Corona Virus – COVID-19 Update – March 13, 2020

What is Corona Virus COVID-19?

A new coronavirus is the cause of an outbreak of respiratory infections, now known as COVID-19. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. They include cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing. The number of cases worldwide is changing quickly. B.C. has confirmed cases of coronavirus; however the risk to Canadians continues to be low. Here is a good introductory video from the World Health Organization about COVID-19:


What are the latest updates?

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the Provincial Government announced new measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in the community:

  • We are recommending against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.
  • Effective today, anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return.
  • Effective today, we also directing all event organizers to cancel any gathering larger than 250 people. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings or other similar events.
  • For more information you can access the full update here:
  • B.C. has confirmed cases of coronavirus; however the risk to Canadians continues to be low.

 What is Spectrum doing?

  • We are following the guidelines set by the Government of Canada and the BC health authorities.
  • We are providing information on the best ways to prevent transmission of the disease:
    • Everyone should wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Don’t touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth) as these are ways that you can be infected with the virus.
    • Stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • We are preparing for the possibility of increased spread of COVID-19:
    • We are reviewing staffing levels to ensure we can continue to provide essential services.
    • We are reviewing and updating our pandemic plan to ensure we can continue to operate when more people get sick.
  • We are working closely with health care providers for people we support who have underlying health conditions.
  • We are working with employees to ensure they understand the guidelines to staying healthy and providing safe care. Employees who are returning from international travel must self-isolate for 14 days after returning to BC.  We will work with them to ensure their income is protected.

What can people we support and their family and friends do?

  • Follow good personal hygiene practices including washing your hands, not touching your face, and coughing into a Kleenex or your elbow.
  • Please stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • Please let us know if you or anyone in your family has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Follow the government’s advice about travel to avoid spreading the disease.
    • Travel outside of Canada is not recommended.
    • When you return from travel outside Canada, please self-isolate for 14 days.
  • We ask you to consider what your family member might need in the event that they become ill or their service is disrupted, for example what your capacity would be to provide additional support in an emergency.
  • Follow the instructions of our health authorities as they are updated:

Please let us know if you have any questions.  We will continue to send you regular updates.

Additional Resources:

Updates from Community Living BC:

A bulletin on COVID-19 and precautions for people with chronic health conditions:


Guidelines for Caring for someone with COVID-19:

Our previous Spectrum updates:

March 6, 2020:


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