Creston, BC – May 5, 2020: This week, May 4-10, 2020, is Mental Health Week in Canada and the theme is Social Connection. Feeling socially connected means you feel close and connected with others and can comfortably tell them how you’re doing - really. It’s common to say we’re fine, even if we don’t mean it. At the best of times meaningful connection helps us navigate the challenges and complexities of our lives. As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, that connection is more important than ever. Throughout this time, there have been countless examples of people staying connected while apart. So please continue to check in with your friends, families and neighbours. If you need support don’t be afraid to reach out to those same individuals or to access the local, federal or provincial mental health resources available to you.
Temporary Layoff Period Extended to 16 weeks: To ease financial hardship on businesses and to keep employees connected with their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, government has extended the temporary layoff period to 16 weeks for COVID-19 related reasons. Previously under the Employment Standards Act, a temporary layoff longer than 13 weeks in any 20-week period (or about three months in a five-month period) was considered a permanent layoff. With a permanent layoff, employers are required to provide employees with written working notice of termination and/or pay severance to qualifying employees, based on their length of service. Now, temporary layoffs relating to the COVID-19 pandemic can be extended to 16 weeks, if the employee agrees.
Kearl Lake Order: A reminder that workers returning to British Columbia from the Kearl Lake site in Alberta are ordered by the Provincial Health Officer to immediately self-isolate for 14 days. As of May 4, there are 15 positive cases of COVID-19 connected to the Kearl Lake site. This is an order declared by B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer as of April 20, 2020. Workers and their families should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and if any symptoms develop, however mild, self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider or 8-1-1 to get tested. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or painful swallowing, runny or stuffy nose, loss of sense of smell, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.