A construction worker wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A construction worker wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

WorkSafeBC can now shut down businesses due to COVID-19 transmission

The power to issue closure orders was granted as part of a public health order issued Thursday, April 8

A new public health order will see some businesses in B.C. close following three or more staff contracting COVID-19 on the job.

WorkSafeBC inspectors will be able to shutter workplaces for at least 10 days, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Thursday.

The order will go into effect on Monday, April 12 to “target specific transmission in workplaces,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

Initially, health authorities will need to confirm whether or not the cases are part of a cluster.

READ MORE: From now on, all COVID-19 cases in B.C. presumed to be more infectious variants: Henry

WorkSafe BC told Black Press Media “prevention officers are limited to serving closure notices to businesses when directed to do so by a medical health officer.”

After the business has reopened, the agency said it will conduct an inspection to review the employer’s COVID-19 safety plan.

“We recognize, of course, there are many workplaces that cannot be closed,” Henry said, denoting the necessity of police stations and health-care facilities. 

A list of closed workplaces is expected to be posted publicly, along with the expected duration of their closure.

RELATED: B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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