Watari's COVID-19 protocols

Through the difficulties of these uncertain times, Watari remains committed to helping the people we support in safe and innovative ways using various online tools and through remote work options.

Unfortunately, we are not offering coffee or snacks at this time. But we are so happy and proud that we have been able to continue to provide food hampers to many families in need! Our staff is always working hard to keep everyone safe! That includes putting in place recommended safety guidelines such as social distancing, hand hygiene, use of masks, signage, and frequently cleaning shared spaces. Additionally, counsellors and support workers are meeting with people virtually as well as in person at Watari and outside in the community.

To ensure that Watari continues to be a safe space for everyone, we have had to implement some new protocols. These include:

  • The Elevator: To help reduce the amount of people in the office and in response to the recent outbreaks in the downtown eastside, the elevator will be locked all day. You must ring the door bell or call reception for entry. Currently, only those with appointments may come up.
  • Entry into Watari: Upon entry into Watari, everyone is required to wash their hands and put on a mask. Masks are required in Watari at all times. All visitors must also sign-in at reception to ensure that we are able to contact everyone we need to.
  • Capacity: There are notices posted in all shared spaces stating the maximum capacity allowed in each room. The meeting room is allowed a maximum capacity of 5 people, the board room is allowed 4 people, the kitchen is allowed 3, the elevator is allowed 2, and the reception area is allowed a maximum of 3 people at one time.
  • Social Distancing: As per the safety recommendations, social distancing is enforced throughout the building. Signage is posted everywhere to remind people to remain 2 metres (6 feet) apart. Signage is also posted on the ground and on tables marking where to stand to ensure the proper distance is followed. All chairs are placed the appropriate distance apart. Any extra ones are in storage or taped off so no one is able to use them.
  • Hand Sanitizers: Handwashing with soap is encouraged – and required when everyone first enters. There are signs saying to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. However, there are hand sanitizers available throughout the building. Everyone is encouraged to constantly sanitize as well.
  • Disinfectant: All areas are constantly being disinfected. There are disinfectant bottles stationed in all common areas, as well as signs telling everyone to disinfect the area when you are done. We ask that everyone disinfects the area before they begin working as well.
  • Stay Home If You’re Sick: If you are feeling unwell, please stay at home and let your manager know.

Watari has been committed to remaining open to support vulnerable populations and families in need, while practicing physical distancing and following safety protocols. While physical distancing, we have continued to encourage and support social solidarity by way of wellness walks with foreign migrant workers and other people we support.

The Peer to Peer Support Program was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It united the community and partners to provide food, emotional support, activity kits for children, and daily translated news about COVID-19.

Since the health crisis began:


Food Hampers Delivered 


Peers Got Involved


Food Boxes Delivered In Partnership With Khalsa BC


Meals Distributed In The Downtown Eastside


People Given Weekly COVID-19 Updates & Emotional Support


Children Provided With Age Appropriate COVID-19 Information

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