Posted by Executive Director on April 2, 2020 7:30 am
This article provides a summary of the VUL’s response to COVID-19 in Metro Vancouver.
We are regularly reviewing guidance from relevant authorities and will update this article and our members as things change. Subscribe to our Community Newsletter to receive updates by email.
Our priorities include:
- The health and safety of VUL members and personnel.
- The health and safety of the everyone in the communities where we live.
- Continuing to deliver programs and services where possible.
Program Status - September
As we move through different phases of the BC Government's Restart Plan, we will post new articles describing our plans for that phase.
BC moved to Phase 3 in late August, 2020.
See our Fall Season - Returning to Play article for more info on our plans for Phase 3 in the fall.
Financial Update - April
The containment measures for COVID-19 have had a massive financial impact on the VUL.
See this letter from the Executive Director for an update on the VUL's financial situation.
Guidelines for Members
As of March 16
All of us have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The virus presents a very serious health risk. Most of us have not directly experienced exponential growth during an outbreak, and that can make it harder to treat warnings with as much care as needed. While the virus is similar the flu, there is an increased risk of severe outcomes for those over 65, and a spike in infections can overwhelm health care providers putting many other people at risk - including those who do not have COVID-19 who need access to our health care system.
- If you feel sick, please stay home. Even with mild symptoms or if it is not COVID. This is important to protect our wider community and the health care system.
- If you return from travel outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days per Health Canada and BC Government.
- Wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces. Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
- Follow social distancing guidelines (see below). Skip handshakes, high-fives, and other direct contact with people unless necessary.
- Consider exercise options that can be done while maintaining a social distance, such as walking, running, hiking, cycling, throwing a frisbee with a few friends, yoga at home or in a park, etc.
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may show little to no symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure.
Symptoms are similar to a cold or flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia. The most common symptoms are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Tip: Buy a thermometer if you don’t have one -- a fever can present before other symptoms.
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- BC Government News (Twitter)
- Vancouver Coastal Health
- Health Canada
- Our World in Data
If you have any comments or feedback, please send them to email@example.com.
Social Distancing Guide
From the New York Times in March. Note that some of these guidelines may have changed since then.
What is social distancing?
It means minimizing contact with people and maintaining a distance of at least six feet between you and others. Avoid public transportation, limit nonessential travel, work from home and skip gatherings. This strategy saved thousands of lives both during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and in Mexico City during the 2009 flu pandemic.
I’m young. Can I continue to socialize?
Please don’t. There is no question that older people and those with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to the virus, but young people are by no means immune. And there is a greater public health imperative. Even people who show only mild symptoms may pass the virus to many, many others — particularly in the early course of the infection, before they even realize they are sick.
Can I leave my house?
It’s OK to go outdoors. The point is not to remain indoors, but to avoid being in close contact with others. When you do leave your home, wipe down any surfaces you come into contact with, avoid touching your face and frequently wash your hands.
Can I go to the supermarket?
Yes, buy what you need without hoarding. Pick a time when the store is least likely to be crowded. Be aware that any surface inside the store may be contaminated, especially the handle of the cart.
Can I go out to dinner at a restaurant?
Avoid going out to restaurants. Opt for takeout.
Can family come to visit?
That depends. If everyone in the family is young and healthy, then some careful interaction in small groups can be OK (maintain distance). Elderly relatives and others at risk should stay away.
Can I take my kids to the playground?
Serious illness from this virus in kids is rare, but they are still at risk. Kids tend to touch their mouths, noses and faces constantly so parents, especially in higher-risk areas, may want to avoid trips to playgrounds. If any are open, take hand sanitizer and clean any surfaces with disinfecting wipes before they play.
How long will we need to practice social distancing?
That is a big unknown. A lot will depend on how well the social distancing measures in place work and how much we can slow the pandemic down. But prepare to do so for weeks or a month, and possibly longer.