50 businesses temporarily closed due to COVID-19 in B.C.'s Lower Mainland
VANCOUVER -- Dozens of businesses in B.C.'s Lower Mainland have been forced to temporarily close their doors in recent weeks due to "likely transmission" of COVID-19 in the workplace.
The vast majority of those closures have taken place since April 12, when the province allowed WorkSafeBC prevention officers to begin serving businesses with shutdown orders after three or more employees test positive for the disease.
The closures last for at least 10 days, but some workplaces can avoid being shuttered if it's determined to be "in the overriding public interest" to keep them open, according to health officials.
Most workplaces have also been in the Fraser Health region that spans from Burnaby to Boston Bar, which has been a hotbed of coronavirus transmission in recent months. The affected businesses under Fraser Health include more than half a dozen gyms, several restaurants and fast food franchise locations, at least one salon and a Service B.C. branch.
There have also been six temporary closures in the Vancouver Coastal Health region that spans from Richmond up to the area around Bella Coola.
While WorkSafeBC officers deliver the closure orders, they only do so at the direction of a local medical health officer. Some businesses where three employees test positive for COVID-19 may not be forced to close if health officials don't believe transmission happened in the workplace.
Examples of businesses and workplaces that might be allowed to stay open even after cases of likely transmission include police and fire stations, health care facilities, grocery stores, schools, daycares and courthouses, according to the Fraser Health website.