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The OV Arts Centre COVID-19 Safety Plan

Table of Contents

2022 COVID-19 Safety Plan

Date of issue: January 14, 2022

Revision Date:

The OV Arts Centre

Completed by: General Manager

Revised By:

Purpose of COVID-19 Safety Plan

This COVID-19 safety plan template has been created by The OV Arts Centre to outline the policies and procedures that have been put in place to protect staff, volunteers, users, and others entering the business from the potential transmission of COVID-19. This plan follows the WorkSafeBC six-step process for developing a COVID-19 Safety Plan and aligns with current Provincial Health Officer (PHO) orders and WorkSafeBC requirements.


The OV Arts Centre management is responsible for the development of this plan including risk assessments, supporting policies, monitoring and adapting the plan and addressing worker concerns. Management is also responsible for COVID-19 Safety Plan training and communication to their workers before and during their employment. 

All The OV Arts Centre staff, volunteers, users and contractors will follow this safety plan as a condition of being in The OV.  All guests must follow this safety plan as a condition of visiting our property. 

The General Manager is responsible for implementing this safety plan throughout the workplace.

Staff are responsible for participating in the development, implementation and ongoing sustainment of the COVID-19 Safety Plan. If staff have any concerns regarding this plan they are to bring them to the attention of the General Manager.

STEP 1 – Identify the Risks 

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. This particular coronavirus was a new virus first recognized in December 2019, originating in Wuhan, China. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which infect animals and others that can infect humans. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Symptoms of the illness are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the common cold and influenza. In some cases, COVID-19 symptoms may appear to be mild but can worsen within a few days and become fatal. With research from the various variants, the related symptoms listed below are most likely related to COVID-19 than other respiratory illnesses.

Key Symptoms may include: 

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Difficulty breathing 

Other Symptoms may include: 

  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache and/or body aches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The virus, among other respiratory infections, generally spreads from person to person through liquid droplets when a person speaks, coughs or sneezes. Droplets can either be larger and heavier, falling to the ground within two metres, or smaller aerosols which are more airbourne and float in the air for longer periods of time and distance. Though COVID-19 can survive on different surfaces for hours or days, the transmission rates from contact with contaminated surfaces appears to be low yet should be mitigated anyway. The risk of transmission increases the closer you come to other people, the more people you come into contact with, and the length of time you spend with other people. This is why it is critical to control these interactions in the workplace, to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. 

The following indoor areas have been identified as areas where employees and/or guests may gather or have considerable interaction:

  • Front door, box office, concession, theatre stage and lower hall,  green rooms, tech booth and the staff offices.

The following indoor tasks bring our employees close to one another or to guests:

  • Checking proof of vaccination and ID at the door, processing patrons at the box office.
  • Serving guests at the concession stand.
  • Meetings to sign contracts, receive keys or make payments. 
  • Board meetings and staff meetings.

The following tools, machinery and equipment have been identified as items that employees and/or volunteers and guests may share:

  • Janitorial equipment: vacuum, mop, broom, cleaning supplies
  • Folding chairs, tables, other furniture
  • Microphones, props, various technical equipment
  • Pens and writing utensils

The following items have been identified as high touch surfaces:

  • door knobs
  • light switches
  • railings
  • bathroom fixtures, faucets, soap dispensers, stall doors
  • alarm panel

STEP 2 – Control the Risks

The main aim is to reduce the risk of the virus spreading through droplets in the air as well as being transmitted via workplace surfaces. Therefore, any controls that are adopted should always reflect that. Different controls will offer varying levels of protection and the preferred option is always the control that offers the highest level of protection. This approach to controlling risks is referred to as the “hierarchy of controls”. This process involves assessing the likelihood of harm or injury associated with different hazards (something with the potential to cause harm or injury) which together formulate the risk.

In some cases, it may be necessary to combine different levels of protection in order to control one particular risk. An example of this, in relation to managing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, is to install barriers to separate people (engineering control) and to wear a mask (personal protective equipment).

Covid-10 safety pyramid

Elimination or Substitution are the highest, most effective levels of control and involve removing the risk of exposure to a given hazard entirely, or substituting a hazard for something that is less harmful. 

We have implemented the following controls to limit the number of people in our workplace and to ensure physical distancing:

  • Based on current provincial health guidelines, our capacity is capped to 50% of our seated capacity for shows and events.
  • Stickers on the floor and marked pathways to encourage and maintain social distancing.
  • Added distanced seating areas for food and beverage consumption.
  • Daily health checks: a member of each user’s staff or organization must ask all performers, patrons and volunteers these questions before admittance to The OV:

If anyone answers YES to any of the following questions, they may not enter The OV at that time regardless of reason or length of stay. 

  • 1. Are you experiencing any of the following new or worsening symptoms?
  • Fever or Chills 
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea and/or vomiting 
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness 
  • Body aches 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Headache
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • 2. In the last 14 days, have you returned from travel outside Canada, including the United States, and been directed to quarantine? If yes, have you completed your quarantine?
  • 3. Have you been identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case by Public Health or been in close contact with anyone who has COVID? 
  • 4. Have you been told to self-isolate by Public Health or a Health Care Professional including 8-1-1 and/or the COVID self-screening tool?  

Engineering controls include placing physical barriers between people when physical distancing cannot be maintained and ensuring adequate ventilation and air circulation within buildings.

We have installed barriers in the following areas:

  • Plexiglass has been installed at the box office to add a layer of protection between staff, volunteers, users, and patrons.

We have addressed ventilation and air circulation in the following areas: 

  • The office has windows that can be opened for ventilation.
  • The rest of the building is served by an air exchange and ceiling fan system.
  • Users have been made aware that floor fans can spread droplets and increase transmission. As such, these fans have been removed from our renter areas. 

Administrative controls include the rules, training, guidelines and signage you have put in place to educate people on how to control the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. 

We have put the following administrative controls in place:

  • Signage with most current PHO information regarding hand washing, mask-wearing, and physical distancing are posted throughout the building in public and private facing spaces.
  • Floor signage for distancing and directional control is installed on site. 
  • Office hours are by appointment only, In person meetings are limited whenever possible. Staff may work from home when feeling unwell, awaiting COVID testing, or informed of a possible exposure.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): This is the least effective option in terms of protection and should be considered if the higher levels of protection don’t allow you to adequately control the risk. PPE should be used in addition to other control measures and not in isolation.

Currently, there is an PHO order requiring face coverings to be worn by all individuals 5 years and older within indoor public spaces. Within the tourism and hospitality industry, examples of indoor public spaces would include establishment lobbies or foyers, elevators, hallways and stairwells, bathrooms, meeting or conference rooms, restaurants and cafeterias, fitness facilities and more. The PHO order excludes private or restricted workplace areas such as  private offices, break rooms, staff kitchens, and company vehicles (not transporting guests) however, you may decide to include face coverings used in those areas throughout your workplace in order to provide an additional layer of protection to your workers. The PHO definition of a “face covering” means either a medical or non-medical mask, or tightly woven fabric that tightly covers the nose and mouth of a person. Clear plastic face shields do not meet the criteria of a face covering. 

We have put the following PPE controls in place:

  • Face coverings are mandatory for everyone in many public indoor settings:  The OV Arts Centre is a shared space. As such, everyone aged 5 years and older must wear a face mask when inside the building. Children under 5 are encouraged to also wear a mask.  Masks are not required by staff or tenants inside their private office spaces. The only time a patron may remove their mask is when they are seated to consume food & beverages. 

Performers and Users should be masked as much as possible. You can create a socially distanced space during workshops, rehearsals and classes, if a participant needs to have their mask off temporarily during a scene/take. For performances, masks are not required by artists while performing, but should be worn at all times when not on stage. 

  • Face coverings are required for all workers when working in staff common areas within buildings and when riding in company vehicles with others: This includes but shall not be limited to: The OV Office, concession, sound and lighting areas, box office and all stairwells, hallways, and storage areas.

STEP 3 – Develop Policies and Procedures

Clear policies and procedures help to ensure that the identified controls are being followed within the workplace and establish the minimum requirements. They may include arrangements for who can and cannot be at the workplace, how to deal with illness in the workplace, cleaning and personal hygiene protocols, first aid provision, and managing potential violence in the workplace. 

Workplace Vaccination Policies

Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace for staff and also  have obligations based on human rights, employment standards and common law considerations. While vaccinations are strongly encouraged by public health and in turn employers, there are no mandates for vaccinations or current regulation requiring them in workplaces within the tourism and hospitality industry. However, employers are legally able to create and implement a workplace vaccination policy by carefully considering the risks involved and ensuring that the legal and other practical considerations are addressed. 

  • Vaccination Requirements as per the Public Health Officer for all persons (aged 12 and over) inside The OV Arts Centre for any length of time

Healthy Workers Policy  

The OV Arts Centre supports all employees only reporting to onsite work if they are in good health and not experiencing any communicable disease symptoms. Employees must always follow guidance from Public Health regarding needs for self-isolation and self-monitoring. Topics to consider when assessing oneself for on-site work include having symptoms of COVID-19 or any other communicable disease, if you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and you are not fully vaccinated, as well as if you have traveled outside Canada within the last 14 days and you are not fully vaccinated. 

Anyone displaying any of the symptoms listed earlier in this Safety Plan must not attend the workplace and is encouraged to partake in the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool online and/or call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 for further direction from Public Health. 

Any worker that receives a positive COVID-19 test result will not be allowed to return to the workplace until the following conditions are met: 

  1. Fully Vaccinated: at least 5 days have passed when symptoms first started (or from the test date if asymptomatic). Face coverings should be worn even where masks aren’t required and avoid high risk environments such as gatherings for an additional 5 days past the end of isolation. 

Not Fully Vaccinated: at least 10 days have passed when symptoms first started (or from the test date if asymptomatic). 

  1. No sign of fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medication that reduces fever symptoms. 
  2. Symptoms have improved. 

When the conditions listed above are met, individuals are not considered contagious and may return to the workplace. Though able to return, recovery from the illness may take up to two weeks for mild cases and twelve weeks for severe symptoms.   

If any worker becomes ill at the worksite, they are to don a mask and report to the General Manager. The employee will be isolated from the other employees on the worksite and arrangements will be made for them to go home whether that be by them driving themselves home, a company delegate driving them home in a company vehicle (with extra precautions and cleaning), or a member of their household transporting them home. Remember to follow community guidelines for the use of transit and rideshare companies. 

Physical Distancing 

Physical distancing includes limiting close contact with other people. This can be achieved by limiting one’s interactions with others all together and providing extra space (2 metres) with others who you cannot avoid all together. Sometimes, 2 metres will not be practicable which is where engineering controls such as barriers must be used and non-face-to-face interaction is encouraged (i.e. phone calls or emails). 

Administration office occupancy limits capped at 4 people including staff. When possible, meetings will be conducted online or via the phone. 

Hand Washing

Regular hand washing is an important step in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.  The OV Arts Centre staff, volunteers, users, contractors must wash their hands (or sanitize them per regulations below) when they arrive at the workplace, before and after breaks, after coughing, sneezing or touching the face, after using the washroom and before leaving work. Soap and water are preferred, but hand sanitizer with at least a 70% alcohol base can be used when soap and water is unavailable, or as an additional control. 

Hand sanitizer is labelled and located throughout common areas in the building including but not limited to the office, dressing rooms, restrooms, entrance, concession, box office and lobby.


Cleaning and Disinfection 

The cleaning and disinfection of the workplace including high-contact surfaces in restricted and guest-facing work environments is an important part of keeping the workplace safe from COVID-19 transmission. Cleaning and disinfection are often referred to as a “two-stage” process. Cleaning removes visible surface dirt and debris, whereas disinfection destroys bacteria and viruses. 

For disinfecting purposes – The OV provides Lysol and Clorox disinfectant wipes as well as spray bottles filled with the appropriate bleach-water mixture as recommended by the BC Center for Disease Control. Floors are cleaned with a solution of water and Lysol disinfectant as well. All high-touch surfaces are wiped down daily when applicable (people in the space) and regular cleaning and disinfection is performed by janitorial staff on a weekly basis, or as often as needed.

Useful resources:


STEP 4 – Communication and Training

Everyone within the workplace must understand how to keep themselves and others safe. Training should include the need to stay at home when sick, understanding occupancy limits, hand washing procedures, how to wear a face covering properly, who is permitted to enter the workplace, and how workers can provide feedback. Supervisors should be trained on how to monitor workers to ensure that policies and procedures are being followed. Your COVID-19 Safety Plan must be communicated to your workers by providing a copy of the plan to them, reviewing it with them, posting a copy in your workplace as well as posting it somewhere visible on your company’s website (for staff and public to view). 

All staff are provided with and trained on the COVID-19 policy and procedures of The OV. Users are also provided the policy, training, and assistance with enforcing the procedures within. Go2HR’s BSAFE™ training will be offered to the Staff, and interested Users.

Useful resources:

STEP 5 – Updating the COVID-19 Safety Plan and Monitoring the Workplace

The General Manager  is responsible for implementing this COVID-19 Safety Plan throughout the workplace.

The General Manager is responsible for reviewing and updating this COVID-19 Safety Plan monthly or  whenever there is a change to Public Health Orders, Mandates, and Guidelines from the PHO or the BCCDC. The General Manager will ensure the COVID-19 Safety Plan is reviewed and continually revised to keep pace with changes at the workplace.

Training on this COVID-19 Safety Plan will be included when bringing back staff or users following a period of absence as well as distributed to current employees.  

This Safety Plan will be reviewed and revised, as required, to reflect any:

  • Changes to job scope which may affect the plan, 
  • New areas of concern or the identification of something that isn’t working,
  • Health and safety concerns raised through a worker representative or joint health and safety committee,
  • Changes to Provincial Health Officer orders or other government and industry requirements that affect the plan.