B.C.’s provincial health officer has issued a new set of orders for industrial camps and guidelines to protect people working in the tree planting and forest-care sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Bonnie Henry issued a new order for all industrial camps that applies to workers in the agricultural, forestry and resource sectors, and those who provide accommodation for workers.
Each year, about 5,000 tree planters travel to work in remote camps and communities throughout the province.
However, to reduce and mitigate the risks of COVID-19 this planting season, all tree planters will be subject to strict screening procedures for Covid-19 symptoms.
Additional measures set out by the BC Centre for Disease Control include: handwashing stations in camps, food preparation guidelines, limiting travel outside of camp, and having at least one infection control coordinator at each site.
“We have heard from rural/remote communities about wanting to make sure work in communities can continue safely, and that is why we have worked collaboratively to develop these guidelines for tree planting,” said Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson.
Forestry was included in the list of essential services because they provide a continuous supply of items, such as wood, pulp and paper, and soft-pulp products, which are used to make medical supplies, like protective masks, drapes and screens.
The full announcement is available on the Provincial Government’s website.