Aiming to avoid “another economic shutdown,” two Surrey business groups have launched a “Get Serious” social media campaign to remind workplaces and residents to strictly adhere to health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Different social media messages will be sent out daily with significant messaging that underscores the consequences if Fraser Health-area virus cases do not decrease,” says a joint email from Surrey Board of Trade and South Asian Business Association.
“Please follow our social media channels and share the message to your teams, to your families and to your neighbours. We are all in this together – to make sacrifices today, so that we can ensure we do not have another economic shutdown.”
In an email to SBOT members Wednesday, Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman directed recipients to a “COVID-19 proof your business” information sheet published by Fraser Health.
“Show your business cares by having all employees wear masks at work,” the flyer says. “Don’t let employees come to work sick” and “At large worksites, divide staff into cohorts” are among the other subjects covered.
Wrote Huberman: “Due to rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases in Fraser Health, we are asking the business community to revisit their COVID-19 safety plans and step up measures where needed for the protection of our workers, our loved ones and our communities.”
On Tuesday (Oct. 27), B.C. public health officials identified another 217 COVID-19 cases, following a record weekend for infections that prompted new restrictions on gatherings in private homes and advice to wear masks in all public indoor spaces.
Last week, Fraser Health’s top doctor reminded people that “even small gatherings are risky right now.” Dr. Victoria Lee told reporters Thursday (Oct. 22) that as of the day prior, Fraser Health’s cases accounted for 70 per cent of the total provincial cases.
Meantime, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says weddings, funerals and other life events “need to be small, as small as possible,” as that gatherings should be limited to one household only, and at max a pandemic bubble of six or fewer.
On Oct. 19, Henry said “there’s a number of different reasons” why cases in Fraser Health, specifically south of the Fraser, are so high.
“Some of it is spread within large family groups, inadvertently, but there’s also a large number of essential workers,” explained Henry, “so many of our poultry producing plants, the fruit-producing plants, the large congregate living settings for farm workers, many health-care workers and others, truckers and other essential services are people who live or work in those areas.”
The latest data from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows more than 1,800 COVID-19 cases in Surrey residents between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30.
with files from Lauren Collins and Tom Fletcher