The hows and whys of communicable disease prevention in the workplace
News 2 minute read

The hows and whys of communicable disease prevention in the workplace

Megan Orr | July 13, 2021

British Columbia moved into stage 3 of reopening as of July 1st, which means that the province has moved out of its state of emergency. Workplaces can move past COVID-19 protocols into communicable disease prevention protocols.

Not sure what communicable disease prevention means for your workplace? Download our free resource: the Gradual office reopening checklist: A guide for Canadian employers, which includes a list of health and safety precautions that your workplace can take in order to continue to decrease the spread of COVID-19. 

As defined by WorkSafeBC: “Communicable disease prevention focuses on basic risk reduction principles to reduce the risk of workplace transmission of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases”. 

Moving towards communicable disease prevention means that, in the majority of workplaces, COVID-19 is being treated as any other contagious illness. We’ve broken down a variety of current recommendations for you:

  • Masks are still recommended (but not required) in all indoor spaces until individuals are fully vaccinated—which is 2 weeks after the second vaccine dose.
  • If you feel unwell, stay home and get tested. 
  • Workplaces should continue to promote good hand hygiene, with sanitization areas and hand washing signage in place. 
  • Sanitization and cleaning of common surfaces should still happen at regular intervals throughout the day.  
  • Physical distancing is no longer mandatory, but encouraged. In instances where physical distancing is not possible, workplaces may choose to add or keep up barriers between workspaces. 
  • Workplaces may choose to reduce travel (particularly international) until a later time
  • Organizations may need to modify some employees’ duties/roles in order to accommodate their comfort level, particularly if they choose not/are not able to be vaccinated.

Employers are also obligated to stay on top of any changing regulations that may impact their employees. 

It’s vital that employers are continually checking with their local health authority to ensure that they’re complying with all current regulations. Employers’ number one responsibility is to ensure the safety of their employees, so organizations should continue to monitor the situation and be abundantly cautious even as restrictions are lifted. 
For more information on precautions you can take to protect your team, download our latest resource: the Gradual office reopening checklist: A guide for Canadian employers.

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