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Workplace Changes

During the COVID-19 pandemic, how we interact at our physical work sites is different.

Page updated: July 30, 2021 at 2 p.m.

On this page you can find important information about:

Workplace safety

PHSA's Workplace Health and Safety team is committed to providing a safe and health environment for staff, patients, volunteers, contractors and members of the public. Management and staff share responsibility to make this commitment a reality.

Ongoing training is an important part of this commitment.

PHSA COVID-19 guidelines & procedures is a 20-minute course that entails reviewing and signing off on PHSA’s COVID-19 guidelines and procedures, as well as your facility’s safety plan. All PHSA staff/contractors must take this course. Note: BCEHS is developing a separate course for field paramedics involved in clinical care; all other BCEHS employees should complete this course during work hours. BC Children’s & BC Women’s staff are not required to take this course; instead, they must take the C&W COVID education course.
PHSA COVID-19 overview is a 45-minute course that includes information about the COVID-19 virus, precautions we should take at the workplace to minimize transmission, staff exposure, testing and psychological health and safety supports. Any PHSA staff member/contractor who has been working remotely but is returning to the workplace, either on a part-time or a full-time basis. Note: for BCEHS, this includes all BCGEU staff, administrative staff, corporate support staff, excluded staff and other BCEHS employees not providing direct patient care. BC Children’s & BC Women’s staff are not required to take this course; instead, they must take the C&W COVID education course.

PHSA's Workplace Health and Safety team (PDF) available to help staff with safety questions and concerns.

Screening and visitors

Screening measures may vary by PHSA site. Please continue to watch for updates from your site leadership.

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Poster for facility entrances

public COVID-19 poster (PDF) has been developed for display in facility entrance or reception areas. You can find version of this poster translated into other languages on the BCCDC's website.

Posters have also been developed with QR codes that will direct people to the safety plan for each of our clinical facilities. You can find the posters under each program's list of safety plans

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Pay parking temporarily suspended

Pay parking for health care staff, physicians, patients and the public was suspended at all hospitals across the province from April 1, 2020 until further notice.

PHSA is also temporarily suspending payroll deductions, or will reimburse parking fees, starting in April 2020 until further notice. This includes all PHSA employees and medical staff, including admin and support service staff working in hospitals, facilities and office buildings; those with discounted daily rates; those with parking arrangements in a private lot; and medical staff who pay annually. Staff and medical staff who have pre-paid in advance will be reimbursed when parking fees are reinstated.

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Single site order

On April 10, 2020, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued an order requiring long-term care, assisted living, and provincial mental health facilities to limit staff to only working in one facility as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response. This was accompanied by a provincial labour adjustment process negotiated by HEABC and healthcare unions and issued through an “Emergency Program Act” order by the government.
These two orders set out a process for limiting workers who hold jobs in more than one site in long-term care, assisted living, and provincial mental health facilities, to working at just one of those sites for the duration of the orders. Staff may continue to work in LTC/AL/Provincial MH and in acute, community, or other roles outside the scope of the orders.
The single site order for BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services sites - Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (FPH) and Burnaby Centre for Mental Health & Addictions (BCMHA) - and associated staffing assignments was signed on May 22, 2020 and took effect on May 29, 2020.

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Interpreter access

Provincial Language Service (PLS) continues to provide their full scope of services (including on-site, in-person interpreting). 

They encourage health care providers to access:

  • remote (phone or video)
  • pre-scheduled virtual interpreting services.

These proven modalities provide the same quality as on-site, in-person interpreting.

Pre-scheduled interpreter requests:

  • All pre-scheduled requests for virtual visits must be submitted through the PLS online booking system. 
  • All pre-scheduled interpreter requests can be submitted through the PLS online booking system, including appointments occurring in the next two business hours.

On-demand interpreting:

  • On-demand phone interpreting will continue to be available for all interpreter requests, as usual.
  • On-demand video interpreting will be available to all healthcare providers for any requests through a web link.

For detailed instructions on how to access all our interpreting modalities, please log into the PLS online booking system.

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SOURCE: Workplace Changes ( )
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