All workplaces in BC must follow new COVID-19 rules

All workplaces in BC must follow new COVID-19 rules
WatchAll workplaces in B.C. will have to follow some key COVID-19 rules that are likely to last for several months. Tess van Straaten reports.

Heirloom Linens has been ringing up orders for 25 years but the popular Broadmead Village store has had to totally change how it does business due to the COVID pandemic.

“We ended up closing for a week but said there’s no future for us closing,” says Heirloom Linens co-owner Bob Ianson. “I don’t care what offers are made by the government. For us to continue, we have to continue to do business in some shape or form.”

A sanitation table and physical distancing signage now greets customers.

High-touch surfaces are being sanitized often and there’s a protective barrier at the cash.

The store also started curbside pick-up to reduce the number of people coming inside and increased online sales a whopping 620 per cent last month.

“Nothing short of incredible, unbelievable, completely unexpected to get this kind of a reaction!” says Ianson .

All businesses in B.C. will now have to take steps like that to reopen and have a written plan for keeping staff and customers safe.

And every workplace in the province must have a clear policy that anyone sick — even if it’s just a cold — can’t come to work.

“We need to make sure consumers, people, are conformable that we are doing everything we can as a society to protect each other,” says Premier John Horgan at a news conference Wednesday.

READ MORE: Elective surgeries, restaurants and hair salons highlight first steps of BC’s reopening

Workplaces should also encourage staff to work from home and those that can’t should stagger shifts to limit numbers.

Meetings should be done virtually and accommodations need to be made for people who are high risk.

“The plan, and the thoughtfulness and the purpose we have, is to get through at least until the fall and then see what happens,” says provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry,

Retailers will also need to reduce line-ups by opening more check-outs, extending hours to spread out customers, and increase online shopping and deliveries.

WorkSafeBC will work with industry associations to develop guidelines. and each business will need their own plan before they can re-open.

Click here to read the B.C.’s restart plan.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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