-profit organizations that provide food, shelter, social and support services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable people, such as food banks, community kitchens and providers volunteer and community services.

Residential health facilities; mental health, addiction and drug addiction services; transitional, social and supportive housing; single occupancy accommodation;

Community services and awareness raising for immigrants, refugees, vulnerable populations and non-market housing, including businesses that sell, rent or repair assistance / mobility / medical devices, aids and / or supplies, health care the elderly, adults, children or the disabled.

Child care for people providing essential services, caregivers of children in care and not in care, care of the elderly and people with disabilities, including support for people with disabilities for people with physical disabilities and cognitive, residential care for people with mental health and addiction issues, including licensed people and registered treatment and recovery facilities

Government and not-for-profit service delivery personnel who provide access to income support for those in need of food and shelter, residential and care facilities and shelter for the elderly, adults, children and people disabled, overdose prevention sites, clinical or medical overdose prevention services supply of marijuana and companies that sell, rent or repair assistive / mobility / medical devices, aids and / or supplies, or other products / services that support the health sector, including mental health and addiction / counseling support services.

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Critical infrastructure service providers

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Infrastructure, drilling and production, refineries, processing, completion facilities, utilities, transportation, transportation, stations and essential storage facilities to meet essential daily needs for electricity, potable water, wastewater, electricity (including associated infrastructure) ), steam, alternative energy production, waste and risk management, industrial recycling, petroleum and natural gas and propane, fuel and other fuel sources, such as fuel oil and wood pellets, as well as operating personnel.

Manufacture of goods necessary for the continuous and immediate operation of other essential infrastructure and businesses, service stations, diesel, propane and suppliers of heating fuels, including suppliers of motor vehicles, aircraft and water / marine fuels, and suppliers of charging stations for electric vehicles.

Operations and employees required to operate and maintain drinking water and wastewater / drainage infrastructure, including: operational staff of water authorities, operational staff of community water systems, operational staff of wastewater treatment facilities, workers repairing water and wastewater pipes and performing the required sampling or monitoring, operational personnel for water distribution and analysis, operational personnel in waste water collection

Operational staff and technical support for supervision control, data acquisition control systems,
suppliers of chemical disinfectants for the protection of wastewater and personnel; workers who maintain the infrastructure of digital systems supporting water and wastewater operations.

Food and agricultural service providers

Growing food, including agriculture, livestock, aquaculture and fishing, and businesses that support the food supply chain as well as community gardens and subsistence farming

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Processing, manufacturing, storage and distribution of food, feed and beverages.

Workers essential to the maintenance or repair of equipment in food processing and distribution centers; workers, including temporary foreign workers, to support agricultural operations to improve food security.

Retail workers, including grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers’ markets and other establishments engaged in the retail sale or supply of food, pets or livestock, alcohol, cannabis (including producers) and any other household product, such as cleaning and personal care of products.

This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-food items and the items necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential daily functioning of the residences, such as home supply, hardware, building supplies stores, pawnbrokers, garden centers and nurseries,
agricultural supply, including seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, sale and maintenance of agricultural machinery.

Inspection services and associated regulatory and government personnel and support enterprises necessary for the slaughter of animals, milk production and food security and enterprises which ensure the health and welfare of animals, including veterinarians, farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, research facilities and other service providers.

Transport, infrastructure and manufacturing

Supply chain services required to supply goods for the operation of the company, including cooling, storage, packaging, transportation, warehousing and distribution, workers supporting maintenance and operations freight transportation services, including crews, maintenance, operations and other facility workers, manufacturers and distributors (to include service centers and related operations) of packaging materials, pallets , crates, containers and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging and distribution operations.

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Truck drivers who transport hazardous materials and waste to support essential municipal and provincial infrastructure, capacity, functions and services, as well as local, regional and provincial delivery services, including, but not limited to, businesses who directly ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services to businesses and residences as well as shipping and delivery services.

Services to support and enable transportation, including the maintenance and repair of highways, roads, bridges; employees who repair, maintain and overhaul vehicles, aircraft and parts, railway equipment, ships, equipment and infrastructure that support operations that include the movement of freight and passengers, as well as rental and leasing of vehicles.

Services that facilitate the transportation of essential supplies, personnel and services, including port / riparian operations, road, air and rail operations, facilities supporting interprovincial and intraprovincial delivery of goods, including weighbridges, commercial vehicle inspection stations, brokerage houses, truck towing and repair services, commercial suppliers of cardlock fuels, trucks and rest areas.

Government owned or leased buildings.

Companies that provide other essential businesses and people working from home with the support or supplies they need to operate; private transportation services, such as taxis, helicopters, helicopters, aircraft and ships, and public transportation services under physical distance rules or other recommendations from the provincial health official.

Workers supporting chemical and industrial gas supply chains, including workers in chemical factories, laboratory workers, workers in distribution facilities, workers who transport basic chemical raw materials to producers industrial and consumer goods and also support the natural resources sector as workers supporting security in these facilities.

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Provision of public services that support the safe operation of regulated businesses those that help these businesses meet other regulatory requirements

Workers who support the operation, inspection and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations as well as workers who support inspection and maintenance to ensure the safety of industrial facilities.

Inspectors who ensure the safety and health of workplaces for workers, and who investigate serious industrial accidents, workers who process and manage claims for injured workers, including their care and their salary, as well as the payment of workers’ compensation benefits.

Hotels and accommodation.

Activities of consuls general and staff who support the work of consuls general.

Owners of buildings where consulates are located and those responsible for ensuring access to consular offices and the operation of consular offices.

Storage for essential businesses.

Companies that provide materials and services for the operation, maintenance and security of transportation systems (road, public transportation, rail, air and water), including the provision of maintenance services, such as snow removal, collision response and completion of necessary repairs to transportation systems.

Companies that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including companies that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. metal / primary steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals , etc., which feed the final manufacturer product).

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Vegetation management teams and traffic workers who support sanitation / environmental monitoring and respond to environmental emergencies.

Firms providing staffing services, including temporary help services

Companies that support the safe operation of residences, essential businesses and facilities / buildings.


Cleaning services required to ensure and maintain disinfection.

Manufacture of sanitary products, household paper products, chemicals, microelectronics / semiconductor, including companies capable of modernizing their production facilities to produce goods / services that can be used to meet critical shortages of sanitary and protective products.

Companies that support environmental management / monitoring and cleanup and spill response, including environmental consulting firms, professional engineers and geoscientists, septic carriers, well drillers, pesticide applicators and exterminators , management of industrial wastewater / effluents (for example, for mining operations) and environmental laboratories and the collection, treatment and elimination of waste (garbage and organic matter) and recycling.

Communications, Information Sharing and Information Technology (IT)

Workers maintaining computer and communications infrastructure for medical facilities, government facilities, command and emergency response agencies, energy and utilities, banks and financial institutions, employees working home and other critical infrastructure and staff categories, including information management and cybersecurity incidents.

Newspapers, television, radio, online media and other media services.

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IT, radio, cable and telecommunications services, including telephone, Internet, wireless communications and data centers.

Satellite operations, submarine cable landing stations, Internet exchange points and manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment.

Non-health essential service providers

Food, water, litter, veterinary care, veterinary supplies, transportation and processing services for livestock, animal shelters and pets.

Coroners and workers performing mortuary services, including funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries, as well as workers supporting the proper handling, identification, storage, transportation and certification of human remains.

Banks and their branches, credit unions and related financial institutions, as well as workers who support security and technical operations supporting financial institutions.

Capital markets, including the BC Securities Commission, self-regulatory organizations, stock exchanges, clearing agencies, and investment fund dealers, advisers and managers.

Services related to bankruptcy / credit restructuring and non-bank sources of capital, check-cashing, money-sending and remittance services, foreign exchange services and pawnbrokers.

Accounting, payroll, translation, legal and insurance services; insurance assessment and arbitration providers.

Plumbers, electricians, elevator maintenance providers, exterminators, property management services, caretaking / janitorial, cleaning services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, construction system maintenance and repair technicians, engineers, mechanics, foundries and other service providers that provide the services necessary to maintain the security, sanitation and essential daily operations of residences and commercial buildings.

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Educational institutions – including public and private kindergarten to grade 12 and public post-secondary institutions – for the purpose of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, including services necessary to ensure the safety, security, well-being, integrity and health of the community, property and research and certain operational and contractual activities, if they are subject to public health orders for social distancing and physical or other recommendations.

With respect to research universities, services, including research related to COVID-19, residential accommodation and catering services for students on campus, construction operations and risk management, animal care, student health services, IT including data security and infrastructure, finance / payroll / administration / HR / communications and child care for essential university staff.

Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers.

Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, whether operating under public health orders for social and physical remoteness or other recommendations.

Towing services and other vehicle repair / maintenance operations.

Schools and other entities that provide free food services to students or members of the public, if they operate according to physical distance rules or other health recommendations.

Construction works, in accordance with the official direction of health, construction companies, specialized and professional trades, and rental of construction and light industry machinery and equipment.

Companies that provide global continuity of supply of primary and value-added forest / forestry products (eg lumber, pulp, paper, firewood, etc.), including pulp products soft, such as protective masks, gowns, curtains, screens and other hospital supplies, as well as household paper products;
postal services, including public and private mail, shipping, logistics, mail, delivery services and PO boxes.

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Research services supporting essential sectors, including medical / clinical research and industrial research.

All government functions or services (local, regional, provincial).

Businesses and non-profit organizations that provide support services to citizens and businesses on behalf of the government – these include income assistance and assistance for the disabled, pensions, rental home, British Columbia service card, driver’s license, affordable child care, Medical services plan, forestry worker support programs, notary, commissioner, affidavits, pesticide reviews, monitoring essential trades, 1,888 COVID19, video verification and helpdesk for BCeID.

Weather forecast.

Companies that provide global continuity of supply of mining materials and products (for example, metals such as copper, nickel, and gold) and that support supply chains, including mining operations, production and processing; mining exploration and development and the mining supply and services that support supply chains in the mining industry, including operations maintenance, health and safety.

Operations center workers needed to maintain other essential functions.

Professional services, including lawyers and paralegals, engineers, accountants, translators.

Land registration services and real estate agent services.

Application of the building code, inspection of buildings, sites and construction systems by building officials and approved professionals (architects and engineers).

Public toilets and hygiene facilities (toilets, washbasins, showers) for people who are not sheltered.

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Parks and green spaces for public health and accommodation (for homeless people).


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