Dear PAN members and allied organizations:
Without a doubt, these are challenging and uncertain times. Now it is time for all of us to come together – as we have so many times in the past – to confront this new and significant public health threat.
PAN members will no doubt build on their history of responding in a creative and effective manner, as each decides how to continue to deliver services and programs often times to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Different members will be adopting different practices and approaches, to best respond to the needs of their clients, members and communities. The PAN board of directors and the staff team express our heartfelt appreciation to you, for the work that is unfolding across the network within each member organization.
We also want to recognize and acknowledge the efforts and dedication of our colleagues in public health – to all those working within each health authority, at the ministry level and federally – thank you to all the health care providers and professionals for your response and for the hard work still to come in the weeks and months ahead.
An update on PAN operations, as well as our commitment to members at this time:
- The PAN office located on West Pender Street in Vancouver is closed until further notice – however all staff can be reached by phone, or by email – see our contacts here
- PAN staff will continue to work virtually from their home offices – fortunately much of the work at PAN is done remotely and our organization has long had flexible work place policies and culture – so we are well situated to carry forward in the same manner.
- We are postponing all in person events and all in person meetings until the end of June 2020, at which time we will reassess the situation based on the latest information from public health
- NOTE: the June 2020 PLDI Core Training event (Loon Lake) is being postponed– there is a November 2020 PLDI Core Training event which at this point we are planning will take place as scheduled
Our Commitment to Members
- To provide access to timely and accurate information in relation to COVID19 as it comes available and as this fast-changing situation continues to evolve – via our weekly e-news, on the PAN website, targeted communications to Executive Directors, etc. See Resources section below for additional sources.
The BC CDC is the key “standing” link we recommend at this point for BC specific information*
- To provide opportunities for PAN members to connect virtually wherever possible including the sharing of information and best practices for delivering services in the context of this pandemic – more information to follow
- To liaise with public health (including health authorities, the province, the Public Health agency of Canada/Health Canada) and present the concerns of our sector, as we are able – working where it makes sense with our partners provincially and nationally
The work of PAN will continue in the weeks and months ahead, and we want all our members to know – we are here for you.
Jennifer (Evin) Jones, Executive Director, [email protected]
Please note: to provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based resources, these resources generally direct users to frequently updated sites, rather than single pages.
COVID-19 Resources and Advocacy Pieces
Explore sections (click title)
COVID-19 Prevention Information and Updates
These pages are updated regularly and will provide the most up-to-date information on prevention, transmission, and what you need to know to look after yourself and your community.
The BC CDC COVID-19 pages provide key learning with ongoing updates about COVID-19 and how things look in BC. Information includes transmission, testing and isolation, and specific information for people who use substances; people who are unsheltered; people with chronic conditions; and answers to common questions.
Who should get tested? COVID-19 BC Self-Assessment Tool
Myth Busters: Heard something wild? See this list presented and updated by the World Health Organization
Printable Poster: Please do not enter our home for the protection of the people who live here. (First Nations Health Authority)
Printable Poster: How Physical Distancing Works. (First Nations Health Authority)
Printable Poster: The Do’s and Don’ts of Physical Distancing. (First Nations Health Authority)
What should we be doing in BC? Up to date information from the Ministry of Health and what British Columbians should be doing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 across Canada: Information, updates, care and treatment from the Government of Canada.
Global: Situation reports from the World Health Organization
BC is under a state of emergency. What does it mean? An eight minute listen.
HIV and Hepatitis C
As this virus is new, there is not a lot of definitive information, but see these resources for starters:
COVID-19, the BC-CfE Response: Webinar was held Wednesday March 25, 2020. Read key points on BC-CfE HIV Treatment and prevention programs update and COVID-19 and how it will affect precision medicine testing; We will post link to on-demand webinar once it becomes available. Slides available here.
Information from the BC CDC for people with chronic conditions.
Information from the BC CDC people who are unsheltered.
Canadian Network for the Health and Housing of People Experiencing Homelessness: includes information on shelter environments, encampments, housing and homelessness services
Preparing homelessness services for coronavirus: A webinar was held Wednesday March 25, 2020. Should an on-demand recording become available, we will share link here.
COVID-19 DTES and Vulnerable Persons Response Update March 22, 2020 from the City of Vancouver
COVID-19 Resources for VCH Staff and Community Partners Working with Vulnerable Populations Developed by Vancouver Coastal Health (March 19, 2020); approaches could be used in other areas too.
Downtown Eastside Response, a coordinated groundwork effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Organizations in the Downtown Eastside are activating networks in the community to create a stop-gap plan for the most urgent needs. For instance: providing food, cellphones, and money for loss of income.
Clinical Guidance Risk Mitigation in the Context of Dual Public Health Emergencies
This guidance aims to support individuals who may be at increased risk of overdose, withdrawal, craving, and other harms related to their substance use. As the effects of the [COVID-19] pandemic continue, the drug supply may become significantly more adulterated and toxic, based on limited importation and availability, and illicit substances may become significantly more difficult to procure. (BC Centre on Substance Use)
This harm reduction information was created by the BC CDC for people who use substances.
Harm reduction resources from the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition that provide information for people who use substances and service providers. Includes safer drug use, sex work, prescription guidelines, public health practices, and more.
The International Network of People Who Use Drugs has a page to serve as a hub for resources, guidelines, information and news for people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guidance for PeopleWho Use Substances onCOVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Created in collaboration by the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, Global Health Justice Partnership, and Crackdown.
Letter to Ontario’s Health Minister Elliott regarding COVID-19’s impact on the opioid overdose crisis
First Nations Health Authority COVID-19 Resources for Public and Patients
First Nations Health Authority COVID-19 Resources for First Nations Community Health Care Providers
Statement on the COVID-19 Emergency and its Impacts on Indigenous Peoples and peoples of colour
BC Corrections (with information on COVID-19)
Open Letter to Ontario and Federal Governments: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Protecting the health of people in jail and detention centres
Mental Health and Connection
Coping with stress during the COVID-19 outbreak from the World Health Organization
Protecting Your Mental Health in the Coronavirus Climate:
We are not helpless in light of current news events. We can always choose our response. If you are struggling, here are some things you can do to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty.
The Canadian Mental Health Association is offering a Coping with Current Events series in the hope of bringing together the community during a time of unknown, to learn and support ourselves and others. The online Coping with Current Events: Managing Anxiety and Stress will discuss the impact of the current events on our well-being, what we can do to feel a little more in control, and some options to help manage our feelings of anxiety and stress. Managing your stress and well-being during this time is as important as managing your physical health.
Region Specific News from Health Authorities
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan & BC Supports for Individuals and Businesses
The Government of Canada announced on March 18, 2020 that they are taking immediate action as a result of COVID-19. A sample of these actions include:
• temporary income support for workers and parents without paid sick leave
• long term income support for those who lose their jobs or face reduced hours
• one-time payment for low- and modest-income families
• increase to the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment for the 2019-20 benefit year
• funding to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities
• six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans
• funding to support people experiencing homelessness
• funding to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres
• reduction of required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020
• measures relating to tax filings, including deferring this year’s due date to June 1
COVID-19 Action Plan: B.C.’s first steps to support people, businesses
COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information: this resource from the Government of BC provides emerging and up-to-date information on the financial relief available as well as details regarding home and job security; information for employers and employees; childcare, and education.
COVID-19 Action Plan: BC’s first steps to support people, businesses
Statement from the BC Government, March 23, 2020: To support non-profits, service delivery agencies and child care providers, the Province will continue to provide funding even if these agencies are closed or their regular operations have been disrupted.
New Fund to Support Community through COVID-19 Vancouver Foundation has joined a multi-sector partnership to launch a Community Response Fund to support community through this unprecedented time.
See the BC Government’s COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information: for up-to-date information on financial relief available as well as information for employers and employees; plus more.
COVID-19 Event and Fundraising Resources During Possible Impact: Event planning, communication with donors, and more
Workplace Action, Including Tips for Working Virtually