Wednesday, October 28, 2020

UFCW 1518 in BC calls for mandatory mask orders for all grocery and commercial retail operations

UFCW 1518  is calling for a mandatory mask order to
be put in place for customers in the province

The union which represents grocery store workers and other retail workers issued a call to Dr. Bonnie Henry to move from an expectation that  British Columbians wear masks in indoor public spaces to a full mandate of its own towards that measure.

On Monday, with a surge of COVID cases to relay at her afternoon briefing the province's top public health official introduced two new COVID orders related to social gatherings and Food and liquor serving .

See the Order here

See the Order here

As well the Province's top Public Health Official spoke to the growing theme of masks in BC and observed that it was now an expectation that those entering indoor public spaces would don a mask as part of their travels.

Doctor Henry however has still come up just a bit short of making the Mask ruling an official provincial order.

“In addition to this new order and in light of the increased risks with respiratory season, the expectation is that people will wear masks in all indoor public spaces. As part of this, businesses are asked to review their COVID-19 safety plans with this in mind. If you are in a high-traffic area or among many people outside of your household while at work, a mask will help to protect you and those around you. 

Now is the time for all of us to work together – while staying apart – to slow the spread of COVID-19, and always keeping our groups small and using our layers of protection is the best way for us to do that.” -- Doctor Bonnie Henry at her Monday COVID update

In their letter of Tuesday, the UFCW noted that many stores and retail operations have an internal order in place for all staff members to wear masks while on the job, however they make note of the double standard of not requiring customers to do the same.

“Our members are diligently doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks and carrying out enhanced health and safety procedures. It’s time that the government did its part to ensure that customers wear masks to protect workers.” -- Kim Novak, President UFCW 1518

The letter to the doctor can be reviewed below:

UFCW 1518 letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry
(click to enlarge)

The call for a mandatory mask order may resonate well for many on the North Coast. Earlier this month, the Loblaw company made note of a presumptive case of COVID at their Prince Rupert Shoppers Drug Mart location in mid October.

The latest measures and calls for increased use of masks comes as British Columbia continues to see increased daily case counts, with 13,588 cases of COVID recorded since the start of the pandemic. 

Of that number 10,964 British Columbians have recovered. there currently are 2,539 new and active cases in the province as of 4:30 PM Tuesday.

Though it should be noted, the vast majority of the reported cases are coming from the Fraser Health region and the Surrey and surrounding area in particular.

For more notes on the ongoing efforts related to the COVID-19 coronavirus see our archive page here.

Further items of interest from the commercial sector can be explored here.

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