Team News

COVID-19 Updates – October 14 2020

In this update:

  • BC Centre for Disease Control Update – October 13, 2020
  • Inclusion BC Election Webinar – 1pm on October 14th
  • Joint statement on B.C.’s COVID-19 response, latest updates

“Today, we are announcing four 24-hour reporting periods.

“In the first reporting period from Oct. 9 to 10, we had 170 new cases. From Oct. 10 to 11, we had 159 new cases. From Oct. 11 to 12, we had 119 cases and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 101 new cases.

“This represents a total of 549 new cases, including five epi-linked cases, for a total of 10,734 cases in British Columbia.

“The increase in cases is in part a result of a recent testing backlog, which was cleared with extra lab processing over the weekend. While this has meant an increase in the overall number of confirmed positive cases, the active cases and percentage positive remain stable.

“Each day that you choose to do the right thing, you are helping to protect our communities and keeping important activities and places open and safe. Just as we all did this past weekend, let’s continue to find new ways to support each other and show we care – at a safe distance.”

More details here.

COVID-19 Updates – October 6, 2020 – Safer Celebrations

Safer Celebrations

Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) have a list of ways to celebrate safely over the next three months.

As the days get shorter, many of us look forward to fall holidays and festivities. With COVID-19 still a concern across the province, here are some things you can consider to help make celebrations safer for everyone.

Keep in mind that the more space you have and the less time you spend with others, the safer you are when getting together.

If you are hosting:

Gatherings outside and inside

  • Keep gatherings small, local and within your social group this year.
  • Celebrate outside when you can.
    • Bundle up for picnics or a late season BBQ.
    • Considering visiting a heated, outdoor patio.
    • Be mindful of safety around outdoor heaters and open fires, particularly if children are involved.
  • If you plan for an indoor visit with people outside of your household, here are a few things you can do to make your time inside together safer.
    • Keep your gathering small, try limit your gathering to your “stick to six” social group.
    • Check-in with guests before they arrive to make sure that they are feeling well and don’t have symptoms or recent contact with a confirmed case.
    • Visit in larger rooms where there is more space for people to sit or stand farther apart.
    • Choose well-ventilated spaces (spaces where there is lots of fresh air) and open windows if you can.
    • Limit your time indoors together (the less time you spend in a confined space together, the better). For example, consider offering “just dessert” rather than a long meal.
    • Consider the impacts that alcohol and substance use can have on maintaining physical distancing.
    • If you need to pass someone in a tight space (like a hallway or on stairs) try to pass them quickly or wait until they are gone before you enter hallways or stairs.
    • Encourage non-contact greetings such as elbow bumps or waves to reduce physical contact.
    • Keep music low to reduce the need for loud talking or shouting.
    • Make sure you have a place for guests to wash their hands.

If you are attending:

Here are some tips to keep in mind when attending celebrations:

  • Respect physical distancing efforts.
  • Practice good hand hygiene, wash your hands often or bring hand sanitizer.
  • Bring your own food and drink.
  • Use good respiratory etiquette and wear your mask when asked.
  • If you need to pass someone in a tight space (like a hallway or on stairs) try to pass them quickly or wait until they are gone before you enter hallways or stairs.
  • Bundle up for picnics or a late season BBQ.
  • Be mindful of safety around outdoor heaters and open fires, particularly if children are involved.

How to Celebrate Halloween Safely

Celebrate less socially and trick-or-treat locally this Halloween!

Skip Halloween parties this year

  1. Leave the parties behind.
    • Indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19.
    • Celebrate with your favourite Halloween movie or other traditions that you can do with your household or social group.
  2. If you host or attend a small party, keep it within your social group (Stick to six).
    • You should know everyone who attends, no plus ones.
    • Follow our guidelines for safer celebrations.
    • Don’t pass around snacks, drinks, smokes, tokes, and vapes
    • Be more outside, than inside. Keep your space well-ventilated with windows open.
    • Avoid using props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
    • Be careful with hand sanitizer and open flames – hand sanitizer is very flammable!

Get creative handing out treats

  1. Get creative!
    • Use tongs, a baking sheet or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy.
    • Plan to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl.
    • Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats.
  2. Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.
  3. Be more outside, than inside.
    • If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell.
    • If you’re unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening
  4. If you are decorating, avoid props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
  5. Stick to the treats – not tricks.

More on the BC CDC Website

COVID-19 FALL UPDATE – October 5, 2020

At Monday’s update, Dr. Bonnie Henry reviewed her epidemiological data with a slide show of graphs.  There are graphs comparing BC with the rest of Canada, information on schools re-opening, and cautiously optimistic information on the testing, cases and hospitalizations over the past two weeks.   We seem to have flattened the curve again, but we need to keep our distance, wash our hands and keep our bubbles small.  Here is a slide showing the changes over the past week:

More Data here in her Fall Update presentation.

Services for at-risk voters and voters with disabilities

Voters who are at-risk may be worried about voting in person. Elections BC is committed to a safe and accessible election for all voters, and we have services available to help, whether you are voting in person or remotely. Election officials are trained on how to help voters access voting opportunities, and services are available to help voters with disabilities or underlying health conditions to vote.

Vote by mail

Voting by mail is a great option for voters who have health concerns or who are not comfortable voting in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, visit our How to Vote by Mail page.

Assisted telephone voting

Telephone voting is available for a limited set of voters who are unable to vote independently by other means. To vote by assisted telephone voting, your voter registration information must be up-to-date and you must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. you have vision loss
  2. you have a disability or underlying health condition that prevents you from voting independently
  3. you are self-isolating during the last week of the campaign period and are unable to vote by mail

District Electoral Officers may also make this option available to some residents of care facilities, patients of acute care hospitals or deployed members of the military.

Only voters who meet one of these criteria are allowed to vote by telephone and voters must confirm that they are eligible. If an ineligible voter attempts to vote by telephone, it could tie up phone lines needed by those who are eligible.

Telephone operators will assist voters who vote by phone. Measures have been put in place to ensure the secrecy of the ballot for voters voting by telephone.

If you have questions about your eligibility to vote by assisted telephone voting, contact us at 1-800-661-8683.

Getting help marking your ballot

Voters can get help marking their ballot if they have a disability or difficulty reading or writing. Tell the election official at the voting place if you need help marking your ballot.

Resources for blind or sight-impaired voters

Braille candidate lists, large print ballot posters and plastic ballot templates are available at all voting places to help blind or sight-impaired voters mark their ballot.

Voting place accessibility

All advance voting places and most general voting places are wheelchair accessible. Voters who can’t enter a voting place can vote outside the building (at the curb or in the parking lot).


Voters can bring a translator to help them at the voting place. The translator must make a solemn declaration that they are able to act as a translator and will do so to the best of their abilities.

Accessible Voting – Elections BC



Why is it important to do a Drop, Cover, and Hold On drill? To react quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, before strong shaking knocks you down–or drops something on you. Practicing helps you be ready to respond.

    • If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then Drop, Cover and Hold On:
      • DROPto the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
      • Take COVERby getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
      • HOLD ONto it until the shaking stops.

Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings in British Columbia you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.

    • If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.

Ground shaking during an earthquake is seldom the cause of injury. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by collapsing walls and roofs, flying glass and falling objects. It is extremely important for a person to move as little as possible to reach the place of safety he or she has identified because most injuries occur when people try to move more than a short distance during the shaking.

Look around you now, before an earthquake. Identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school so that when the shaking starts you can respond quickly. An immediate response to move to the safe place can save lives. And that safe place should be within a few steps to avoid injury from flying debris.

Further information:

Drop, Cover, and Hold On!


It is a great time to review the contents of emergency medical and earthquake kits in your home. 

Are your water and food rations currently dated? Other items like glow sticks and batteries have expiry dates. It’s a good time to make sure everything is up to date.

Did you use some of the medical supplies during the year?  Now is a great time to order replacement items.

Have there been changes in the number of people residing in your home?  Do you need more or less supplies?

Have any of the people you live with changed their diets over the past year? Do you need to change the dietary foods in their earthquake kits?

If you need help with restocking your emergency medical and earthquake supplies please feel free to contact Judy Smith at for assistance.

It is a good time to review all safety procedures in the home; making sure that exit routes are clear of debris, including accessing risk factors (for example, moving items on shelves that could fall and moving heavy items to bottom shelves instead of top shelves). Are all staff are familiar with where emergency care items are stored?  Please review the following information from our policy manual with the staff and individuals you support. Include staff to join on skype or zoom if you cannot meet in person so everyone is familiar with this process.


When you have completed your Earthquake Drill please record this information on Sharevision.


Hello, we are so thankful for your ongoing support and hope you enjoy this month’s round-up of stories.

Women’s Personal Safety Team Workshop : October 29

We are pleased to extend a special invitation to a fun evening for the women, daughters, and friends of the Vancouver Police Foundation.

Led by YWCA Woman of Distinction Inspector Colleen Yee, the VPD Women’s Personal Safety Team will teach participants personal safety tips (for ages 16 and up) and life saving techniques – all done virtually!

Space is limited, so please register today!


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

Leave a Reply