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BC's Restart Plan

Phase 2 of BC's Restart Plan begins May 19, 2020

Premier Horgan announced that BC will be moving into Phase 2 of it's restart plan on May 19, 2020. 

Phase 2  includes: 

  • small social gatherings; 
  • a resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling;
  • provincial parks open for day use;
  • opening more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operations plans;
  • recalling the provincial legislature for regular sittings.
The target date for the start of Phase 3, which will include opening up of additional businesses and services, is between June and September 2020, if transmission rates remain low or in decline. 

Phase 4 will only be achieved when the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent. Concerts, large corporate meeting and conventions fall under Phase 4. 

While dental technicians look forward to a slow and safe return under Phase 2, this will only happen if the number of COVID-19 cases remain low AND if all the safety protocols are in place. The College of Dental Technicians is working with the oral health regulators to offer guidance to a slow return to providing services. We will update everyone as soon as we obtain more information. 

In the meantime you can access the College of Dental Technicians current guide to infection control by clicking here

The College of Dental Surgeons and Dental Hygienists also have their Infection Prevention and Control guide on the website which you can access here

WorkSafe BC is also working with industry specific professions such as dentistry and health care to help navigate how to operate safely during this time and in the foreseeable future. See below for further information from WorkSafe BC. 

Worksafe BC backgrounder

WorkSafe BC guidelines for health care

For more information about BC's Restart Plan, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/restartbc. 
 
Response Plan to Phase 2 of COVID-19

Guidelines

 
On May 15, the four oral health regulators released a comprehensive document to provide guidance in response to Phase 2 of COVID-19. This document is for oral healthcare providers including dental technicians, denturists, dentists, hygienists and dental assistants as they consider slowly returning to the lab and or clinic. It is a compilation of existing standards and recommendations from various authoritative organizations. You may have already received it directly from the College of Dental Technicians but in case you missed it, we are including it below.


We are also including below the guidelines from the BC Centre of Disease Control. One of the documents specifically deals with environmental cleaning and disinfectants for a clinical setting but can be easily applied to a lab environment.



Finally, we are including once again the College of Dental Technician's guide to infection control that is still effective and simple to follow.


We realize that this can be overwhelming and a bit confusing with the various documents and authorities involved. In the next few weeks, the Board of Directors of DTABC will review the documents from the authorities and try to identify those best practices and enhanced protocols specifically for lab environment.

In the meantime, if you have any questions/concerns and feedback contact Renata by e-mail at renata@dentaltechniciansofbc.com

Emergency Funds Update

 
 
On April 16, the federal government announced additional support for small businesses:
 
  • The expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will be available tobusinesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
  • The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June.

On April 15, the federal government announced expanded access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit by revising eligibility rules. The new rules will enable the following individuals to collect the benefit:
  • Those earning $1,000 or less per month.
  • Seasonal employees who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake seasonal work due to COVID-19.
  • Those who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work due to COVID-19.
 
We encourage you toregularly check the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan page on Finance Canada for details on all federal programs available to them. Programs are still evolving to address any gaps in service.

The BC Government also announced enhanced relief measures for businesses to help owners and operators cope with the financial challenges during COVID-19.
 
The new steps to support BC businesses include reducing most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25%, and postponing the date that late payment penalties apply.New measures have also been introduced to support local governments facing temporary revenue shortfalls,including the ability to borrow interest-free loans from existing capital reserves, and greater flexibility to borrow for two years instead of one.
 
Visit the Province's COVID-19 Supports for Businesses page to explore the wide range of supports and resources available for small businesses in BC, including:
 
  • Credit and financing options;
  • Supports for employees, and taxes;
  • Pivoting your business operations.
 

Dental Offices to Open Gradually
The BC Dental Association [BCDA] announced that dental offices will not return to regular practices on May 19 which is the start of Phase 2 of BC's restart plan. According to the BCDA's release, full dental services, including hygiene care, will be introduced gradually and when it is safe to do so.

To read the full BCDA release please click here

As mentioned in our recent e-mail alert, dental technicians and assistants can expect a slow and gradual return to work if the number of COVID-19 cases remain low AND if all the safety protocols are in place.

DTABC has reached out to our College, the BCDA and the College of Dental Surgeons to determine what new measures will be in place to help guide everyone. On May 13, Dr. Bonny Henry advised new guidelines are currently being worked on with the various regulators including oral health regulators. The DTABC will continue to follow up when these become public and are published.

Many employers will need to review their occupational health and safety regulations and all procedures. For example, review of lab layout /floor plan to ensure physical distancing, use of partitions between employees and adopting some sort of screening process to ensure everyone is healthy to be at work. These are just some of the considerations to be adopted as part of a COVID-19 back to work environment. We will make sure that all our members receive the guidelines available in addition to the appropriate infection prevention and control protocols.
Webinars for continuing education
The following organizations are offering free CE webinars at this time. Please check their websites or linkedin pages regularly to keep up to date on weekly offerings. 

The Aururm Group - Weekly Webinars

Dentsply Sirona- Dentsply Sirona Webinars

Argen Corporation - Argen Education

3Shape Dental Labs- 3Shape Dental Lab Linkedin

Ivoclar Vivadent- Ivoclar-Vivadent Linkedin

Please check DTABC Linkedin page for up-to-date information on CE webinars. 
COVID-19 Information

Hello everyone,

As you are all aware, our landscape is forever changing. It is apparent that we are entering a critical phase in the fight against COVID-19. As the BC Ministry of Health and Dr. Bonnie Henry have stressed, we must do everything we can to mitigate and stop transmission of COVID-19. These are trying times and we are all responsible in doing our part to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and to work in the best interest of the entire community.

The College of Dental Surgeons is trying its best to provide direction to all dentists and oral care providers. As you know, all non-essential and elective dental care have been suspended. We would encourage you to visit the website on a regular basis for updates [cdsbc.org].

For ongoing information on COVID-19 and the directives from the BC government please click here
 
While it is up to each of you to determine how you will work over the next few weeks, it is paramount that we keep each other safe with appropriate protective equipment and protocols. It is also apparent that work will diminish and we are looking at what measures the federal government is putting in place to assist workers and businesses in general.

Support during COVID 19

Support for Individuals and Business during COVID-19

You can now start applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). As a reminder, the CERB will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month, for up to four months to: Workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support. 

  • Workers who are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.  
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.   
  • Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19. 
  • Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance. 
To streamline the application, Canada Revenue has set up specific days for you to apply. Below are the guidelines.
 
  • If you were born in the months of January, February and March, you can apply on Mondays starting April 6.
  • Born in the months of April, May or June, you can apply on Tuesdays, starting April 7.
  • Born in the months of July, August, September you can apply on Wednesdays, starting April 8
  • Born in the months of October, November and December, you can apply on Thursdays, starting April 9
  • Born in any month, you can apply Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays staring April 10 respectively.
Application details are now available through My CRA and My Service Canada

For complete details on the entire support package you can visit the federal government's finance department's website and we have copied the link here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

Provincial Government's Emergency Fund
The provincial government has also committed to an emergency fund for workers and businesses as well as others in the community. There is lots of information and links on the finance departments' website. There is relief as well for renters and information on mortgage and tax deferrals for both individuals and businesses. To learn more click here.

 Resources for our lab owners
 
The federal government is looking at other ways to support small businesses in addition to the emergency fund already laid out above.
We would encourage lab owners to also visit the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses as they list many resources and up-to-date information for businesses during this crisis. 
Their website is www.cfib-fcei.ca/en
 
Save Small Business Advocacy Campaign
 
Save Small Business is a campaign recently launched during the COVID-19 crisis. It is trying to persuade Ottawa to help fund landlords so they can waive the first $10,000 of commercial rents for the next three months. To learn more and to sign the petition they are circulating please click here

These are very trying times for everyone. If you have any information that would be of benefit to all, please send to Renata at renata@dentaltechniciansofbc.com and we can share via our e-mail distribution.

We will send regular updates as they occur. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We don't have all the answers but we will sure do our best to help navigate this crisis together.

Thank you.
Renata Cecconi
Director of Communications and Members Services
604 789 4077