Daily COVID-19 Update: May 1, 2020
Supports for Business
Workplace Guidance For Business Owners
With the recent relaunch strategy announcement by the Provincial Government, businesses will now need to shift focus to recovery readiness and determining strategies to return to work and reopen their businesses. We are working to get workplace readiness guidelines for business, so that you can start preparing now for the weeks to come as we enter into the different phases of relaunching our economy. For now, there is a guidance document that has been developed to support businesses (excluding health care settings) for those that were still permitted to operate. It is still relevant for business in providing guidance for reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among workers, volunteers and patrons. Now that the relaunch has been announced, it will be critically important to pay attention to the various phases and restrictions and how to put measures in place as a business. This would include strategies for:
- Communication for staff, volunteers and patrons
- Policies for staff and volunteers who are or become ill or are diagnosed with COVID-19
- Hygiene practices for staff, volunteers and patrons
- Cleaning and sanitization guidelines
- Requirement for the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Physical distancing & gathering policies in the business
- Considerations to remain working from home or continuing to use Home Delivery, Drive through, Take-out and Curbside Pick-up
The current document can be located online here.
Some of the things you can consider in order to reopen safely:
- Respect physical distancing of 2m.
- Encourage wearing a mask where unable physically distance. Consider placing stickers on the floor, installing signs, or installing plastic shields at checkouts.
Create a plan:
- Make a list of current processes + procedures that will need to be modified before opening and create a plan of action. Call it your COVID-19 Safety Plan, and review/revise it as necessary. Make sure you discuss this plan with your staff members.
- Revise your cleaning plan and have all the necessary items on hand to ensure the ongoing safety of everyone who enters your business. Keep in mind that as businesses reopen and need to restock supplies, they may become more difficult to purchase. Plan ahead and seek supplies now. Customers will notice if your store is clean, organized and feels safe to enter.
- Personal Protective Equipment may be required for staff and you may need to make changes to the way that you interact with your customers.
- Consider whether clients can schedule online to obtain your services. Make sure pickup locations are clearly marked and are fast and accessible. Even though your doors may be open for traffic, people may still be cautious and will appreciate these conveniences. Be aware that available curbside pickup may be an ongoing expectation of customers.
Determine your marketing and communication strategies:
- As businesses begin to reopen, customers will want to know businesses are safe. When you begin to advertise that you’re open again, follow it up with a rundown of your Safety Plan. Update your website, social media accounts, and advertising.
- Ask customers for online reviews and let them know you appreciate them mentioning you.
Read the relaunch strategy here.
Supports for Individuals
Provincial Government Launches ABTraceTogether App
As part of its relaunch strategy, the Government of Alberta has launched a voluntary, secure mobile contact tracing application to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Quick tracing and containment of outbreaks is critical as the province works to gradually relaunch the economy. The ABTraceTogether app will enhance the current manual tracing process and help Albertans protect themselves and their loved ones.
Contact tracing is currently performed by interviewing patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, which is resource intensive and has limitations on its effectiveness as it relies on the patient’s memory. Through wireless Bluetooth technology, mobile contact tracing will complement the work of health-care workers and drastically speed up the current manual tracing process. This means Albertans will be contacted more quickly if they are at risk.
Protecting Albertans’ privacy is paramount. Use of the app is voluntary, and users must opt-in. Only your phone number is collected at the time of registering the app. The application does not track the user’s location and does not use your GPS. Data is only stored on the user’s phone in an encrypted format for 21 days only. Users must consent to sharing their data if they have tested positive for COVID-19. The only information shared with contact tracers is a random ID of those identified as close contacts after a user is diagnosed with COVID-19 – nothing identifiable is exchanged between phones. Users must be within two metres from each other for a total duration of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period in order to be notified as a close contact.
Non-essential travel reminder
Non-essential travel is still not recommended, including travel within Alberta. This will remain the case until the third stage of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy. Now is not the time to visit mountain communities for the weekend. National parks remain closed to visitors.
Community Supports and Resources
Mental Health Week Begins May 4th
COVID-19 has placed a significant amount of pressure on employees, employers and families. Isolation, fear for the well-being of loved ones and financial strain are creating disruptions in all our lives. During these difficult times, it is important to know the resources that are available to help you stay mentally healthy. The Conference Board of Canada is collecting information on how mental health has been impacted with their COVID-19 on Mental Health Pulse Check survey.
Find mental health resources in our community here:
- Alberta’s Mental Health Helpline is available 24-7 toll-free and offers confidential support for mental health concerns: 1-877-303-2642.
- Alberta’s Addiction Helpline is available 24-7 toll-free and offers confidential support for alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and problem gambling: 1-866-332-2322
- The Kids Help Phone is available 24-7 and offers professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people by texting CONNECT to 686868.
- The Crisis Text Line Alberta is a service available 24-7 that offers information, referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support for Albertans of all ages, by texting CONNECT to 741741.
- Alberta 211 is a free helpline that connects Albertans to community and social services in their area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages.
- Canadian Mental Health Association supports
- Wellness Together Canada will connect Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls and will make it easier to find credible information and help address mental health and substance use issues.
Chamber Network Advocates for Deferral of Commercial Evictions
The Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC), in coordination with the Canadian and other provincial and territorial chambers of commerce, is urgently calling for the government to immediately block commercial rent evictions. Businesses are still waiting for the benefit of other government supports like the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program and the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Program. The network is asking for a period of two weeks where businesses will not be evicted from their commercial properties in order to allow for businesses to “catch their collective breath” until funds from support programs start flowing. Read the letter.
Time is Running Out for Small Business
Ken Kobly, President & CEO of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, highlights some small businesses who have had difficulty in accessing government support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the article.
International Chamber of Commerce Launches Save Our SMEs (SOS) Website
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has launched a new website for the SOS (Save Our SMEs) campaign. The website features key advocacy materials and is designed to help entrepreneurs find the insights and information they need to navigate through COVID-19. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s national committee for the ICC, provides a platform for our members to become involved in International Chamber of Commerce activities.
Department Of National Defence: Tender Opportunity
The Department of National Defence (DND) has posted an urgent requirement for cloth face coverings on Buyandsell.gc.ca. This opportunity closes on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Call to Action:
Share your stories and resources with us and on the YXH Business Support Group and connect with us for any questions you have.
Recognize your heroes by using the hashtag #YXHheroes.
Honour your everyday heroes through the Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Awards program. Nominations can be submitted online.
Quote of the Day: “The safety of the people shall be the highest law." – Marcus Tullius Cicero
For more resources visit our COVID-19 page
On Demand Webinars
Alberta Bits & Pieces Webinar. Watch Now.
Canadian Business Resilience Network Video Content
Conflict Escalation & What to Do About It. Watch Now.
Destination Canada: The Visitor Economy: Watch Now.
How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business. Watch Now.
The Importance of Human Resources & Being Strategic When Your Business is Being Temporarily Impacted. Watch Now.
Leading During a Crisis and Switching to Remote Work. Watch Now.
Rent Relief in a World of the Coronavirus: Watch Now.
Shopify E-Commerce Tools. Watch Now.
Social Media in Crisis. Watch Now.
Understanding, Accessing and Optimizing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Watch Now.
Working From Home During COVID-19. Watch Now.
AMHSA, CSSE, Howatt HR, AUMA Mental Health Webinar Series. Click here.
APEX Alberta Webinars: Watch the recorded series
BDC Webinar Series: Register here.
BusinessLink: View upcoming events.
Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Watch Now.
CPHR Alberta: HR Pandemic Essentials. Click here.
Conference Board of Canada Webinar Series: Mental Health and COVID-19. Click here.
Constant Contact Webinar Series: View the line up of sessions and register.
D2L Webinar Series: Digital Transformation for Associations. Watch Now.
Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) Wednesday weekly: Business & Economic Recovery During the COVID-19 Crisis
Free Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)® IDS™ sessions. Register here.
StartUp Canada Women Entrepreneur Webinar Series: Click here.
Travel Alberta Webinar Series. Watch Now.
May 2: IG Wealth - Business owners in Canada: Navigating COVID-19 economic volatility and Government relief measures. Register here.
May 5: Local Food Market Channels. Register here.
May 6: COVID-19 Webinar Series - Beyond Reacting: How to Re-Invent and Disrupt in the New Reality. Register here.
May 6: SEO for Beginners: How Customers Find You Online. Register here.
May 6: CBRN: M & A strategies, succession planning and preparing for recovery. Register here.
May 7: Selling Food in Alberta? Know the Regulations! Register here.
May 7: Write Like a Rockstar. Register here.
May 7: AWE: To Pivot or Not to Pivot? FAQ about adapting your business. Register here.
May 7: BusinessLink: Business Growth During & After COVID-19. Register here.
May 7: Business Sustainability During Times of Crisis. Register here.
Check out more events on our Pandemic Training Calendar