The rules and issues around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve and information changes consistently. Please take note of when our content was written and always go to the sources we’ve provided for the most current guidance.
Living in a higher density setting is a reality for many people, but it can come with concerns when considering the spread of illnesses. Here are some things to consider to keep you, and the people around you, safe.
Understanding how the virus spreads:
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC), coronavirus spreads via droplet contact—this means through infected droplets (generated when a person coughs, sneezes etc.) or on surfaces that have come into contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person. To date, health experts do not believe that coronavirus can be transmitted through airborne transmission.
This means that apartment dwellers should focus on managing direct and indirect droplet contact. Being mindful of droplet contact in common spaces will help you to avoid bringing the virus into your home.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Frequently wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Practice physical distancing by keeping 2 meters (6 feet) of space between yourself and others.
- Keep your respiratory droplets to yourself (sneeze into your elbow and dispose of tissues properly).
- If you are well, stay home when possible.
- If you feel sick, stay at home.
If you live in an apartment building and are self-isolating:
- Stay in your unit.
- Avoid common areas and spaces.
- Lean on your support network to deliver needed supplies while respecting physical distancing.
- Keep in touch with friends and family who live outside your household, virtually only.
What else you should know:
Your apartment management or strata may have policies and rules in place to help protect residents and manage the spread of COVID-19. For example, many apartments have shut down multi-purpose rooms and gyms. Ensure you have up-to-date information for your building.
What else you can do:
Stay involved in your community, safely. If you are healthy, you may wish to contact neighbours (make use of the phone and/or internet) to see if they need help. If they do, you can deliver food, medication or other necessities provided you respect the bounds of social and physical distancing.
A good idea way to manage this is by leaving requested supplies outside of a neighbour’s door, moving away a safe distance and calling them to let them know supplies have arrived.
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Where do we fit in?
Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.
About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.