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Workplaces told to prepare for a third of workers to be sick

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(With files by Darin Bain-MyPGNow)

“Whether you’re a private company, a school, a frontline business, or a healthcare site, now’s the time we have to prepare.”

Those are the words of Doctor Bonnie Henry who added businesses and workplaces should be preparing for one-third of workers to be out of work at any time because of illness due to COVID-19.

“It’s not about public health orders, and us telling you what to do, this is about activating all of those layers of protection available for your business, in your situation, to keep you from having to shut down because you don’t have enough people to operate.”

Henry added anyone who is able to work from home should do that, start times and breaks should be staggered, and if possible, limit the number of customers and people in one place.

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She also touched on vaccine requirements for employers.

“These are important, we know they’re in place in many employment opportunities, but requiring employees to declare their vaccine status so you understand the risk in your employees,” Henry said.

“While vaccines right now won’t stop all of from getting infected with omicron, it does significantly reduce the likelihood that we’re going to have severe illness and be off for longer.”

Henry also spoke about the staggered return to schools this week. She said she has tasked schools to ‘take stock and prepare plans to safely operate with the potential for reduced staff.’

“It’s essential that we keep our schools open for children, just as we’ve kept grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals open,’ Henry said.

“To do this we need flexibility from everyone, from administrators, and staff, and teachers, and parents, and of course, kids too.”

 

 

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