CARO News

CARO’s COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

Posted on April 1, 2020

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has assessed COVID-19 as a pandemic … COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.”

Government of Canada, March 2020.

On March 26th, 2020 Emergency Management BC, in consultation with the BC Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry, issued a comprehensive list of essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This list includes a number of sectors serviced by CARO Analytical Services, including transportation and infrastructure, drinking and wastewater services, construction activities, food safety, etc., as well as the testing facilities themselves. Similar notices have been issued in other Provinces, and although the definition of “essential services” varies from Province to Province, our commitment to the protection of Public Health remains consistent across all our locations.

What does it mean to continue to operate a business in the midst of a global pandemic, and what implications can we expect to see 3, 5 or even 10 years down the road? These are critical questions we, along with many other Canadian businesses are working to answer. As we navigate this unchartered territory, we are relying on a tested Business Continuity Plan, diverse lines of business, and the commitment of our executive leadership team to help protect our employees, clients and our communities.

Making the World Safer and Healthier is CARO’s call to action: We are committed to ensuring that we continue to provide the testing services you need to protect yourselves and your communities, as well as protecting the health of our employees.

CARO’s Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

As a Canadian employee-owned and operated laboratory, our employees are invested and engaged in the protection of the health of the company and its employees. Our BCP outlines measures to mitigate exposure of our employees to the virus and provides redundancy information for key tests and equipment to ensure sustained operational capacity, including:

  • Critical support systems, including couriers, suppliers, etc., are monitored on a routine basis, with alternative plans in place in case of interruption.
  • Inventory control limits are updated to ensure an adequate flow of consumables and protective equipment for our staff.
  • Deployment of a company-wide sanitation and “No-Contact” policies to prevent virus transmission.
  • IT systems and VPN access expanded to allow for remote access and support of work-from-home initiatives.
  • Daily meetings across all levels of operation, to ensure that potential challenges are addressed proactively.
  • Prioritization of testing to ensure employees are cross-trained on key tests for overlap in the event of elevated absenteeism.
  • Establishment of communication channels to assure changes are promptly communicated with our clients.

How we are staying up to date.

The Executive team is responsible for assessing all current information released by public health authorities and regulatory agencies to determine the next courses of action. This surveillance includes:

  • Consistent and intentional communication with our clients, including online feedback channels to allow us to react in real-time.
  • Ongoing communication with Public Health Agencies to ensure we are aware of current directives and restrictions.
  • Continued contact with government and private entities who also provide essential services, ensuring our plans are aligned.

How we are protecting our employees

Protecting our employees (the essential service providers) is one of the top priorities outlined in the BCP. In accordance with this Plan, we have implemented the following systems and actions to ensure CARO’s facilities continue to be safe spaces to work:

  • Additional Housekeeping Steps have been implemented, including sanitation schedules, touchpoints, enhanced PPE requirements, etc.
  • All business travel and non-critical visits/meetings have been suspended.
  • Staggered scheduling and work-from-home directives have been issued to allow for social distancing at all our laboratory facilities.
  • No-Contact drop-off procedures have been implemented for couriers and clients, with options available for clients who routinely visit our locations.
  • All employees who are feeling sick are directed to follow the Provincial Health Authority guidelines and self-isolate as necessary.
  • Human Resources are available for employees who are struggling with the mental health implications of isolation and uncertainty, including extended benefits packages for qualifying employees.
  • Consistent and clear communication of leave management protocols to all managers and staff.

How we are keeping you up to date

Updates are issued through our website, www.caro.ca/news, and through all our social media channels (including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.) Should operational delays impact the delivery of your results, your Account Manager will get in touch regarding projected timelines and work with you to establish a course of action. If you are aware of any changes within your company or ongoing projects that may influence the way you interact with CARO, please contact your Account Manager, or message [email protected]. Communication is key in a constantly evolving situation, and these notifications will allow us to continue to provide uninterrupted service.

We encourage everyone to stay positive and remember to check your sources: not all the “news” you hear is credible!

Other Resources for you

Tips on washing your hands ( ? ):

http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/prevention-public-health/hand-hygiene

COVID-19 Updates:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Isolation vs. self-isolation vs. self-monitoring:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/self-monitoring-self-isolation-isolation-for-covid-19.html

WHO guidance on the production of hand sanitizer:

https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf

How to talk to your kids about COVID-19:

https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-kids-guide.html

The Psychology of isolation:

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/05/ce-corner-isolation

Pass the time and contribute to a psychological study on the effects of a pandemic:

https://news.ubc.ca/2020/03/20/ubc-psychology-study-to-examine-how-people-worldwide-cope-with-covid-19-outbreak/

 

Richmond, British Columbia

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Richmond, BC, V6V 2K9, Canada
Phone: (604) 279-1499 Fax: (604) 279-1599
Email: [email protected]
After Hours Emergency: 1 (888) 311-8849

 

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Edmonton, AB, T5S 1H7, Canada
Phone: (780) 489-9100
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Whitehorse, YT, Y1A0A8, Canada
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Victoria, V8T 1Y9, BC, Canada
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CARING ABOUT RESULTS, OBVIOUSLY.