Only 4 Lower Mainland businesses ordered to close due to COVID-19 transmission this week

Just four businesses in the Lower Mainland have been ordered to close due to COVID-19 transmission in the last week, a massive decrease from the number of closures seen in the region when health officials were first empowered to order them back in April.

On April 12, the province began allowing WorkSafeBC prevention officers to serve businesses with shutdown orders when three or more employees test positive for the coronavirus and transmission is believed to have occurred in the workplace.

In the week after the policy took effect, 50 businesses in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions were ordered to close. 

Closure orders last for at least 10 days, and notice of each closure is posted on the website of the health authority where it occurred. Once a closure order has been lifted, the business is removed from the online list.

As of Friday, there were just six business closures listed across all of Metro Vancouver, four of which had been added in the last week. All of the closures are in the Fraser Health region.

The most recent additions to Lower Mainland business closures, organized by the dates the closures began, are:

June 2

  • Nikon Optical Canada Inc. in Burnaby
  • YDG Glass & Mirror in Delta

May 28

  • Allwest Electric Ltd. in Port Coquitlam
  • Kenridge Automotive Equipment and Supply Ltd. in Langley

While WorkSafeBC officers deliver the closure orders, they only do so at the direction of a local medical health officer.

"Most COVID-19 cases acquire infection through household or social exposures and do not transmit it to others at their workplace, therefore the identification of workers with infection at a worksite does not always result in closure," reads a statement on the Fraser Health website.

Some businesses may not be forced to close if it's determined to be in the public interest to keep them open. Those workplaces can include police and fire stations, health-care facilities, grocery stores, schools, daycares and courthouses, according to Fraser Health.