Updated: July 14, 2021
Note: BeConnected continually updates it’s COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan as new information arises. View the most current update here.
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We are essential service workers at BeConnected – thank you to all BeConnected personnel for the care and commitment you are demonstrating during this challenging time. We are in this together.
BeConnected is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for the people we support, personnel, and visitors.
We are regularly reviewing updates from government and health authorities and communicating with our regulatory bodies. BeConnected has plans in place to respond as needed. As information comes available we are committed to transparency and communication with the BeConnected community.
Pandemic Response Plan
A combination of measures will be used to minimize exposure and the spread of COVID-19 including the heightened use of our regular infection control practices. These procedures will not only protect our personnel, but also the people we serve and others who enter our programs. BeConnected is currently in “Phase 1.5” of it’s pandemic response plan.
BeConnected program locations: BeConnected is excited to welcome back visitors! Program visits must be arranged in advance with the Coordinator and visitors must wear a mask and adhere to all other COVID-19 protocols while in BeConnected programs and vehicles. See our visitor guidelines poster for more details on program visits.
BeConnected offices: Our offices are currently open to visitors. We ask all visitors wear a mask, use the provided hand sanitizer upon arrival, and follow social distancing measures. See our visitor guidelines poster for more information. Office personnel regularly clean and disinfect all high touch surfaces. You can view our Office BC Phase 3 Reopening Plan here.
The above restrictions are in addition to the existing requirement to restrict anyone from entering any BeConnected site (office or program) who has:
- Symptoms of illness;
- Come in contact with someone known or presumed to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days; or
- Been instructed to quarantine (e.g. international travel) and has not completed the required number of days.
Personnel who have worked at another facility where there is a known or presumed case of COVID-19 are not to enter a BeConnected site and are to inform their Coordinator immediately. All residents, staff, and essential visitors will be directed to the nearest hand washing station upon entry. Once on site, please remember to wash frequently and maintain your distance with others.
You can view BeConnected’s full COVID-19 Pandemic Continuity Plan here (March 11, 2021).
In March 2021, all residents and personnel of group homes and home shares were eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
All individuals in British Columbia aged 12+ who have not yet received their first dose are now eligible to book an appointment online or by phone (1.833.838.2323 lines open from 7am-7pm daily). Island Health Immunization Clinics are also able to provide a limited number of walk-in appointments each day, dependent on the daily vaccine supply. You will be contacted by Island Health when it is your turn to book your second dose.
If individuals or family members have questions or concerns about the vaccine, we urge you to have a discussion with your primary care provide to help you decide if the vaccine is right for you.
We also understand that some individuals may need assistance from family or other legal decision makers to provide informed consent. The BC Public Guardian and Trustee can provide more information about who has the legal authority to provide consent to the vaccine.
While we are cautiously optimistic about the news of the vaccine we urge all individuals and personnel to remain diligent, follow all of the protective measures that we have in place, and follow the orders/recommendations of the BC Public Health Officer. While an end to the pandemic may now be in sight we still have an essential role to play in keeping each other safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Plain Language Resources
- COVID-19 Vaccine Interactive Presentation
- COVID-19 Vaccine Infographic
- COVID-19 Vaccine Social Story
- Things to Know About the COVID Vaccine
- What Happens When I Get the COVID Vaccine?
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Planning at Home
It is important for self-advocates to develop their own plan for staying safe during this COVID-19 pandemic. Opening Doors, an organization in the United Kingdom, developed a plain language guide for self-advocates to help learn about the coronavirus and how to stay safe. They have graciously allowed us to modify the guide for use in British Columbia. View the guide here.
Individuals are encouraged to develop a plan to ensure their needs are met, identify important contacts, and know what to do if they or someone in their home become sick. Individuals are welcome to use this template as a starting point for their planning.
Financial Supports for People with Disabilities
EI and Federal Recovery Benefits
EI, the three new Canada recovery benefits, and pandemic pay are exempt as income and assets for individuals who are eligible for assistance (except repayable hardship assistance due to having applied for EI or CERB) or were designated as a Person with Disabilities (PWD). CLBC has created a fact sheet for more information on CERB and financial supports.
Past Financial Supports
From April to December 2020 individuals receiving Disability Assistance who were not receiving either federal Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) automatically received a Temporary BC Recovery Supplement of $300 on their cheques. From January to March 2021 this temporary supplement was continued at a rate of $150. Starting April 1, 2021 the Temporary BC Recovery Supplement ended and was replaced by a permanent $175/month increase to Disability Assistance for a total of $1,358.42/month. Find out more information on the BC Government Website.
All British Columbians were eligible for the BC Recovery Benefit. Applications had to have been received by June 30, 2021. Individuals with a 2019 net income up to $62,500 were eligible to receive $500 and reduced benefits were available for those with a net income up to $87,500. Families with a net income up to $125,000 received a $1,000 payment with reduced benefits available for those with a net income up to $175,000.
In the Fall of 2020, the federal government announced a one time $600 payment for people with disabilities. The payment was meant to help with the extra costs faced by people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April and May 2020 individuals received an extra $52 Transportation Supplement on their cheques due to the decision made by BC Transit to suspend all fare collection on public transit. As of June 1 2020 BC Transit resumed fare collection on all buses and this supplement ended. As the bus passes were not cancelled during the fare suspension individuals did not need to re-apply for their pass.
We are committed to keeping you updated as we continue to monitor information provided from the Health Authorities. More information is also available from the following sources:
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- HealthLink BC
- The Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
- Plain Language Booklet on Coronavirus for Self-Advocates
- Plain Language Information from People First of Canada
- Information for Youth and Young Adults (updated Mar 31, 2020)
- Greater Victoria Community Resources – local food banks and other community supports (created by the Quadra Village Community Centre updated Mar 23, 2020 )
- Canadian Association for Community Living Disability Related Resources for Families
- Video Conferencing and Privacy – how to stay safe while connecting with friends and family online (CLBC)
Coronavirus Outbreak: Fact vs Fiction with Dr. Bonnie Henry (Plain Language)