IVSA News MARCH 31, 2020 Issue #8 (Federal + British Columbia)

Government of Canada, Federal News: 

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced more help for small and medium-sized businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis, including a 75 percent wage subsidy and guaranteed interest-free loans.

Today, the prime minister announced new essential details on the Government of Canada's Emergency Wage Subsidy: 

Businesses that can show that their revenues have decreased at least 30% since the start of the pandemic will be eligible for the 75% wage subsidy.
The assessment of the 30% revenue drop will be done after the fact. If the drop was not this low, the company would have to repay.
The number of employees a company has will not determine eligibility.
The subsidy will apply to non-profit and charities, as well as companies that are both big and small (no cap).
The government will cover up to 75% of the first $58,700 that employees earn. That means up to approximately $847 a week. This will be backdated to March 15.
The subsidy will be a direct payment to the company so they can pay employees.
The Prime Minister also made very clear that any businesses that seek to take advantage of the new program or game it will face strict consequences - expect those details tomorrow as well. He also noted that should employers be able to cover the additional 25% of salaries not covered by the subsidy; they should pay their employees that difference.

You can read more about the Federal government COVID-19 economic response plan here.

 Self-isolation for 14 days for anyone who has travelled outside of Canada
Self-isolation for a minimum of 10 days if someone displays respiratory symptoms

Read the full news release here. Download a PDF copy of the guidelines here

COVID-19 Inquiries  

Travel Advisories - Government of Canada (Canadians currently abroad are strongly advised to return to Canada now while they are still able. All travelling Canadians requiring assistance should call
1-613-996-8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca.) 
 Public Health Agency of Canada (@GovCanHealth or dial 1-833-784-4397)

Medical-related inquiries (Dial 8-1-1 - 130 languages available)

Non-medical inquiries (Dial 1-888 COVID19 / 1-888-268-4319) - 110 languages available from 7:30am - 8:00pm PST OR text 604-630-0300 OR for telephone device for the deaf, dial 7-1-1) 
COVID-19 Online Self-Assessment Tool  (Determine if further testing is required) 
Public Health Agency of Canada (How to isolate at home when you have COVID-19)

Update on the COVID-19 crisis in B.C.

 This morning, health officials in British Columbia are reporting 92 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, including one new death, bringing the provincial total to 884 cases. 

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said of those cases, 81 are in hospital, including 52 in intensive care. Henry said 45 percent of those who have contracted the coronavirus - 396 people - have recovered. The percentage rate of growth has also decreased.

Dr. Henry emphasized: "We are at that very critical point right now. We must be united in this, and 100 percent committed until we flatten this curve for good."

On Friday, Dr. Henry said provincial modelling that shows how physical distancing measures may have helped slow the spread of the disease in B.C.

But on Saturday, she warned that a severe outbreak is still possible if people don't continue to follow advice from health officials. 


Industry Information: www.worksafebc.com/en


Stores continue to operate across the province, except for a couple of stores in some of the smaller communities that have hit critical staffing levels. You can view store closures at www.bcliquorstores.com.


BCLDB Wholesale

Both KDC and Delta D.C.s are seeing flattening volumes, though volume remains high. Both continue to function with lower than optimal staffing levels. Both DCs ran extra shifts this weekend – Delta is caught up and picking into Tuesday currently, and Kamloops remains a day behind, but we expect to be caught up by the end of the week. Delta successfully processed all extra appointments this weekend, so inventory levels in D.C. are looking positive.


Guidance to retail food and grocery stores operating during COVID-19

On March 29, the provincial government released new guidance to retail food and grocery stores operating during COVID-19.

While the guidance is not directed towards liquor retail stores, the following recommendations may be of use:

Enhance your premise's sanitation plan and schedule, and ensure staff are practicing proper hygiene. This includes frequent hand washing, only coughing or sneezing into an elbow, and avoiding touching one's face.
Place hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% ethyl alcohol in dispensers near doors, pay stations, and other high-touch locations for customer and staff use.
Ensure washrooms are always well stocked with liquid soap and paper towels, and that warm running water is available.
Provide clean carry-out bags for purchased food and grocery products; customers should not use their own containers, reusable bags, or boxes.
Post signs at each check-out, indicating that no customer packaging is to be used or placed on check-out counters.
Ensure cones or tape markers are in place every 2 metres to provide customers with visible queues that support physical distancing.
Use physical queue-line controls, such as crowd control cordons at entrances and in check-out lines outside the stores.

Government of British Columbia COVID-19 Updates

Please be aware of the following links for more information and the latest updates regarding COVID-19.  

Latest updates on COVID-19 and Resources - B.C. Centre of Disease Control (@CDCofBC)
B.C. Government  

COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information: (B.C. Government Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery)
Official Joint Statements: (B.C. Government News / @BCGovNews)
Live Stream and Updates: (B.C. Government News Facebook Page)
Office of the Provincial Health Officer: (Orders & Notices
Pandemic Preparedness: (B.C. Government COVID-19 Preparedness and Planning Materials)
Updates, Trusted Resources, Alerts: (COVID-19 BC Support App & Self-Assessment Tool)

Resources and information for public and health service providers

Prevention & Self Isolation: BC Centre for Disease Control

Vancouver Coastal Health (@VCHhealthcare)

World Health Organization (@WHO / WHO Health Alert)
Adrian Dix (@AdrianDix)