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Workplace Changes

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

Page updated: May 22, 2020 at 1 pm

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. Here is our list of staff who are available to help program areas with their safety questions and concerns.

Pay parking temporarily suspended

Pay parking for health care staff, physicians, patients and the public will be 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 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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Maintain your physical distance

We know there are many who cannot work remotely. We recommend that you keep a two-metre distance between yourself and other people, where possible.

How to physically distance at work:

  • book larger meetings rooms for rounds or meetings so that everyone can maintain this distance
  • offer a dial-in option if possible, and be mindful of the space around you when gathering
  • maintain your distance or limit people in meeting rooms, break rooms and other small spaces when you can
  • In clinical settings where close contact is required for care, please continue to use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for your clinical care setting   

See the BCCDC website physical distance page for more.

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Screening and visitors

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

Poster for facility entrances

A 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.

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Single site order

On April 10, 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 will take 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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