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Team News

COVID-19 Updates – Sept 11, 2020

Transitioning to Fall

With summer winding down and Covid-19 still very much a part of our lives, it’s a good time to review and refresh our safety measures.  The number of new cases in BC is on the rise.  We are at a critical juncture where our collective efforts will make a real difference.  It’s more important than ever that we stick to the practices that we know are effective at limiting the spread:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Maintain safe distance
  • Wear a mask if safe distance cannot be maintained

It was great to see people enjoying many of their usual summer activities, including travelling to other parts of the province for some and reconnecting with family and friends for others.  Dr. Henry is asking everyone now to revisit their safety plans including reducing their contacts back to a smaller bubble as we head indoors for the fall and winter.

Here at Spectrum we are reviewing the safety measures we’ve put in place for each individual, including contingency plans in the event that someone becomes ill with Covid-19.  We have been very successful so far with preventing spread of the virus but we know that the risks are still very real and outbreaks are still happening in other settings.  We need to be prepared.  We will continue to focus on smaller teams and fewer work locations for each of our staff.  Thank you to all our staff for their understanding and support, we know it hasn’t been easy.  Thank you to our HR team for their creativity and leadership, balancing our need for reduced contacts to protect the people we support with the needs of our staff for employment security.  Thank you to our front line supervisors for their flexibility with the many schedule changes, organizing PPE, and increased training requirements that have become part of the new normal.

Covid Relief Team

A critical piece of our pandemic planning is to ensure that we have enough staff not only to meet the day to day needs of each team but also to provide essential care and support if someone becomes ill with Covid-19.  The first and best option would be for those who are closest to the person to continue providing support, but where this is not possible or if staff also become ill, we will need a pool of people to draw from who can step in and provide additional support.

We are inviting Spectrum employees who have some extra capacity to join our Covid Relief Team.  This team will provide backup support to our existing teams in the event of an outbreak.  Support could be either in-person direct care – working in the home alongside existing team members – or supplemental support, such as delivering meals to the home or assisting with administrative tasks.  If you are interested or want to learn more, please contact our HR department or email  We will be hosting an information session to provide more information and answer questions.  Staff who are selected for the Covid Relief Team will be fully trained and compensated for their time, including their attendance at training sessions and team meetings.  If you are interested or want to learn more about this opportunity, please let us know!

Dr. Jennifer Baumbusch and Dr. Tim Stainton of our Institute are the Canadian researchers involved in an international survey on the impact of COVID-19 on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers.

Please help us by sharing this survey widely to your contacts within Canada.The study is led by the UCD Centre for Disability Studies in Ireland and has a team of 26 researchers working in 19 countries. This survey has full ethical approval and is entirely anonymous.

We want to recruit participants who are 18 years or older and are either (1) a family member of a person of any age who has an intellectual and developmental disability, or (2) a paid staff member supporting a person or persons of any age who has intellectual and developmental disabilities. We estimate the survey will take about 25 minutes to complete.

Please click here to take the survey

L’enquête est également disponible en français via le même lien

Thank you in advance. Your data will help provide a picture of the experiences of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers during a pandemic in Canada.

The survey is open until September 20, 2020.

Provincial News Announcements


September 9, 2020Premier’s Announcement on Fall and Winter Preparedness for COVID-19

The Province is investing $1.6 billion in a fall and winter preparedness plan that will significantly build upon and strengthen measures that respond to the health-care requirements of COVID-19.

The plan will provide new support to seniors in long-term care homes and assisted-living facilities, by ensuring more British Columbians than ever before can get a flu shot, and by reducing the chance for transmission of COVID-19 in B.C. hospitals.

September 10, 2020 Joint Statement on BC’s COVID-19 Response

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“Today, we are announcing 139 new cases, for a total of 6,830 cases in British Columbia.

“There are 1,412 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,109 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 5,190 people who tested positive have recovered.

“Currently, 42 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 14 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

…“This is our time to be steady in our actions and ready for what lies ahead.

“Every day we learn more about COVID-19 – the sources of transmission and the actions to take to protect ourselves. While there are many resources available to guide your actions and decision-making, your first stop should be the BCCDC website, where the latest information is available.

“What we do today makes a difference tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. By choosing to wash our hands regularly, keep our social interactions small and with those we know, and always staying home when ill, will ensure we remain strong in B.C.”


Let us know if you have any questions or need assistance with anything.


September 17, 2020

Back to school: Mental health resources at a glance

This at-a-glance list of mental health resources and tools can help kids and parents cope.

Plan members can win groceries for a year by using the my Sun Life mobile app

From October 1 to October 31, 2020, a contest highlights the benefits of the my Sun Life mobile app.

Change to our Preferred Pharmacy Network provider

On October 15, 2020, we’re changing our Preferred Pharmacy Network (PPN) provider to Express Scripts Canada (ESC).

Is Lumino Health Virtual Care part of your plan? Our plan member email campaign continues this week.

We’re continuing our email campaign to help plan members learn more about Lumino Health Virtual Care.

Sun Life Group Disability to implement call recording

We’ve made changes to ensure the highest quality of service for you and your plan members. Sun Life Group Disability is rolling out call recording.

We’ve made it easier for plan members to link their Sun Life account with Alexa

For more than a year now, plan members have been able to ask Ella questions about their benefits plans through Alexa. Now, we’re making it even easier to link a Sun Life account with Alexa.

Get the latest news and information in group benefits



Greetings from CLBC –

For more than twenty years, individuals and families across our province have celebrated Community Inclusion Month in October.

This important month arrives this year during a difficult time. The pandemic safety restrictions make it a challenge to celebrate. But we believe it is more important this year than ever to recognize the many contributions of the 23,000 people we serve, along with their friends and families.

Community Inclusion Month provides us with an opportunity to remind our home towns and cities about the importance of inclusion during a time when many we serve are struggling with extended isolation.

CLBC wants to encourage you to ask your community to stay connected in safe ways with those we love and support. We are also joining Inclusion BC in raising awareness about the need for inclusive housing.

Here’s what you can do:

Also, tell us about what you are doing via We will be updating our website here to promote your creative, safe efforts, to share stories and post municipal proclamations. Keep an eye on the page, as well as the CLBC events calendar and our Facebook and Twitter pages, as we will be sharing updates throughout the month using the hashtag #CIMonth2020.

We wish you a happy Community Inclusion Month and look forward to sharing highlights!

Community Living BC

If your Emergency First Aid Community Care Training has expired we have good news!

St. John Ambulance (SJA) has resumed Emergency First Aid Community Care training.

To accommodate the new distancing regulations, SJA has reduced class sizes, provides full body mannequins to remove the need of partner activities, and is selling masks for students to wear during the course.  Spectrum can provide you with a cloth mask prior to you attending the course. If you choose to purchase a mask through SJA for $12.99, you can do so separately on the day you attend the course.

If you have already obtained your certificate, please forward a copy of your certificate to the office so we may update your file.

If you have not obtained your first aid certification, please register yourself and email me ( please, letting me know the date you have registered to complete the course.


How to Register for Emergency First Aid Community Care:

  • Call St. John Ambulance: (604) 321-7242
  • They above number is their main line, but they have a number of locations across the lower mainland if you would like to call a location directly:
  • Register yourself for Emergency First Aid Community Care.

If you did not have your first aid certificate upon hire, you are responsible for the initial cost, which is currently $102.00, and Spectrum covers renewal fees.

  • If you are renewing your first aid, ask St. John Ambulance to invoice Spectrum Society
  • Let them know Spectrum Society will be paying for your course fee.

*St. John Ambulance may request authorization from Spectrum. Email with the date/location you want to complete the course and we will call them to confirm your registration.

First Aid is a requirement for employment as indicated in ‘Policy 4: Requirements for Employment.’

If requirements for employment are not met within a timely manner, shifts will be suspended without pay until this requirement is met. Below is a link to Spectrum’s First Aid policy:

Please respond back with your course date.  Prior to attending the class please arrange a time to come to the office to receive your free face mask. 

Pocket masks will need to be purchased directly from St. John’s Ambulance.

Keep your receipt and bring it to the office along with your certificate of course completion to be reimbursed and to have your file updated.

Please let Judy know if you have any questions or issues registering, by emailing her at