Issue

Novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a coronavirus. COVID-19 has now spread worldwide, including to British Columbia. The outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020.

VRCA COVID-19 Resource Page

Current Status

British Columbia’s provincial health officer declared COVID-19 a public health emergency on March 17, 2020. The next day, the B.C. government declared a provincial state of emergency.

Status Updates

Last updated: March 27, 2020 at 12:oo p.m.

March 2020

  • March 26 – The provincial government defined the construction industry as a non-health essential service provider in the context of COVID-19 response and recovery. As such, construction sites should remain open provided they follow the orders and guidance provided by the provincial health officer (PHO) to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission and illness. Read more.
  • March 26 – VRCA hosted a call with members of its General Contractors Division to share pandemic response plans and best practice COVID-19 safety protocols for construction sites. Thank you to the member companies that made presentations and willingly agreed to share their plans and resources across VRCA’s three Divisions. The documents can be downloaded from VRCA’s COVID-19 Resources page.
  • March 23 – In response to all governments’ increasing calls to limit non-essential interactions, VRCA decided to close its office effective 1 p.m. on Monday, March 23. In an email to member companies and their employees, Fiona Famulak, VRCA president, explained the impact this decision has on the purchase of CCDC seals, Commission of Oaths services (statutory declarations) and VRCA print/scan services. Read more.
  • March 22 The provincial government released additional safety guidance for construction companies to manage their sites during COVID-19. All companies in the industry must follow these requirements to ensure the utmost protection of their workers, their families and our communities. Read more.
  • March 21 The Canadian Construction Association issued a statement outlining how Canada’s construction industry is responding to COVID-19. The release included an urgent call for the Government of Canada to undertake several actions and provide additional information. Read more.
  • March 18 – VRCA shared that it received clarification from the provincial health officer that her March 16, 2020 order regarding mass gatherings does not apply to industrial sites. The provincial government also confirmed that the reference to industrial sites includes construction sites. In addition to clarifying the earlier order, the provincial health officer also suggested several precautions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus on industrial sites, including: reducing the number of people on site; practicing social distancing by maintaining two metres separation between workers; and not congregating in break areas and lunch rooms. For now, this means construction sites remain open with additional health and safety precautions in place. Read more.
  • March 17 – VRCA emailed its member companies and their employees to share that VRCA’s was office remaining open, however, minimally staffed to process essential business, including statutory declarations, and that the balance of VRCA’s staff will work remotely to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Read more.
  • March 13 – VRCA emailed its member companies and their employees to share the association’s plans for in-person events and education courses through April. Read more.
  • March 12 – VRCA issued an email to member companies and their employees advising what the association is doing to help keep its visitors, guests and staff safe from risks associated with the COVID-19 virus. Read more.