Spectrum Holiday Office Closures:
- Friday, December 24th
- Monday, December 27th
- Friday, December 31st
Covid-19 Updates – December 17, 2021 – Omicron and New Measures
Here is the announcement from the Province on new measures that begin Sunday night. These measures are necessary to reduce the number of people getting sick with Covid. The Omicron variant is causing rapid increases in the number of people getting sick every day. When the number of people getting sick increases, the number of people that end up in hospital and in ICU also increase. When the hospitals are full with Covid-19 patients, people with other urgent health matters get delayed. We all want to know that our hospitals and healthcare workers are available to care for us if we get sick or injured.
Province introduces new COVID-19 measures for safer holiday season
To address rising COVID-19 case counts and keep people safe, the provincial health officer is issuing revised orders, which take effect on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021.
Measures will extend to Jan. 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m., and include:
- limiting indoor, personal gatherings, including in rental and vacation properties to the household/residents plus 10 individuals, or one additional household maximum if all are aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated;
- requiring the BC Vaccine Card for organized events of all sizes and ensuring the QR code is scanned at events;
- seating requirements and restricting movement between tables at food and liquor-serving premises, and reinforcing the need to wear masks when not seated;
- limiting venues of 1,000 individuals or more to 50% of the seated capacity with reinforced masking requirements and scanning of the BC Vaccine Card QR code;
- pausing all sports tournaments while the order is in effect; and
- all New Year’s Eve organized gatherings and events will be restricted to being seated-only events, with no mingling or dancing allowed.
The provincial health officer is also emphasizing the need for retail stores to have COVID-19 safety plans in place for holiday and Boxing Day sales.
“These measures will help us to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the ones we care about,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Slowing the spread and keeping each other safe is a cause in which we are all connected. It’s that togetherness that will get all of us through the next days and weeks.”
B.C.’s COVID-19 case rate has nearly doubled over the past week. So far, there have been 135 cases of the Omicron variant of concern identified in B.C., with numbers expected to rise rapidly. While public health continues to monitor the impacts of Omicron, including severity of illness and hospitalizations, the recommendation is to take a cautious approach at this time.
“While vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19, we are now dealing with the new threat of a more transmissible variant,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “We need to take these measures until we understand the full impact Omicron will have in the B.C. context. It is imperative people follow the new orders in how they celebrate this season. However, there are many things we can now do safely with reasonable and prudent measures like wearing a mask, staying home when sick, getting tested and, most importantly, getting fully vaccinated.”
In addition to the provincial health officer orders, British Columbians are advised to limit indoor gatherings to those who are fully vaccinated, to ensure proper ventilation indoors, to avoid all travel if not fully vaccinated and to follow the travel advisory issued by the federal government to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.
The updated orders will be enacted under the Public Health Act.
- To date, evidence indicates Omicron is more transmissible than other variants of COVID-19; however, there is limited evidence to date on severity of illness.
- B.C. has a vaccination rate of 86.8% for all eligible age groups for a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 82.5% for a second dose.
- The Province announced its full booster dose campaign on Oct. 26, 2021.
- Vaccination remains the most effective protection from severe illness.
- From Dec. 8-14, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 46.3% of cases in B.C., and from Dec. 1-14, accounted for 70.2% of hospitalizations.
Mental Health Supports Available
- The provincial government has put together resources on managing COVID-19 stress, mental health and COVID-19 on HealthLink BC as well as a list of virtual mental health supports during COVID-19.
- Find additional resources to support mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Learn about resources in your area and find out how to access mental health and substance use services.
- Grief is a normal part of life and natural response to loss and the meaningful connections we have to others in our life. Find more information about grief and support services available to you.
Here is the BC Government information on booster shots: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/booster
What is a booster shot:
A booster dose is an additional COVID-19 vaccine you may get months after your initial vaccine series to boost protection against infection that may have waned over time. A booster gets immunity back up to a desirable level of protection for an extended period of time.
Why is a booster shot recommended?
The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective and provide good, ongoing protection especially against severe disease – which is the primary goal of the vaccination program. Here in BC, the longer interval between vaccine doses has been very helpful in supporting long lasting vaccine effectiveness.
However, because vaccines are not 100% effective against symptomatic infection, breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated individuals will happen. The vast majority of these are expected to be mild. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 among fully vaccinated individuals are rare.
There is some evidence that the level of protection against symptomatic infection decreases over time after the initial vaccination series, especially for people who got their two COVID-19 vaccines less than 5 weeks apart, those with immunocompromising conditions, and among older individuals.
Additionally, people in long term care and assisted living facilities and in areas of high transmission are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection and will also benefit from a booster dose.
Timing of Booster Shots:
Booster doses will start with those who are at highest risk. From November 2021 to January 2022, people most at risk of getting COVID-19 will be invited to book a booster dose appointment. Everyone else will be invited to book an appointment for a booster dose later, once these groups are vaccinated.
You will be invited to book your appointment approximately 6 to 8 months after your last dose.
Your original vaccine doses continue to provide good protection, especially against severe disease, while you wait to get a booster shot.
Who is eligible for a Booster Shot:
Everyone aged 18 and older who received dose 1 and 2, and who wants a booster, will receive it between 6 to 8 months after dose 2. The highest risk populations will be invited to book their booster first.
November 2021 to January 2022
Seniors 65+ and Indigenous people 18+
- You will be invited to book an appointment to get your booster. Invitations will be sent out by risk, age group (from oldest to youngest based on the year you were born) and the date of your second dose.
- Eligibility: People born in 1956 or earlier (65+) and Indigenous people born in 2003 or earlier (18+)
People receiving care
- You will get a booster from a health care worker who visits you.
- Eligibility: Residents in independent living facilities and people who receive long-term home support
Health care workers
- You will get a booster from your employer or at a clinic.
- All staff working in long-term care and assisted facilities or acute care hospitals.
- Health authority staff, workers and physicians Community health providers, physicians and staff
Rural and remote Indigenous communities
- You will get a booster dose in your community from your local health authority.
- Eligibility: Staff working in long-term care and assisted residences or acute care hospitals
People who got AstraZeneca
- You will be invited to book an appointment to get your booster if you are registered with the Get Vaccinatedsystem.
- Eligibility: People who got AstraZeneca for both dose 1 and dose 2
Learn more about booster doses at gov.bc.ca/booster
How to get a booster shot:
You must be registered with the Get Vaccinated provincial registration system and your immunization record must be up-to-date to receive an invitation to book a booster appointment.
Spectrum Society for Community Living
Covid 19 Update – Dec 15, 2021 – Booster Shots for Spectrum Employees
Hi Spectrum Employees;
Immunization BC is coordinating access to booster vaccination shots for Covid-19 based on risk groups, age, interval between dose 1 and 2, and time since second dose. These considerations and analysis have resulted in prioritizing booster shots for B.C.’s most vulnerable populations including those ages 70 and over, Indigenous peoples ages 18 and over, and populations that received their second dose on or before March 15, 2021.
Health care workers in specific settings (e.g., long-term care facilities) are also a priority for a booster shot. A decision has been made to include staff working in CLBC-funded group homes in this category of health care workers because of the direct support these staff provide to immune vulnerable individuals and because these group homes are congregate settings where there is increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. Health care workers – including staff in CLBC-funded group homes – will be invited for their COVID-19 booster shots between now and the end of January 2022.
Question: When do you think booster shots will be included in the definition of fully vaccinated as defined by the PHO Order?
Answer from Dr. Behn Smith:
- Boosters will not be included in the Order
- If you have had 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, then you have excellent protection
- A booster shot is given when the effectiveness of the 2 doses starts to drop off
- This doesn’t happen for 7-9 months (or longer) after the second dose
- If you have been double vaccinated, you should feel very confident in the 2 doses you already have
- We will all be getting boosters between 6-8 months after our second shot
- The dropping off of protection happens very gradually so people don’t have to rush for their booster shot
- You will be contacted when it’s your turn just like before, as long as you are registered with Get Vaccinated BC
This question was from the recent phone conference call for individuals and families on December 3, 2021. If you want to see more of the questions and answers in the plain language summary, you can read it here:
Canada Revenue Agency is pleased to host the following live webinars in January and February:
Benefits and Credits Presentation on Wed Jan 19, 2022 from 1:30-2:30pm PST, Sat Jan 29, 2022 from 11-12pm PST and Thurs Feb 17, 2022 from 1:30-2:30pm PST
Don’t miss out on the benefits and credits to which you may be entitled. Some of the benefits and credits to which you may be eligible for are the Canada child benefit, Disability tax credit, Child disability benefit, Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax Credit, and the Canada Workers Benefit. If you do your taxes after the filing deadline, your payments could be delayed. During the webinar we will be able to answer your questions live.
Scam awareness – Be scam smart Presentation on Thurs Jan 13, 2022 from 1:30-2:15pm PST, Thurs Feb 3, 2022 from 1:30-2:15pm PST and Thurs Feb 24, 2022 from 6:30-7:30pm PST
Help protect yourself and others against fraud – Taxpayers should be vigilant when they receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number. Learn to recognize common types of scams and to identify legitimate communications from the CRA.
Digital Services for Individuals Presentation on Tues Jan 18, 2022 from 6:30-7:15pm PST, Mon Jan 24, 2022 from 1:30–2:15pm PST and Mon Feb 28, 2022 from 1:30–2:15pm PST
The CRA has a wide number and range of electronic and digital services available for individuals including My Account, Represent a Client and mobile apps. Join our webinar to learn about some of our most popular services such as changing your address or phone number, submitting documents electronically, and changing your return.
You can register for one of the above webinars by going to the below link and clicking on the link associated with the date of your choice.
https://canada.webex.com/canada/onstage/g.php?PRID=4f1473dfdd206ba0967b78ce55fe4326 (English presentations)
BC and YT Outreach Team
Assessment, Benefit, and Service Branch
Canada Revenue Agency / Government of Canada
PacificRegionOutreach@cra-arc.gc.ca /Phone: 604-775-5020/1-855-214-7070
|Festival of Trees Vancouver – BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Festival of Trees is a cherished community tradition in Vancouver, raising funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation for over 30 years. Once again in 2021, the lobby of the world-renowned Fairmont Hotel Vancouver will be transformed into a lush forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, all thanks to sponsors, local businesses, organizations and individuals.
All proceeds this year will go towards mental health programs at BC Children’s Hospital. This free event will be held at beautiful Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Come down, show your holiday spirit and virtually vote for your favourite tree.
Relive the magic from 2020
Experience the magic from 2020 by going through this special 3D tour.
For more information please contact Bella Chan at Bella.email@example.com
If you have a friend, family member or meet someone in the community that is interested in joining the team and you refer them to Spectrum, you could be eligible for a referral bonus!
If the person referred is hired and maintains at least 9 months of consistent employment with Spectrum, we will award a $50 Referral Bonus.
*for more information on the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We thank you for bringing us quality applicants/employees!
Danielle Reed is collecting the following items for distribution to folks who live in the Downtown East Side:
- Gently used, clean blankets
- New blankets
- Socks in all sizes for both men and women
Please drop off your donations to:
Spectrum Office at 3231 Kingsway, Vancouver
Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm
Donations will be accepted until Tuesday, December 21, 2021
RISE Community Groups and Workshops
For info or to register:
- Email email@example.com
- Call Collingwood Neighbourhood House at 604-435-0323
- Or ask a RISE Staff member
Spots are limited. Registration required.
Please click these links below for further details:
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 First Aid:
We recommend obtaining and/or renewing your First Aid through St. John’s Ambulance with the Emergency First Aid Community Care course. If there is another course offered by a different provider, please contact Human Resources prior to enrolling to determine if it is equivalent and meets the basic requirements.
To obtain/renew through St John’s Ambulance, please call (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: http://www.sja.ca/English/About-Us/Pages/Locations.aspx
- Register yourself for Emergency First Aid Community Care.
If an employee does not have a valid first aid certificate upon hire, the fee to obtain or renew certification is the responsibility of the employee. Future renewal fees for active employees are covered by Spectrum.
- 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 email@example.com 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. Below is a link to Spectrum’s First Aid policy:
For employees renewing their first aid, please ensure St. John’s Ambulance (SJA) includes the CPR pocket mask with your first aid registration. If the CPR pocket mask is not included with your registration fee, SJA requires attendees pay for this on the day of course completion; you can save your receipt and submit it to Human Resources for reimbursement.
Please email your certificate of course completion to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your file updated.
Please let Judy know if you have any questions or issues registering, by emailing email@example.com