As we roll into another fall where the dangers of COVID-19 are both all-pervasive and ever-changing, we wanted to give a quick update on PAN’s response.
Communicable disease prevention focuses on basic risk reduction principles to reduce the risk of workplace transmission of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. Our Communicable Disease Prevention Plan includes a variety of ongoing measures for our staff (e.g. sick policies, hygiene and cleanliness, ventilation and encouraging the uptake of vaccines), and is based on the advice of Public Health and Worksafe BC. If useful, please use this as a resource for your organization.
PAN in-person events on hold and office remains closed to visitors
Given the ongoing uncertainties and challenges associated with COVID-19 (including venue booking, travel booking as well as the introduction of Vaccine Cards) the decision has been made that PAN will continue to hold off on organizing or convening any in-person indoor meetings (regardless of the number of attendees), until March 31, 2022.
The PAN Office continues to be closed to visitors, and its use by staff is strictly limited, in accordance with PAN’s Communicable Disease Prevention Plan.
PAN Virtual Training, Gatherings & Convening Events
Since last providing an operational update in April 2021, PAN has continued to foster new connections across the network, creating and delivering programs and services virtually. We have hosted interesting and diverse webinars, from an Earth Day special on how climate impacts health equity, to ancient stone medicine.
In June, PAN’s online event Let’s Talk Stigma Reduction! was a coming together of diverse individuals, organizations, and communities to discuss stigma from an intersectional perspective as it is experienced/ enacted broadly in relation to health and the social determinants of health.
In July, we launched the Hepatitis C Leadership Pilot Program which was received with great enthusiasm by attendees.
The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) – a collaboration between PAN and national partners – has been busy adapting its trainings for virtual delivery, and we are happy to announce that registration is now open for our next Core Training in BC. This free training welcomes people living with HIV and invites participants to answer the question “Who am I as a leader?”
Coming soon, we have an update from the BC Centre on Substance Use on Safer Supply, a webinar on providing frontline support to men in sex work, and are excited to have Len Pierre as our AGM keynote speaker on October 21st on the topic Taking Care of Each Other in Times of Change and Crisis. All are welcome to attend! PAN will also be providing support to Interior Health for the BBI Network Partners Conference.
(Click on the links above to register)
Meeting together and Advocating for our Shared Concerns
We continue to host bimonthly meetings with leadership at PAN member and allied organizations to share how frontline organizations are responding to the many challenges of COVID-19 and the overdose crisis, and their disparate impacts on some of the most vulnerable in our communities.
Meeting regularly with our members has helped inform PAN’s advocacy work calling for true safe supply of drugs, decriminalization and expansion of harm reduction services in all regions of the province.
In addition, in July, PAN wrote to Minister Eby about community concerns that the elimination of any ‘social distancing’ COVID-19 hotel rooms will exit people to street homelessness, and asking him to clarify next steps, in the light of increasing homelessness and forthcoming wintery conditions.
In early September, led by our allies at PIVOT, we were part of the joint response to BC’s “Proof of Vaccination” Health Order, that set out how these measures failed to account for the diverse needs of people who utilize a variety of public, private, and communal spaces who face legitimate barriers to accessing a vaccine card. On September 9, 2021, we received a detailed response from Dr. Bonnie Henry that we recommend you read to find out more.
Please contact Simon Goff if you are interested in joining these meetings.
Timely Information on COVID-19
Our website houses a section of COVID-19 resource pages that include information for individuals and workplaces. Pages cover prevention, vaccines, resources for Indigenous cultural safety, harm reduction, workplace adaptation and funding opportunities, and more.
We also feature a section on COVID-19 updates in the PAN Weekly News. If you’re not a subscriber, you can subscribe by visiting our home page and scrolling to the bottom to enter your email address.