This Policy applies to all members of the public participating in an in-person proceeding at the Board’s premises or at an off-site location.
An in-person proceeding includes a hearing, mediation, settlement conference, informal/alternate dispute resolution process, case management or any other meeting, and unscheduled drop-ins (In-Person Proceeding).
Its purpose is to protect the health and safety of staff and members of the public with whom we interact.
It is based on safe operating requirements as set out by the Provincial Health Officer, BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), and WorkSafe BC.
The Policy is subject to change in response to modifications to safe operating requirements or the Board’s experience in administering it.
All persons authorized to attend an In-Person Proceeding shall confirm in writing, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, that they have read, understand, and will strictly comply with the requirements of this Policy.
In accordance with symptoms associated with COVID-19 as set out by the BCCDC, the symptoms (even if mild) that are covered by this Policy include:
- cough or worsening of chronic cough
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- runny nose
- loss of sense of smell or taste
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- muscle aches
While less common, symptoms also include:
- stuffy nose
- conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- dizziness, confusion
- abdominal pain
- skin rashes or discoloration of fingers or toes.
No person may attend an In-Person Proceeding if they:
- have been directed by Public Health or a health professional to self-isolate or who has COVID-19
- currently have, or have had in the last 10 days, one or a combination of the symptoms identified in this Policy
- have arrived from outside of Canada within the last 14 days or if someone in their immediate household has arrived from outside of Canada within the last 14 days and/or
- have had contact with, or live in the immediate household with, a person who has tested positive, or is a presumptive positive, for COVID-19, within the last 14 days.
On arrival at an In-Person Proceeding, every person must verbally affirm that they do not fall under any of the Prohibitions set out in this Policy.
At least seven (7) days in advance of a scheduled In-Person Proceeding, or such other time frame established by the Board representative, the Party (i.e.the representative for a party to the proceeding or a single self-represented individual), must:
- submit an Illness Plan as required by this Policy and
- confirm they have adequate supplies of PPE, including masks and gloves, as well as hand sanitizers and/or disinfecting wipes, in the event a participant in their caucus develops symptoms in the course of the In-Person Proceeding.
The Illness Plan must address how the Party will deal with the onset of symptoms for any individual member of their caucus, even if the symptoms are mild. At a minimum, the Illness Plan must include the following:
- confirmation that all members of the Party’s caucus have been provided with, have read, and understand the Illness Plan
- the name of the Party representative, and an alternate, to whom the ill individual is to report in the event of the onset of symptoms
- the ill individual must follow all directions given by the Party representative and/or a Board representative, which must include:
- an obligation to immediately wash and/or sanitize their hands, put on a mask, and put on gloves – all of which is to be supplied and provided by the Party for their caucus
- if attending at the Board’s premises, the individual will then go directly to a designated room away from other people or, if off-site, to an isolated location away from other people
- using a mask and keeping a minimum distance of six (6) feet, the Party representative will obtain from the ill individual a list of all the areas, surfaces, and individuals (name and contact information) with whom they have come into contact at the Board or off-site premises that day
- the Party representative will provide that information immediately to the Board representative who will:
- put up signage/cordon off all the areas and surfaces identified
- contact the building cleaning services for disinfection
- the Party representative will assess the individual having regard to WorkSafe BC Guidelines and advise the Board representative of whether the person has been:
- transferred to hospital as a result of severe symptoms or
- advised to go home and call 811 or to get tested.
- the In-Person Proceeding will be immediately adjourned
- the Party will update the Board representative with respect to the status of the individual, including whether the individual tested positive or negative for COVID-19 or was not tested but was advised by a health care professional that they should maintain a period of self-isolation and for how long
- the Board representative will determine whether the matter can be re-scheduled as an In-Person Proceeding or should proceed using an alternative virtual platform or process