Human Resource Planning

Please note that as things change rapidly, Q&As and guidelines will be updated. Review this website often to ensure you have the most up to date information or consult your leader if you have concerns or identify discrepancies. 


If someone is worried they have been exposed to COVID-19 or sick, what is the advice for staying home and/or self-isolating?  

Employees and medical staff should stay at home when sick, regardless of symptom severity. 

The BC Government is recommending against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return. If this advice from the BC Government changes, we will inform medical staff.

Anyone returning home to B.C. from outside the country will now be required to have a self-isolation plan that is approved by health officials. If not, they will be directed to a quarantine site.

Non-essential staff returning from travel
Employees who are determined by their leaders to be non-essential for the provision of safe patient care should self-isolate at home and should not attend work for 14 days after their return to Canada. If it is not feasible for such employees to work from home, they will be placed on a paid general leave of absence for the duration of their self-isolation.

Essential staff returning from travel
Employees who return from travel outside Canada and who are essential to the delivery of patient care and required to return to the workplace must take additional precautions to reduce the risk of transmission to their patients, colleagues and the public. Essential employees coming to work must be asymptomatic and must take the following precautions:

  • Self-monitor daily for signs and symptoms of illness;
  • Wear a surgical mask at all times and in all areas of your workplace;
  • Follow infection prevention and control protocols including diligent hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment when delivering patient care;
  • Reduce close contact with other health care workers and avoid shared spaces where possible;
  • Avoid close contact with others when travelling to and from work and between shifts; and
  • Self-isolate at home on days when not required at your workplace.

Essential workers are people who provide services that are considered critical to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning; and who have been determined by their leadership, on an individual basis, to be critical to delivering these essential services. The designation of an essential employee is specific to this crisis and the unique circumstances at each site. These assessments will be done individually and revisited regularly to ensure the designation is still applicable.

All health-care providers who have travelled outside of Canada are required to self-monitor daily and use appropriate PPE when providing care. If a health-care worker develops symptoms, they should self-isolate and contact the regional medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal at 1-604-527-4893.

If a health-care provider develops symptoms while providing care, they should immediately put on a mask and finish any essential services they are providing before self-isolating.

If medical staff or trainees had contact with a possible case of COVID-19, but are asymptomatic, they should still report to work and monitor themselves for any symptom onset unless they have been told to self-quarantine by Public Health.

​In the event that this is a confirmed case, Public Health will work in collaboration with the Provincial Workplace Health Call Centre (WHCC) to initiate contact tracing of health care workers as per the direction of the Medical Health Officer. The MHO will advise the physician if they need to self-isolate based on this investigation.

Employee Safety can support medical staff through this process and answer any questions they might have. Please contact

What is the plan in case we start to have shortages of medical staff? 

Whether you work in the Emergency Department, ICU or Long Term Care, we need to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst, including the possibility of a prolonged and major epidemic.

Your department has already submitted contingency plans in case medical staff are off sick. Residents are being redeployed by program directors to the places which will have the most need.

If you are interested in playing additional roles during COVID including but not limited to: working directly on a COVID ward, CST support, other family support, contact Medical affairs at: and they will get information from you regarding your skills and interests.

If I cannot come to work can I use disability insurance? 
All members of Doctors of BC and Resident Doctors of BC are covered by their disability insurance.  As per Sun Life, they will be treating all COVID cases (symptomatic or under quarantine) as first day hospitalization and use this as the date of disability.  Therefore, there would be no elimination period.  As of March 15, 2020, Doctors of British Columbia has provided an update on the Physician Disability Insurance and Quarantine Income Replacement programs. If physicians are required to enter into quarantine, whether due to illness or possible exposure to COVID-19, they will be covered through the government-funded Physician Disability Insurance, provided they are already enrolled in the plan. To be eligible for this coverage, they will need an Attending Physician Statement (APS) confirming the circumstances of the exposure.


This page last updated Apr 14, 2020 4:23pm PDT