BC Issues A Dire Warning For Businesses & Workers Telling Them 'Now Is The Time To Prepare'

"As many as a third of your workforce at any one time may become ill."

Western Canada Editor
BC Issues A Dire Warning For Businesses & Workers Telling Them 'Now Is The Time To Prepare'

B.C. health officials issued a stark warning to businesses and workers, saying that some companies could have up to one-third of their workers off sick.

In a press conference on Tuesday, January 4, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the new Omicron variant has "taken over" in B.C., contributing to around 80% of new cases across the province.

She described the situation as a "tug-of-war" and that Omicron has the advantage, adding, "A lot of people will get sick, and we are seeing that now. But your vaccine will protect most people from serious illnesses and from hospitalizations."

Speaking directly to CEOs, business owners and workers, she told people to work from home where possible.

"We need now all businesses to put contingency plans in place to keep businesses operating when staff are off ill. At this point, given the number of people getting sick every day, we need to reactivate those COVID-19 safety plans. Those were the layers of protection specific to your business that allowed you to operate safely."

She added, "We need to anticipate that as many as a third of your workforce at any one time may become ill with COVID-19 and they may not be able to come to work, and we need to adapt businesses so we can operate at these reduced numbers. Whether you're a private company, a school, a frontline business or health care site, now's the time that we have to prepare."

ProvinceofBC | YouTube

Dr. Henry acknowledged that people may be tired of the pandemic, but she did say we can take encouragement from what will be brighter days ahead.

She said, "It is going to be a challenging few weeks, but we have the tools and we have that strong vaccine background that will get us through. We have faced adversity, and we have met head-on with unwavering resilience and kindness and adaptability and compassion."

"Please continue to use all of those layers you have available to you, and remind those around you to do that too, as we weather our pandemic storm together."

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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