Finding COVID-19 information in different languages

COVID-19 health and safety information is available in 120+ languages in B.C., where more than a million people use languages other than English. 

Photo of person wearing non-medical face mask and holding sign in Mandarin "I'm doing my part"

Photo credit: © WorkSafeBC (Workers’ Compensation
Board of B.C.), used with permission

At first, I wondered if there was much point in writing — in English — about resources available in other languages. But I’m writing this with the hope that readers will pass along the information to those seeking help in languages other than English. (So, thanks in advance!)

Workplace safety in multiple languages

According to Statistics Canada, among the 3.9 million working-age British Columbians, the languages spoken most, other than English, are Cantonese, Mandarin, and Punjabi.

COVID-19 health and safety resources are available from WorkSafeBC in multiple languages, including those three. Translated resources include a guide for selecting and using non-medical masks, checklists to help create a COVID-19 safety plan, and a guide to updating that plan.

Employers need a COVID-19 Safety Plan that adequately protects workers from the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work. Workers need to understand the plan and should be trained on workplace protocols. The provincial health officer (PHO) also requires the plan to be posted at the worksite. For more information (in English), see my recent post Help for employers implementing new COVID-19 health orders.

What’s a workplace daily health check?

In December 2020, the Provincial Health Officer issued an order that every employer must ensure workers perform a daily health check before entering the workplace. Health checks can be done verbally, in writing, or online, and ensure that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, or who has been advised by public health to stay home, does not enter the workplace.

Download posters for your workplace such as Entry check for workers and Entry check for visitors from WorkSafeBC, available in more than a dozen languages. These posters list symptoms of COVID-19 and warn people to stay home and away from workplaces if they feel ill.

Other sources of translated information

The provincial government is another source of information about COVID-19 for B.C. residents. The website covers vaccine information, travel restrictions, recovery benefits, PHO orders, and more. There are links to translated content (9 languages) and translation services (120 languages) at the bottom of the page.

The City of Vancouver’s website also has a translation web app on select pages about the city’s COVID-19 response. The app shows information in 11 different languages.

If you have questions or concerns regarding workplace exposure to COVID-19, you can call WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information line at 604.276.3100 (Lower Mainland) or toll-free at 1.888.621.SAFE.

For any other health information in another language, try HealthLinkBC’s website (translated resources in nine languages) or call 811, which provides translation services in 130 languages.

Please share your suggestions on more ways to ensure everyone gets the information they need to stay healthy and keep our businesses operating safely.

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