Updated: September 15, 2020
Note: BeConnected continually updates it’s COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan as new information arises. View the most current update here.
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 2 of it’s pandemic response plan.
BeConnected program locations, in response to the recommendations made by the Provincial Health Officer and Ministry of Health, are only permitting essential visitors* at this time. These measures will remain in place until otherwise instructed by the Health Authority.
BeConnected offices remain open at this time. We ask all visitors to use the provided hand sanitizer upon arrival and follow social distancing measures. Office personnel regularly clean and disinfect all high touch surfaces. You can view our Office BC Phase 2 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:
- Respiratory symptoms;
- Come in contact with someone known or presumed to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days; or
- Travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 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.
All in person BeConnected Events have been cancelled until further notice. Individuals are encouraged to attend virtual activities and events.
You can view BeConnected’s full COVID-19 Pandemic Continuity Plan here (September 15 2020).
*Essential Visitors (visits for compassionate end-of-life care or visits essential for supporting care plans for a person served)
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 Support for People with Disabilities
Individuals currently receiving Disability Assistance and who are not receiving either federal Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will automatically receive a $300 supplement on cheques issued from April to December. No action is required to obtain this supplement. If you are receiving EI or CERB you will not be eligible for the $300 supplement however both CERB and EI are temporarily exempt. This means they will have no effect on your regular disability assistance.
The federal government has also announced a one time $600 payment for people with disabilities. The payment, expected to be sent to people in the fall, is meant to help with the extra costs faced by people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s website.
As of June 1, BC Transit resumed fare collection on all buses. Therefore individuals using the Bus Pass Program will no longer receive the extra $52 Transportation Supplement on their cheques. As the bus passes were not cancelled during the fare suspension you do not need to re-apply for the 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)