From: “Chu, Lambert” <>
Date: March 12, 2020 at 11:30:30 AM PDT
To: All Subscribers <>
Subject: Update on City Action Related to COVID-19

To All City Staff:


Yesterday, the World Health Organization concluded their assessment of the COVID-19 situation and declared the outbreak as pandemic. Although the risk level is still low in British Columbia, we all need to take additional steps to continue our effort on containment and minimizing transmission of the virus. As part of the City’s Pandemic Guideline Plan, the City has initiated several measures including the following:


1.      The City’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Level 1 was activated yesterday (March 11, 2020) and Dave Critchley, Director Public Safety and Community Services has taken on the EOC Director position and will report to me directly. Dave will be supported by a team of City staff in the areas of planning, logistics, operations, documentation, communication and risk management. The EOC Director will provide periodic updates to staff on emergency measures that may be required and how they would affect City operations, events and businesses. I will continue to brief Council on the developing situation and obtain Council approval and authority as needed.


2.      The City is mindful of the need to contain the spread of COVID-19 and re-emphasizes that if staff feel unwell, they should stay home and seek medical help. The City has developed a Letter of Understanding with CUPE Local 23 to provide income protection for employees who test positive to COVID-19 and do not have access to the City’s sick benefit plan. In addition, operating guidelines have also been established for employees who are required to self-isolate as directed by a health authority and for employees who voluntarily self-isolate as a result of returning from a country that has a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. The Letter of Agreement and operating guidelines have been distributed to department directors and managers to inform them of the approved temporary measures.  If you wish to obtain more information on the new policy, please contact your division manager or department director.


3.      The City is reviewing a work from home policy that will apply to employees who are approved to work from home due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 situation. More details on this policy will be provided in my next update.


4.      As part of the containment measures, the City has temporarily suspended approval of out-of-town training and conference requests. For employees who received prior approval to attend out-of-town conferences and training, we will review each case by case and determine the best way to minimize potential exposure of staff to COVID-19.


I will continue to provide updates on any City policy and operational changes as needed to address the spread of COVID-19. In the meantime, please remember to follow good hand washing and best hygiene practice.


Lambert Chu, P. Eng.

City Manager

Direct: 604-294-7466
Fax: 604-294-7733

City of Burnaby  |  Office of the City Manager 

4949 Canada Way  |  Burnaby, BC  V5G 1M2


Our Vision: A world-class city committed to creating and sustaining the best quality of life for our entire community.


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