With the province beginning to reopen, the BC Provincial Health Officer has issued a new Public Health Order relating to Industrial Work Camps and workers within the agriculture sector. This Order replaces the previous Order issued on April 23, 2020.
The new Order no longer recommends that workers should remain on site even on their days off. Instead, the Order provides guidance for workers when they leave the site:
- All workers must carry a mask or tissues at all times
- If they develop symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. fever, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, or difficulty breathing) while away from the accommodation, they must put on the mask or cover their nose and mouth with tissues and return immediately to the accommodation while avoiding contact with other people. The worker should then seek advice from a health professional
Employers are still required to develop an infection prevention and control protocol to prevent the transmissions of the virus. Employers should update their protocols for appropriate conduct while away from the farm and must provide workers with a mask or some means of face cover for when they leave the site. Workers must follow the protocols to conform to the general prevention guidelines. The employer is responsible for ensuring compliance.
It is recommended that workers continue to avoid large groups while they are away from their accommodations in order to prevent transmission of COVID-19.