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COVID-19 Updates

  • NEW BC Recovery Benefit

    Date:
    December 18, 2020

    The BC Recovery Benefit is a one-time direct deposit payment for eligible families, single parents or individuals. Benefit eligibility is based on net income from your 2019 tax return. 

    Eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $125,000 can receive $1000, while eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $175,000 can receive a reduced benefit. Individuals $500 for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $62,500 can receive $500, and those with a net income of $87,500 can receive a reduced benefit as well.

    You must apply to receive the benefit. See HERE for more information or to apply.

  • BC COVID-19 Vaccine Information

    Date:
    December 14, 2020

     

    As part of B.C.'s COVID-19 immunization strategy, the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations begin the week of December 14, 2020. The COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved by Health Canada is safe, effective and will save lives. The vaccine is free for all British Columbians. The first vaccines arriving in BC are from Pfizer and additional vaccines from Moderna to be available soon. Below is a timeline for the various priority groups and the general population. Public health will arrange for the following priority groups to get the vaccine. No action is required on your part. 

    First priority groups

    • Long-term care residents and staff
    • Health-care facility staff for COVID-19 patients in settings like Intensive Care Units, COVID-19 wards and emergency departments
    • Indigenous people living in rural or remote communities
    • High risk people living in group settings like shelters
    • People over 80 years old

    Second priority groups

    In spring 2021 as more vaccine becomes available, a second phase of vaccination will begin for:

    • Older people under age 80 in descending five-year-age groups, with a focus on the oldest people first
    • Key frontline workers including:
      • All other healthcare workers
      • Police
      • Fire and first responders
      • People working in grocery stores
      • People working in K to 12 education settings and child care providers
      • People working in transportation
      • People working in manufacturing and production facilities

    General population timeline

    Following all priority groups, all others in BC can get the vaccine as it becomes available, if the vaccine is recommended for them.

    Everyone the vaccine is recommended for in B.C. will have the opportunity to get the vaccine by the end of 2021. We estimate that we could reach herd immunity once 60 to 70% of the population is vaccinated. This would reduce transmission rapidly.

    For more information, see the Government of BC COVID-19 Vaccines page, and BCCDC’s Plan for Vaccine Distribution in BC.

  • Webinar: Everyday Legal Issues During COVID Fatigue

    Date:
    December 14, 2020

    With the rules and "recommendations" changing daily, People's Law School wants to keep you in the know. December 15, 2020 at noon, three BC lawyers will debunk your rights when it comes to your job and workplace, daily life and other COVID-related issues. Register here!

  • Province-wide Ban on Social Gatherings Extended to January 8, 2021; Masks Remain Mandatory in Indoor Public Space

    Date:
    December 8, 2020

    Dr. Bonnie Henry announced on Monday December 7th the extension of the ban on social gatherings outside one’s immediate household. This ban will remain in place over the holidays until January 8, 2021. British Columbians may not socially gather with individuals beyond household members. For others, including people who live alone, their core bubble may also contain a partner, relative, friend or co-parent who lives in a different household. This should be a maximum of two people outside of those living in your immediate household.

    Masks will remain mandatory in indoor public spaces, and adult indoor and team sports are not allowed until at least January 8th. 

    Bans on religious services remain in place. Weddings, baptisms and funerals are still allowed to take place with a maximum of 10 people, but any gatherings before or after, such as receptions, are still off-limits. Drive-thru holiday events that allow people to stay in their vehicles with members of their households can proceed. Events, such as a drive-in movie, have a capacity of 50 vehicles.

    For more information on the updates, see the Province-wide Restrictions page.

     

  • Fraser Health COVID-19 Update: Surrey and Abbotsford Courthouses to Remain Open

    Date:
    November 30, 2020

    Fraser Health was involved in cases of COVID-19 among staff of the BC Sheriff Services at the Surrey Courthouse. All cases have been interviewed and close contacts have been directly notified and required to self-isolate. There is no clear evidence of transmission of COVID-19 at the Surrey Courthouse. In light of the information from Fraser Health, the Surrey Provincial Court will be open.

    Fraser Health has confirmed there is no outbreak at the Abbotsford Courthouse. Contact tracing is complete and all close contacts have been directly notified and required to self-isolate. Self-monitoring letters have been issued to all staff in the BC Sheriff Service department at the Abbotsford Courthouse. Fraser Health is confident that the situation has been managed appropriately and that all measures have been taken to ensure that transmission is controlled. The Abbotsford Provincial Court will also be open.

    To read more about this update, see the November 29, 2020 announcement.

  • Masks Mandatory in all BC Courthouses

    Date:
    November 25, 2020

    Effective immediately, people attending courthouses in British Columbia are required to wear a face mask or face covering, including in entrances, lobbies, waiting areas, registries, hallways, stairways, restrooms and elevators. In addition, people are required to wear a face mask or face covering in courtrooms unless the presiding judge, justice, master or registrar directs otherwise. 

    For more information on court-specific procedures, see the November 24th announcement.

     

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Launched Today

    Date:
    November 23, 2020

    Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

    This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

    If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

    See the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to learn more and/or apply.

  • NEW Province-wide Restrictions & Indoor Mask Requirement

    Date:
    November 20, 2020

    On Thursday November 19, 2020, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) instructed all individuals, places of work and businesses in BC to significantly reduce their level of social interactions and travel. The order is in effect from November 19, 2020 at midnight to December 7, 2020 at midnight.

    Masks are now required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces. People who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt. Employers are expected to enforce the mandatory mask policy with both employees and customers, and a customer can be refused entry or service if they do not wear a mask

    The new restrictions are as follows:

    • No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble. This means no in-home or outdoor gatherings and playdates.
    • All events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order – Gatherings and Events (PDF) are suspended. 
    • Funerals, weddings and baptisms may proceed with a limited number of people and a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. You can have a maximum of 10 people attend, including the officiant.
    • Party-buses and group limousines can not operate in any region.
    • In-person religious gatherings and worship services are suspended under the order.
    • Employers must make every effort to provide work from home options.  
    • At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of BC and between regions of the province.
    • Businesses, recreation centres or other organizations that organize or operate high risk indoor group physical activities must suspend the following activities: spin classes, hot yoga and high intensity interval training (HIIT).

    The order does not impact restaurants and bars. Restaurants and bars can continue to operate as long as they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place. You should only visit a restaurant with people in your household or core bubble. A maximum of six people are allowed at a table. 

    Under the Government’s Emergency Program Act, some orders can be enforced by police or other compliance and enforcement officials. People who don't follow these orders could be fined.

    For more information, see the full province-wide restrictions HERE.

     

  • Rent freeze extended, pending increases cancelled

    Date:
    November 9, 2020

    Rent increases set to happen on or after December 1, 2020 are canceled until July 10, 2021.

  • New Temporary Order affecting the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley

    Date:
    November 9, 2020

    On November 7, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrien Dix announced new orders affecting the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Heath regions in response to rising case numbers. The order is temporary and in effect from November 7, 2020 to November 23, 2020 at 12 p.m. 

    The order restricts social gatherings with members outside your household (indoor, outdoor and in restaurants) and strongly recommends that only essential travel take place in and out of the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. It also addresses group physical activities, workplace safety, and party buses and limousines.