COVID-19: Harbour Light’s Safety Plan

This post provides a summary of a few key sections of The Salvation Army Vancouver Harbour Light’s (VHL) COVID-19 Safety Plan. The complete plan is available to all employees in both hard copy (bright pink binders in department common areas) and digital copy (on the shared drive and circulated by email). In alignment with the Provincial Health Officer’s orders and WorkSafeBC’s guidance for employers, this plan will be in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and updated as needed.
VHL’s COVID-19 Safety Plan is built on the foundation of our personal actions, particularly staying home when sick, practicing physical distancing, and performing regular hand hygiene. If you are coming to Harbour Light for any reason, please review these actions before your trip to our facilities.
In addition to regular cleaning routines, our janitorial employees and Volunteer Work Experience Program participants are providing additional sanitizing to frequent touch points, including but not limited to door knobs, handrails, and elevator buttons. Individual offices have been provided with spray cleaner or wipes for daily sanitizing. Shared offices have been provided with cleaning supplies for use at every shift change (at a minimum), with additional cleaning of high-touch shared items.
Service Providers & Visitors
Social visitation is not allowed at Harbour Light right now. All other types of visits, including third-party service providers, should be reduced whenever possible, scheduled in advance to reduce overlap, and kept as short as possible. The use of alternative methods of communication is strongly encouraged. When scheduling a service call or other visitor, Harbour Light staff will inform visitors they:
  • must reschedule if they are unwell or are placed on self-isolation;
  • must practice physical distancing whenever reasonably possible;
  • must perform hand hygiene upon entering the facility;
  • must not bring additional guests during their visit;
  • should arrive on time, and wait off-site if they arrive early; and
  • are encouraged to wear a non-medical mask, as Harbour Light cannot guarantee physical distancing at all times, in all areas of the facility.
Whenever possible, contractors/repair personnel should pre-schedule their service visits. They will call the Director of Environmental Services before entering the facility, so that he can greet them and provide direction regarding physical distancing, hand washing facilities, etc.
Shared Spaces & Meetings 
Additional precautions (including occupancy limits) are in place to reduce risks in shared spaces, including meeting rooms, elevators, staff rooms, client lounges, chapel, dining rooms, and rooftop garden. All staff will avoid meetings or gatherings where physical distances cannot be maintained. Harbour Light staff will hold meetings by teleconference or video conference, whenever possible. If an in-person meeting is necessary, staff will:
  • Limit the number of participants and duration of the meeting;
  • Ensure at least 2m (6ft) space between participants; and
  • Consider using the largest room available, or moving the meeting outdoors.
  • If an indoor meeting must be held without physical distancing, all participants must wear non-medical masks.

12-step meetings will remain in-house only, with community participation welcome by Zoom; this will be reviewed regularly. Room bookings for outside groups for meetings or trainings (e.g. Urban Core, Shelternet, etc.) will be cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Following Dr. Henry’s recommendations, masks are useful when physical distancing can’t be maintained. Thanks to generous community members, over 120 staff members received handmade fabric masks to wear when physical distancing is not possible. We continue to welcome additional donations of fabric masks, so we can extend our non-medical mask distribution to include clients.
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