All Staff Email Updates:
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
All Staff Email Updates
March 14, 2020
Update 2 - March 14, 5:00pm
Currently, Alberta is still considered low risk for exposure, however, this risk could increase in the coming weeks.
BSCS is still in phase 2 of our response.
Thanks to Elliott and his team we have set up a website where you can check updates and view information about the current situation at BSCS and in Alberta. You can access it by going to:
At this time this is only a website for BSCS staff. It will be updated as we create these email updates.
Both the provincial and federal governments are now recommending that folks NOT travel internationally. Our policies from the previous update are still in force.
If my roommate, spouse, partner, that I live with is returning from abroad do I have to self-isolate?
In this situation, your roommate, partner, etc. need to self-isolate for 14 days. BSCS is not requiring you to do this. The person returning from travel needs to take precautions to protect people around them, and you need to protect yourself with lots of handwashing and extra hygiene practices. If the person returning develops symptoms (fever and cough), then the picture changes. They would need to get tested and you all would need to follow the directions given from public health. Of course, if you were to develop symptoms, don’t come to work and trigger a call to 811 and access the Covid-19 Self-assessment Link.
What if one of my co-workers or clients is put into isolation or quarantine? Should I then put myself into quarantine?
At this point - no, you are not required to quarantine and you would be expected to continue to come to work. This is of course unless your manager has instructed you otherwise. Or we have made changes to our policy. In collaboration with your manager please contact Marliss Taylor to discuss what precautions should be taken.
I have a vacation booked to travel in Canada - would I have to be put into self-isolation as per the BSCS international travel restrictions when I return?
At this time our policy for self-isolation does not include travel in Canada. However, we would advise NOT traveling by air currently as there will likely be disruptions to travel and the situation is constantly changing. Also, airline travel is a very good way to be exposed to illness - so not a great idea in general.
I feel sick should I stay home for 14 days?
That will be determined based on your risk factors if you meet the below risk factors call 811 and they will advise what you should do. People are still going to get ‘regular’ sicknesses. These non-Covid-19 illnesses, common cold etc. will be treated as they always have been. We have waived the need for sick notes and medical letters at this time. Please also keep your manager informed:
Here is the way that you can assess if you may be at risk of Covid-19 811 health Link (there may be a wait time) and the Covid-19 Self-assessment Link.
People with fever and/or a cough or shortness of breath are at highest risk of having COVID-19 if they meet any of the following criteria:
In the 14 days before illness onset, they:
Traveled anywhere outside of Canada;
Had close contact* with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19;
NEW: Had close contact* with a person with acute respiratory illness who has traveled anywhere
outside of Canada within the last 14 days before their illness; OR
Had laboratory exposure to biological material (e.g. primary clinical specimens, virus culture isolates) known to contain COVID-19 virus.
* A close contact is defined as a person who:
Provided care for the individual, including healthcare workers, family members or other caregivers, or who had other similar close physical contact with the person without consistent and appropriate use of personal protective equipment
Lived with or otherwise had close prolonged contact (within 2 meters) with the person while the person was infectious
Had direct contact with infectious bodily fluids of the person (e.g. was coughed or sneezed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.
I'm a part-time, relief or casual staff member, what if I get quarantined or have to self isolate?
The first 4 days while they are being tested Boyle Street will cover the pay for the shifts that you are scheduled for. If the test comes as positive, then Boyle Street will cover the 14 days quarantine period pay based on the average hours you worked in the last 4 weeks of employment. Taking the last 4 weeks and averaging it out weekly to determine what you would have worked in the 14 days they are off. Of course, if you can work from home, we will set that up if possible for your role.
What if they close the schools and I have to stay home to take care of my kids?
At this time the Medical Officer of Health is not recommending that schools be closed in Alberta. This could change in the coming weeks, we would suggest you start to make contingency plans for the potential of school closures. If this happens BSCS will have a policy that allows parents to respond accordingly.
We have a supply of masks that we will be distributing to sites early this week. Your manager will determine a secure location for these. They are only to be used for an individual who is demonstrating symptoms and conditions that are likely to be Covid-19. They are not for staff to use. Generally, masks are not a useful way to protect you from getting Covid-19. You are much better off practicing good hygiene.
To help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19, you should:
Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
Contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions or concerns about your health
Wearing Medical Masks https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16997.aspx#prev
Masks can be very important in certain situations. When sick, wearing a mask helps prevent us from passing illnesses on to other people. This is why we ask people who have a cough or respiratory symptoms to wear a mask and wash their hands when visiting an emergency department or clinic.
If you are sick, wearing a mask helps prevent passing the illness on to other people.
If you are healthy, medical masks are not recommended as they don't provide full protection and can create a false sense of security.
Take Care of Yourself
Hey, we know this is tough and all of the challenges of life and work don’t stop because there’s now virus on top of everything else. Our staff has been amazing in this time and we want to thank you all. Please take care of yourself and others. We are going to be OK. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, afraid or just want to talk to someone in this difficult time please reach out to your managers and coworkers but most importantly remember that we have our Employee Assistance Program available.
More to come and as always reach out if you have questions!
COVID-19 Self-Assessment - Stop the Spread
Identifying and isolating people infected with COVID-19 is the only way to stop the spread.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough or other cold or influenza-like symptoms. Use this self-assessment tool to determine whether you need to call 811 to get tested.
If you are awaiting COVID-19 test results, please do not call Health Link. You will be called directly with your results. It can take up to four days.
NOTE: You do not need to be tested for COVID-19 if in the past 14 days you have not traveled outside Canada or had contact with someone diagnosed as having COVID-19.