COVID-19 Safety Plan

U'mista Cultural Centre is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our workers, customers and visitors. To ensure we haves safe and healthy workplace, we have developed the following COVID-19 Safety Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All staff are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our workers, management, customers and visitors.

U'mista staff are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this COVID-19 Safety Plan and have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy.

Our workers are our most important assets. We are serious about safety and health and keeping our workers working at U'mista. Worker involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Safety Plan. We have involved our workers in this process by assessing all areas where people gather, interact and share equipment, and by implementing their suggestions and protocols for our industry set forth by WorkPlaceBC. Our COVID-19 Safety Plan follows WorkPlaceBC's guidelines, as well as suggestions from Indigenous Tourism BC and the BC Museums Association and addresses:
• hygiene and respiratory (i.e. coughing & sneezing) etiquette;
• engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
• cleaning and disinfecting;
• prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
• communications and training that will be provided to managers and workers; and
• management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan.
• protection and controls for pick-up and delivery;
• protections and controls for in-store shopping;
• protections and controls for exhibition space(s); and
• communications and instructions for customers.


Signage as you enter the building is displayed, the WorkSafeBC "Help prevent the spread of COVID-19" Workers have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess workers' health status prior to entering the workplace and for workers to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms.

All employees are required to self-monitor for signs and symptoms while at home, if they show any signs/symptoms they are required to text or call in sick to the Executive Director. While at work, any employees who exhibit symptoms will need to inform their ED, while maintaining social distancing. The employee is required to put on a mask and gloves and stay isolated until arrangements can be made from them to safely leave the premises.

The remaining employee will close the doors for cleaning and sanitizing all areas and equipment touched by the co-worker before re-opening the Centre. U'mista has implemented leave policies that promote workers staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household.

[See U'mista Cultural Centre Personnel Policy, section 6.5]. U'mista has also implemented guidelines for informing workers if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time. In addition, guidelines have been implemented to protect the privacy of workers' health status and health information.


Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our workplaces at all times. Workers are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their shift, prior to any mealtimes and after using the toilet.

All customers and visitors to the workplace will be required to wash or sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility. Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) are at entrances and locations in the workplace so they can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled.
• All sinks in the building (those for Staff and visitors) have handwashing signs posted.
• Hand-sanitizer stations are available at the entry way, the till, and in each of the four galleries.


Workers, customers and visitors are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be demonstrated on posters and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available to all workers, customers and visitors. WorkSafeBC posters regarding respiratory etiquette will be displayed at the entry way and in the staff kitchen, on the bulletin board.


Social distancing of six feet will be implemented and maintained between workers, customers and visitors in the workplace through the following engineering and administrative controls: U'mista is providing sign age, markings and instructions for employees, visitors and customers about social distancing. Decals will be placed the appropriate distance apart at the till and the flow of traffic will be controlled with direction arrows and stanchions. Where social distancing is not possible i.e., at the till, then a plexi-glass barrier between the staff and guests will be installed. Giftshop Staff will also have masks available for use. Facilities use will be unavailable to the public until social distancing measures are relaxed. This will be indicated by posted signage.

U'mista will implement limited hours of opening for the first month, Monday to Friday I pm - 4pm and the occupancy will be cut down to two in the gift shop area and six throughout the museum. Workers, visitors and customers will be prevented from gathering in groups in common areas and confined areas using reminder signage. Office supplies and equipment will not be shared, if telephones or the iPad are used by multiple users, the equipment will be cleaned and disinfected between users. All employees will receive a copy of the safety plan, the safety plan will be posted in our front entry vestibule for visitor and customers as well.


Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including a deep clean of the entire building before re-opening, routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, delivery vehicles and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, lunch rooms, meeting rooms, checkout stations, and drop-off and pick-up locations. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, railings, copy machines, credit card readers, delivery equipment, etc.

The entrance door, giftshop counter and all high traffic areas will be cleaned after each use by U'mista staff using Lysol wipes or Quat-shot. If a worker, customer or visitor is symptomatic or is diagnosed with COVID-19. The cleaning protocols will include cleaning all areas of the giftshop and museum galleries with the above cleaning supplies. Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfectant supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product.

The maximum amount of fresh air is being brought into the workplace, air recirculation is being limited and ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained. Steps are also being taken to minimize air flow blowing across people. Weather permitting, staff may open the entry door to introduce fresh air and to improve air circulation. The HVAC system filters were most recently changed while we were closed to the public and will be maintained on a quarterly system.


This COVID-19 Safety Plan was communicated via email and shared document in office365 to all workers May 20, 2020 and necessary training was provided. Additional communication and training will be ongoing via a meeting on May 25, 2020 for all employees to comment and critique. A draft copy will also be provided to 'Namgis First Nation and the 'Namgis Health Centre for their input and guidance. Instructions will be communicated to customers and visitors about: how drop-off, pick-up, delivery and in-store shopping will be conducted to ensure social distancing between the customers and workers; required hygiene practices; and recommendations that customers and visitors use face masks when dropping off, picking up, accepting delivery or in-store shopping.

Customers and visitors will also be advised not to enter the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms or have contracted COVID-19 via signage posted on the entry way. Managers and supervisors are to monitor how effective the program has been implemented by weekly updates. Management and workers are to work through this new program together and update the training as necessary. This COVID-19 Safety Plan has been certified by U'mista management and was posted throughout the workplace June I, 2020. It will be updated as necessary.

Certified by:

Juanita Johnston
Interim Executive Director
U'mista Cultural Society
P.O. Box 253, Alert Bay, BC, CANADA, VON 1AO
Ph: (250) 974-5403 • Fax: (250) 974-5499 • e-mail: info®

The mandate of the U'mista Cultural Society is to ensure the survival of all aspects of the cultural heritage of the Kwakwaka'wakw