Coronavirus: B.C. construction sites still allowed to operate, but with restrictions

The B.C. government says construction sites can continue to operate despite social distancing measures meant to curb the coronavirus pandemic — but there will still be some restrictions.

The province said Sunday that workers will be able to operate as normal while still following orders from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to limit gatherings to 50 people and stay at least two metres apart from others.

Employers must ensure those orders are being followed at their sites, while also posting signage telling workers no more than four people can be inside an elevator at one time.

Site meetings should also be held outdoors or in open spaces as much as possible, the province added, while handwashing stations should be increased at all sites. Common areas and surfaces should also be cleaned daily.

Anyone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 or otherwise feels sick must self-isolate at for 14 days, following provincial guidelines.

Many residents and members of the construction industry itself have been confused about how social distancing measures would affect on-site operations, with some calling on construction projects to be halted altogether.

Henry on Saturday said some of those projects are essential, including desperately needed rental and low-income housing, and assured they could continue under the guidelines.

She said workers can appeal to WorkSafeBC if they are concerned about the practices at their site.

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