- About the BC Blueberry Council
The COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve rapidly and we're working hard to get answers for you. The BC Blueberry Council established this temporary page to help industry navigate the COVID-19 situation and what it means. See below for links to the latest information and resources.
The latest information on COVID restrictions and regulations around Seasonal Foreign Workers and the domestic workforce for 2021 can be found HERE
Please rest assured that the BC Blueberry Council is monitoring the rapidly evolving situation of COVID-19, and that the council will keep our membership updated on any new developments or announcements that pertain to our industry.
We are monitoring government updates and advisories regularly and will continue to keep you up to date. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Anju Gill, Executive Director of the BC Blueberry Council here: 604 864 2117
At this time, the Blueberry Council is advising all members in the produce and/or packing sectors to keep themselves and their employees safe by ensuring that all employees and workers practice social distancing when possible, and maintain and increase the frequency of all proper sanitation practices, as well as increased hand washing at all times. Most importantly, we encourage people to stay home if they are feeling unwell and to seek medical attention if experiencing symptoms of the virus.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has created a checklist for the control of COVID-19 in agricultural facilities. This checklist is intended to help prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in agricultural settings. by laying out guidelines for quarantine, assessment and control plans.
Updated information can also be found here: HealthLinkBC which covers preventative measures for COVID-19. This information is also available in English, Spanish and Punjabi (click links to access information in respective language). Please feel free to share this with your employees.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has outbreak update information on COVID-19, found here.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed an online course entitled Prevent the Spread of COVID-19: Guidance for Temporary Foreign Workers to help employers and temporary foreign workers in agricultural operations protect themselves and others from COVID-19 at work. Employers and workers can access the online course for free in English, French, and Spanish.
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control the following measures should be taken at your place of work:
- Cleaning: Consider increasing routine cleaning practices – if you are cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces once a day, move to twice a day using the products you already use.
- Space: Consider the density of your business and provide additional space for customers and employees to interact; for example, consider how line ups or seating could be expanded so that people are able to put some distance – 1 to 2 meters – between one another.
- Hand hygiene: Ensure your washrooms remain stocked with soap and consider offering hand sanitizer at entrances.
- Communication: Show your customers, clients, members, and employees what you are doing to support the efforts to slow transmission of this virus by communicating online and at your place of business.
- Employees who feel unwell: Support your employees to stay home if they are sick.
Additional Resources- Safe Work Procedures
Here are some suggestions and sample scenarios in which preventative measures may be taken on your farm site. Signs may be put up in the following areas/during the following activities:
Managing COVID-19 Stress, Anxiety and Depression
News and information about the spread of COVID-19 is coming at us quickly. It can be hard to remain calm given all that is going on. Stress, anxiety, and depression are not unusual for people of all ages. But there are things we can do as individuals and collectively to deal with stress and support one another during these challenging times. Here are links to several mental health resources:
- Crisis Centre BC: Resources