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COVID-19 Updates – November 20, 2020 – Expanded Health Orders

Expanded Health Orders

“We are in our second surge, and it is proving to be a challenge….  I know we will get through this, but we need to take more action, now.”

– Dr. Bonnie Henry, November 19, 2020

This past week has seen a surge of new Covid-19 cases and deaths in BC.  As a result, Dr. Henry has issued a number of new and expanded public health orders:

  • The regional orders that have been in place for the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions are extended to the whole province.  These orders are extended to December 7th.
  • Social visits are limited to the immediate household.  No socializing with people outside your immediate household.
  • For those who live alone, social visits with one or two close contacts are allowed.
  • Meeting a friend for a walk outside is allowed.
  • Masks now required in all indoor public and retail spaces, except when eating or drinking.
  • Masks now required in common areas of office space.  Masks not required when sitting at your desk if safe distancing is maintained.
  • Masks not required if the person is unable to wear one due to their disability, or for children under the age of two.
  • Employers to support and encourage working from home as much as possible.
  • Essential workers and those who must go into the office should limit social interactions with co-workers before, during and after work.
  • Active daily screening of all workers to ensure people are not coming to work with symptoms of Covid-19.
  • No in-person services at places of worship for the next two weeks.  Funerals and weddings may proceed with maximum 10 people including the officiant, following safety guidelines.
  • Indoor high intensity group fitness activities like hot yoga and spin classes are suspended.
  • No spectators at indoor or outdoor sporting activities, and no group travel for these activities.
  • Limit travel as much as possible unless it is essential.  Stay within your local community as much as possible.

Joint Statement on BC’s COVID-19 Response – Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health

The focus of these new orders is on reducing social activities.  Dr. Henry emphasized that the goal is to keep workplaces, schools and essential services open safely, and to protect the health care system.  By reducing our social interactions, we reduce the risk of further community spread that spills over to these essential services.

We are at a critical juncture where our collective efforts can make a big difference.  The next few weeks are going to be challenging, but if we all work together, we will get through it.  We successfully flattened the curve in the spring.  We can do it again.

Let us know if you have questions or need assistance.

CLBC and Government News

November is Indigenous Disability Awareness Month

Indigenous people in Canada experience a disability rate significantly higher than that of the general population. Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) brings awareness of the barriers and issues that Indigenous peoples and their families living with disabilities face every day. More importantly, we celebrate their achievements and recognize the significant and valuable contributions they make to our communities socially, economically and culturally.

Indigenous Disability Awareness Month was created by the BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) in 2015, and 2020 is the sixth year of recognizing the month. IDAM is now annually declared and recognized by the Provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan, the Assembly of First Nations, BC First Nations Summit, Métis Nation of BC, Council of Yukon First Nations, the Town of Inuvik, and hundreds of other Canadian organizations and communities. IDAM is the only Indigenous disability-specific awareness initiative of its kind in the world.

Click here to read a message recognizing the month from CLBC CEO Ross Chilton and BCANDS Executive Director and CLBC Indigenous Advisory Committee Chair Neil Belanger.

Plain language teleconference summary and audio recording now available

On Tuesday, a teleconference for individuals and families took place with Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO, and Michael Prince, CLBC Board Chair. The call shared the latest health information and guidance on COVID-19. At the beginning of the call, CLBC also recognized four winners of this year’s annual Widening Our World award for exceptional efforts to support individuals and families during the pandemic.

The audio recording of the teleconference has now been posted on the teleconference webpage here. A plain language summary of the call will also be posted to that page soon, and shared in the next edition of this update.

Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley COVID restrictions currently in place

On November 7, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, released new COVID-19 restrictions for those who live in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.

These rules are in effect until Monday, November 23 at 12:00 p.m. You can read about these health orders, and find the latest updates, here. You can see the full list of communities where the new rules are in place here.

The rules include new direction about:

  • Social Interactions: Socialize with only those in your immediate household.
  • Gatherings: No social gatherings of any size. You can gather with your immediate household.
  • Group Physical Activity: Indoor, group physical activities are stopped during this time.
  • Workplace Safety: All businesses and worksites must conduct daily in-person screening of all onsite workers using the COVID-19 symptom check list.
  • Travel: Going into and out of the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley should be limited to essential travel only.

CLBC has received confirmation from Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, that the new orders do not apply to essential services but do impact social gatherings. CLBC funded services such as respite and community inclusion are considered essential and should continue as per plans and safety guidelines for this phase of the pandemic. However, individuals and families must comply with restrictions on social interactions.

Click here for the full message about this to individuals and families from CEO Ross Chilton.

COVID-19 masking policies must accommodate people who cannot wear a mask 

B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender is calling on employers, landlords and service providers across B.C. to ensure their COVID-19 masking policies accommodate people who cannot wear a mask, based on grounds protected by the B.C. Human Rights Code.

Since the outset of the pandemic, people have reportedly been refused services because they were not wearing masks or face coverings. In some cases, people cannot wear masks due to a medical condition or disability and discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited under B.C.’s Human Rights Code. New guidance announced here explains that those developing mask wearing policies must take every step possible to accommodate people protected by the Code.

B.C. Housing and emergency shelters during the winter

As the weather changes, more people are in need of shelter. In addition to shelters that are typically open year-round, there are also Extreme Weather Response shelters that open temporarily in response to extreme weather.

If you or someone you know is in need of shelter, please click here to find a shelter near you.

If you or someone you know is fleeing violence in the home, you can click here for a list of transition houses and safe homes. If you are in crisis and need help, call 1-800-784-2433 or click here to chat with a counsellor online.

B.C. rent freeze extended to July 2021

The Province is extending the freeze on rent increases until July 10, 2021. Rent increases set to happen on December 1, 2020, are cancelled along with all pending increases through to July.

This is an interim measure to provide stability and advance notice for renters and landlords while a new cabinet is sworn in.

You can read the full announcement about the rent freeze extension here.

Naloxone and other resources to prevent drug overdoses

There is an opiate overdose crisis happening in B.C. and during the COVID-19 pandemic, overdose deaths have increased. Two of the reasons for this are that more people are using drugs alone and getting access to drugs is harder.

Naloxone (also called Narcan) is medication that reverses the effects of an overdose. Kits are available at no cost if you are at risk of an overdose, or likely to witness an overdose.

Over 1,300 sites throughout B.C. carry Naloxone kits and offer training with how to use Naloxone. Site locations include pharmacies, shelters and other organizations. Click here to find a Naloxone site near you.

Click here for more information about overdose prevention including the learn S.A.V.E. M.E. steps to save a life when someone has overdosed.

Stigma, sickness and COVID-19

Stigma can be described as negative feeling toward a group of people. Stigma makes people feel uncomfortable and even scared. Unfortunately, those who have cold or flu symptoms, have been exposed to COVID-19 or have COVID-19 themselves, may have felt these negative feelings of being stigmatized by others. Stigma often happens because people feel scared or do not understand what is happening, like what we are experiencing right now with the pandemic.

Find more information about stigma related to COVID-19 from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health here, including ways to deal with and reduce it.

First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) promotes lateral kindness approach 

“Anyone can get it, and no one should be stigmatized for it!” is the message from Dr. Shannon McDonald, FNHA Acting Chief Medical Officer.

Lateral kindness is an approach to address lateral violence based on Indigenous values, which promote social harmony and healthy relationships. Lateral violence includes behavior like bullying, harassing, gossiping about or stigmatizing others, as well as other unkind behaviours. You can read Dr. McDonald’s post about using lateral kindness to reduce fear and stigma here. You can also find FNHA’s poster about lateral kindness here.

It is important to remember how we would want to be treated if we or our loved ones were to be affected by COVID-19. We also need to keep in mind that the virus is the enemy, not people with COVID-19. All people should feel safe and supported in their communities, especially if they are sick.

Staying connected and supported

Vela Canada launches monthly Solution Circles 

Vela is launching Solution Circles, a virtual monthly meetup to brainstorm solutions for common challenges that Microboards and Individualized Funding recipients face. Each month there is a focus on a specific topic, such as respite, staffing, or funding, and participants discuss what people find challenging, what other people are doing, and how we can create solutions together.

The next session takes place on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

It will focus on how to maximize respite options during COVID-19. If you or someone you know is struggling with respite or you have come up with some creative solutions during this time, we invite you to join and share your input.  You can click here to register.

Wellness Guide helps overcome isolation during COVID-19

Being alone and lonely is difficult enough, but stay-at-home orders and physical distancing make it even more challenging to overcome such feelings and make connections. To help address these challenges, Advocates for Human Potential (AHP)’s Human Potential Press, in collaboration with the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, developed the “Wellness Guide to Overcoming Isolation During COVID-19: Being Connected, Staying Connected, and Choosing Connection.”

This new free guide is available online here. It is designed to help people maintain emotional wellness and health. The practical information and exercises offer a pathway to making and building connections and help overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Caregiver Self Assessment Tool from Teva Canada

If you’re a family member or friend providing unpaid care to a loved one with a physical, cognitive or mental health condition, then you are a caregiver. This makes you a vital resource, a critical healthcare partner and an individual with your own needs. Teva Canada is offering  caregivers a number of free resources that can be found here, including this self-assessment form to keep track of any possible signs of burnout or fatigue.

Internet for Good available to B.C. Persons with Disability (PWD) recipients

Having access to reliable internet is essential in today’s interconnected world. Internet for Good® is an innovative program offered by Telus that provides eligible Canadians, including British Columbians who receive PWD benefits, with low cost internet. Find out more about the program, and how to apply, here.

COVID-19 community grants expand access to counselling

Community Action Initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and the Ministry of Health, is pleased to have awarded 29 Community Counselling Grants to organizations across British Columbia. These grants are intended to support underserved or hard-to-reach populations that do not have access to counselling opportunities.

You can learn more about the grants here, including the full list of recipients and their communities.

Annual Federal Policy Forum for Inclusion coming up on December 3

Registration is now open for the 11th Annual Federal Policy Forum for Inclusion on December 3, in partnership with People First of Canada.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on people with an intellectual disability in Canada has shown the limitations of the system to respond to the needs of people with disabilities in a time of crisis. As the country shifts its focus to recovery, there is a real risk of returning to the status quo, dismissing what we have learned and leaving people vulnerable when the next crisis strikes. This year’s forum will explore how we can sustain and build on the learnings and innovations that have emerged in the midst of this pandemic to create the inclusive society we want to see.

All panels include lived experience perspectives as well as research and policy from government and community. Virtual Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) and American Sign Language (ASL) services are available.
Find more information and register for this free virtual event here.

Sex in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 is passed through what are called “respiratory droplets” from people who have the virus. These droplets can be passed from person to person through coughing, sneezing and yes, kissing (through saliva and mucous). There are a number of things to consider when it comes to sexual intimacy. The First Nations Health Authority has created this a one page resource available here to share the facts about sex in the time of COVID-19

Updated Support and Connection Toolkit highlights resources and activities

In each edition of this Update, we share an updated version of the Support and Connection Toolkit which gathers links to resources and activities into one document for easy access. See the most updated toolkit here.

Self Advocate Corner

It’s important to tell someone if you feel sick 

Negative emotions about feeling sick can be hurtful and make us want to avoid telling others. To better understand why telling others when we feel sick, and if we might have COVID-19, is so important, check out this helpful resource we have developed.

The Successful Project: A free webinar for self advocacy groups

Are you a member of a self advocacy group? Do you want to start a group? This webinar is for you!

Learn how to host fun events that get everyone engaged. Self Advocates of Semiahmoo House (SAS) members Krista and Michaela will share with you two of their favourite annual events: The New to You Clothing Sale and their Canada Day Celebrations at White Rock Beach. SAS will also share with you a special checklist that can help you plan, carry out and review projects. It is called the Successful Project Checklist.

There will also be a live chat and 30 minutes at the end to ask questions to the presenters. The workshop takes place on December 3 from 10:00 a.m. to  11:30 a.m. and is presented by Inclusion BC’s Virtual Learning Series. You can learn more about it and register by clicking here.

BC People First shares video highlights of self advocacy panel

In October, six B.C. self advocacy leaders came together to share their stories and expertise around the question Why Self Advocacy? 

You can watch the video highlights from their panel presentation here.

Study looks at mindfulness-based program for Special Olympics athletes and their caregivers 

Dr. Carly McMorris is a Registered Psychologist and an Assistant Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Dr. McMorris and her colleagues at the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopment Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, along with Special Olympics Canada, are doing a research study looking at the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based program at reducing stress for Canadian Special Olympics athletes and their caregivers. Click here if you are interested in learning more and would like to participate in this research.

Share your thoughts on equal access to public and private transportation

From needing more accessible bus stops, better training for taxi and rideshare drivers, or a greater quantity of larger parking stalls, many current structures and policies directly impact people’s ability to get around. The Disability Foundation is collecting feedback on accessible transportation through this online survey, which is open until November 27. If you have a few minutes, please provide your input.

The Disability Foundation has partnered with ConnecTra and Lyft ridesharing to host a forum on Accessible Transportation in B.C. The online event will take place on December 4 to address the top concerns identified in the survey. You can learn more about this upcoming event here.

Stories of hope and encouragement

Recognizing CLBC Widening Our World Award Winners 

Community Living BC has been holding the Widening Our World (WOW) awards since 2009 to recognize work that helps people feel welcomed, included and respected in their communities. This year, the WOW Awards honour the courageous people who are helping keep others connected and included during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 55 inspiring nominations from across the province were received, demonstrating people’s ingenuity, kindness and thoughtfulness during this unprecedented pandemic. A committee of community members, CLBC staff and people served by CLBC evaluated the nominations and selected the following recipients for their vision, hard work and commitment to keeping people connected and safe.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

  • Laura Campbell, Program Coordinator, Integra Supports, Victoria
  • Angela Clancy, Executive Director, on behalf of the Family Support Institute, New Westminster
  • Birgit Giesser, Music Therapist, Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living, Maple Ridge
  • Brenda Gillette, CEO, BC CEO Network
  • Vicky Manderson, Lisa McIntosh and Sheral Jones, Communitas Supportive Cares Society, Abbotsford
  • Susan Simmons, Coach, The Great Big Swim, Victoria
  • Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor, Office of the Provincial Health Officer
  • Ali Westlund, Recreation Manager, City of Kelowna

To learn more about each winner and the great work taking place in their communities, please visit

COVID-19 Updates – November 17, 2020

Staying Safe and Healthy

The basics of keeping the people we support, our teams and your families Healthy and Safe are important to practice every day:

  • Stay home if you sick – Call 811 for further directions – Contact HR before you return to work
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Keep your distance – at least two metres or six feet from people outside your bubble
  • Wear a mask on transit, in stores, in all indoor public spaces.
  • Keep your social bubble small – But stay connected with friends and family. Phone, video chat, go for a walk outside – it is so important to keep in touch.

Thank you to everyone for the amazing job everyone has done over the past eight months!

 Covid-19 Response Planning

Much of our pandemic planning has focused on preventing the spread of Covid-19, putting safeguards in place to minimize the risk of exposure to the people we support and their supporters.  Keeping our teams small, maintaining safe distance, wearing masks when distancing cannot be maintained, frequent hand-washing, and ensuring people stay home if they are ill – all of the strategies that are so familiar by now – have proven effective over the past 8 months and we will continue to focus on these strategies.

In addition to the important steps we all are taking every day to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Spectrum’s planning has also included preparing for the possibility of an outbreak or exposure event in our services.

 Rapid response: if an individual, caregiver or staff member shows any symptoms, they should let the supervisor or HR know immediately, and call their doctor or 811 for further instructions.  They must self-isolate until cleared to come out of isolation.  They must get tested if advised to do so and inform the supervisor or HR of the result.  Responding quickly and decisively will help to contain the exposure and keep others safe.

  • Communication: in consultation with health officials, we will communicate with individuals, teams and families on a need-to-know basis about any known or suspected exposures.  We will follow CLBC and public health reporting guidelines and assist with contact tracing as required.  One designated spokesperson will be the point of contact at Spectrum to ensure clear and consistent communication and provide regular updates to all concerned.
  • Continuity of services: in the event of an outbreak at Spectrum, we will ensure that essential service levels are maintained.  Non-essential activities and services will be suspended until the outbreak is declared over.
  • Covid Relief Team: Spectrum’s Covid Relief Team is an opportunity for anyone interested in being part of Spectrum’s emergency response planning to contribute their time and talents.  The team meets monthly over zoom.  Our goal is to build capacity to support to individuals and teams in the event of an outbreak, including having a pool of people who can step in to provide direct care as well as supplemental support like meal delivery, coordination of PPE, and assistance with administrative tasks.

If you would like to be part of the Covid Relief Team or to learn more, please contact

Pandemic Pay Update

We have heard from a few agencies now that have received confirmation of their pandemic pay and have received the funding so they can pay employees.   We have only received confirmation that the government has received our invoice.   Next steps will be confirmation that they will pay our invoice, and that funds are being transferred.  Once the funds are received, we will pay out the amounts with a separate paystub.  The amount is a lump sum payment so will not have vacation paid in addition, nor will it have MPP deducted.  There will be CPP and EI deducted, and tax will be deducted at a flat rate of 10%.

As a reminder, Pandemic Pay is for employees who worked between March 15, 2020 to July 4, 2020, and is a $4/hour increment to all hours worked providing services.  We will let you know as soon as we know when we can make this payment.

Getting a Flu Shot

Now more than ever, getting a flu shot is an important step to protect yourself and those around you. A flu shot can reduce your chance of developing symptoms that resemble COVID-19 which would require you to get tested and self-isolate. This can increase wait times at testing centres as well as test results and can delay the identification of COVID-19 cases.

Ge<ng a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and others against influenza, especially when used with other infection prevention practices such as proper hand hygiene and staying home from work or school when sick, even with mild symptoms.

Where you can get a flu shot:

  • VCH Public Health clinics
  • Your family doctor
  • Walk-in clinics
  • Your pharmacist
  • Urgent & primary care centres

Find a location

Appointments are strongly recommended this year to help us maintain physical distancing and to reduce wait times.

More information on flu shots at Vancouver Coastal Health (Vancouver, Richmond, North Shore, Sunshine Coast)
More information on flu shots at Fraser Health (Burnaby, New West, Delta, Surrey, Coquitlam, Fraser Valley)

An Exhaustive Resource on Supporting Adults with Autism Through Uncertain Times

A family forwarded me this resource from the University of North Carolina:

The materials are divided into four topic areas: COVID-19 Resources, Daily Living Resources, Social Connectedness Resources, and Mental Health Resources. Each section contains developed materials and links to websites for other materials that may be useful.

Thanks Nancy!


Staying Connected with Virtual Bingo

Ruth, Chantel and their teams have been planning a virtual Bingo event to help all the individuals we support stay connected and have some fun during this time!

If anyone you support would like to participate please let Ruth and me know and we will make sure you get the playing cards and stampers that are needed to participate. We will be sending out a Zoom invitation with the dates and details shortly. We are trying to collect information to see how many people are interested to make sure we have enough supplies! We are hoping with enough interest this can be an ongoing event!

Contact us: or

Thank you Chantel and Ruth for helping people stay connected!

Hi Folks;  It’s PURDY’S time again, please take a few minutes to page through the catalogue.  The order deadline will be November 25, Delivery to me is December 4 and we can work out getting your product to you.  Please feel free to share this information with friends and family… Cheers and happy chocolates..

This message is to invite you to join Barbara Fast to purchase Purdys chocolates and save 25% this Christmas season.

To do so, please click the link below.

Once logged in, you will be directed to the Christmas homepage.

From there, you are able to:

  • Shop online
  • Invite other members

Have a sweet shopping experience!


There is a subtle but important difference between being busy and productive. Here are four tips that can help you focus on being productive, healthy and happy, instead of being busy.

Schedule focus time

Tackle your most challenging tasks at the time of day when you are most productive – morning, afternoon, or evening. Save the less daunting tasks for when you know you will not be as productive. Schedule this “focus time” in your calendar so that those who need you know that you will not be available during that time.

Give yourself a break

Taking a mental break is equally as important as scheduling focus time. Stand up and do some stretches, go for a 10-minute walk, or listen to music. You will come back to your work feeling energized and refreshed. Try not to multitask during your breaks – treat mental breaks as a necessity, not a luxury.

Turn your to-do list into a ta-da list

Rather than fretting over the things you must do, create a ‘ta-da’ list instead to celebrate the things you have already accomplished. Focusing on your accomplishments rather than your tasks can help you feel more productive and motivated. Prefer a to-do list? Then keep it short and focus on what is most important.

Know when to ask for help

Multitasking is the hallmark of a ‘busy’ person, but not necessarily a productive one. Next time you feel overwhelmed, try outsourcing, or better yet, ask for help on projects you physically or mentally do not have time for.


The GroupHEALTH Living Well Team

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.  Please note that WCB Level 1 First Aid Kits are required in all of the homes that are staffed.

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.


How to Register for Emergency First Aid Community Care:

Call St. John Ambulance: (604) 321-7242

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