COVID-19

Information Below from Canadian Public Health

Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known infectious period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered to be rare. Check out Canada Public Health Here

SEE THE NCRA/ANREC STATEMENT ON COVID-19 HERE

Best Practices To Address COVID-19

Here are links to discussions, announcements and resources to help tackle COVID-19

  • The NCRA/ANREC has created best-practice training on making stations safe using Northpass, you can see the training here: 
  • COVID-19 Hand washing poster from Canada Public Health eng-handwashing
  • The list of things to develop protocols for cleaning in Luke's email should also include shared headphones, handrails, desks and other work surfaces, as well as shared washroom and kitchen areas.
  • Test running an automated system, i.e.  Have someone remotely switch the system to an automated playback system while having someone in the studio monitoring incase it does down.
  • Ask programmers to come with their own headphones, clean any devices they bring in, provide disposable microphone covers, keep cleaning supplies handy and in use after every show.
  • We also suggest limiting the number of guests, or live-performances during this time. In addition, some stations may be hosting local events, we suggest you evaluate these events and consult with your local health authority to assess if it should continue.
  • We suggest maintaining an accurate log of all personnel entering your studios. In the eventuality that someone who’s attended your station has become unwell, you can notify everyone who may be at risk. In addition, have a plan for how to deep clean the station if that happens.
  • CFUV-FM Released a document outlining their Action Plan
  • Stations such as CHLY has provided their programmers with field recorders and other recording equipment to support their recording at home.
  • CJTR provided a strong of recommendations to their volunteers. You can see the guidance they provided here:

Programming and News of COVID-19

Here are links to discussions, announcements and resources to help provide resources and news.

  • CJRU-AM has shared with the NCRA/ANREC a document ' Tips for recording a radio show from home'
  • CJRU aslo is creating daily updates on the situation that include new information as well as resources that are still operating in our communities (emergency food boxes and things of that nature). These run throughout the day. They are also running PSAs that state that we are programming remotely and that folks might hear repeats as well as PSAS with vital information regarding COVID-19 prevention and care. We've also put together a fact sheet for our staff and volunteers to use that links to trusted sources (local, provincial and federal governments), community groups that are providing emergency services and general information on COVID-19 prevention and care.
  • CKUT-FM in Montreal switched their broadcast over to AirTime using the basic account. The Airtime Website with information.
  • Have programmers call in (or send in) voice clips that you can edit and put in front of your show. This gives a sense of community, and lets listeners know how their favorite personalities are doing.
  • Have a daily “local news show” that updates the community about closings, where to find things, important local news and discussions with those people in the community. 
  • Try to get programmers access to microphones and other recording equipment if you have it around the studio. (maybe even purchase some USB Mics, which the station could get back when done)
  • Luke shared access to Front Burner by the CBC for people to use here
  • The NCRA/ANREC shared with members about programs available on the program exchange. They also outlined that there would be the Wetlands Projects  and a possible call-in show.
  • The NCRA/ANREC released info on !earshot Daily and other programming available on April 29th here.

 

Regulatory Obligations

Here are links to discussions, announcements and resources to help tackle COVID which is specific to regulatory compliance

  • The NCRA/ANREC reached out to the CRTC to ask about the spoken word requirements during the COVID-19 Pandemic. They sent us the following:

    "We understand the situation and we are counting on you to deliver the information to the communities. Do not worry about the spoken-word minimums. For now, the security of your people and of your communities is essential."

  • That said, the CRTC does still expect you to try to meet the minimums where possible. If you cannot broadcast new locally produced spoken word content, we encourage stations to re-broadcast archived locally produced spoken-word programming as appropriate rather than broadcasting only music.  Although it won’t count toward your local spoken word minimums, you may also wish to broadcast spoken word content downloaded from other non-local content producers (e.g. from the Community Radio Exchange, or other sources) that is relevant to your listeners.If you have to shut down your station completely and can't broadcast anything live, please ensure that you have something on the air at all times, even if it’s just an automated music playlist (with 35% CanCon and station IDs built in).
  • Please also do your best to ensure that some type of log is kept of the content broadcast between 6 am-midnight.  You may wish to include a repeated announcement in your playlist that explains that the station is temporarily not broadcasting live but will return to normal programming soon.
  • If you need to shut down the station and transmitter, contact the NCRA/ANREC for instructions on how to do that.
  • AGM's still need to go on - Look at your bylaws for the rules. This sheet may help!
  • The NCRA/ANREC issued guidance to stations around holding an AGM during the COVID-19 Crisis.

 

Staffing during COVID-19

Here are links to emails from the NCRA/ANREC

  • Some staff who are not in the studio now have little to do. There are a handful of things that can be done to keep the staff busy. Here are some ideas
    • Have them do some learning via the NCRA/ANREC Northpass training system (10 courses currently available online with a variety of topics to choose from)
    • Edit shows to clean them up so they can be aired again
    • Update and fix your website
    • Start or join social media groups designed to support community involvement, get your name out there about opportunities to speak about your situations and share information.
    • Get programmers, staff and volunteers set up on earshot-distro.ca so they can find new music
      • Start outreaching to musicians to tell them about the !earshot-Distro referral program

    We have access to HRDOwnloads (more info to come) which has a handful of supporting documents for organizations to access, upon request, for reference.  If you have business/Human Resources related questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to barry@ncra.ca and he can try to provide some resources.

  • The NCRA/ANREC introduced a morale boosting emailing list lolcovid-list@ncra.ca (request access), and launched a cyber collective workplace to tackle social isolation.
  • HRdownloads offers a blog with some other HR ideas.

Miscellaneous

Here are miscellaneous pieces of information related to COVID-19

  • As a piece of light entertainment, here is a great clip from Last Week Tonight, and their coverage of how Vietnam is tackling COVID-19: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAbDnNlig1A
  • Barry shared an idea for stations to change their email sign offs in light of COVID-19 See some ideas here
  • It is with a very heavy heart that I have to share with you that the NCRA/ANREC has taken the step of cancelling the National Community Radio Conference 39 scheduled to take place early June in Whitehorse, YK.  The NCRA/ANREC staff responding to advice from provincial and federal public health authorities advised the NCRA/ANREC Board that the NCRC will be cancelled.  In addition, we know that as essential services, it is important that you are all able to focus on your local broadcasts in this vital time.
  • In the email about creating news the NCRA/ANREC outlined resources for fact-checking during the pandemic, responsible reporting, media coverage during a lock down, avoiding burnout and collaborative reporting.

 

Email Communication from the NCRA/ANREC

Here are links to emails from the NCRA/ANREC

 

Funding and Finances

Here are links to discussions, announcements and resources to help tackle COVID-19 which is specific financing

  • Government of Canada official stimulus package and support (Employment Insurance, Layoffs, Child-Benefit support, etc.) Applications Launch in April
  • On the 8th the federal government rolled out a number of changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Many of these changes would significantly benefit stations.  It appears that an earlier requirement that employers have paid $50,000 or more in the previous year’s payroll has been removed. This means that even our smaller stations, or stations with only 1 or part-time staff should be eligible.  The subsidy is for up to 75% of wages with a cap of $847/per week, per employee.
    There is no limit on how many employees stations can claim for. Details to apply are here.
  • On Monday the 27th, stations will be able to apply for the wage subsidy for up to 75% of wages of employees. If you are curious how much this would work out to be, we suggest that you take a look at the new calculator released here: 
  • Nonprofits are eligible employers. When calculating if you have seen a 30% reduction in revenues non-profits can choose to exclude funds from government grants.
    Also, how you calculate those revenues can be based on a comparison to the same time in 2019, or the revenue earned in January and February 2020, although you have to be consistent.
  • If you plan on applying please be sure to be registered with the CRA.
  • This support will be available for up to 12 weeks, and is also available retrospectively to March 15th. They said that 90% of applicants should see funds arrive by May 5th. You can see all the details about the Federal Wage Subsidy here:
  • The NCRA/ANREC provided information and links to the Wage Subsidy announced by the government.
  • Based on the information provided by 40 the NCRA/ANREC calculated that our members could lose up to $2.87 million as a result of COVID-19 due to loss of fundraising, advertising and event revenues over the next 3 months. Financial support for members is vital at this time. 
  • The dues to the NCRA/ANREC which come due April 1st, but members do not need to pay them until March 31st, of 2021. We want to give members as much time as possible to navigate this pandemic. If a station is able to pay its dues sooner, this is greatly appreciated.
  • The NCRA/ANREC is also collaborating with the ARCs to meet with Canadian Heritage about potential support to stations and will be reaching out to the Community Radio Fund of Canada for the same thing. More information will come shortly after our meeting today or early next week.
  • As part of the measures introduced by the Federal government they have announced
  • “ until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any individuals income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.  This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.”
  • Source
  • For stations that need a bridge loan to help survive through the COVID-19 pandemic we strongly recommend that they reach out to their banks and ask how the Business Credit Availability Program could help their situation.
  • The employment subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.”
  • The Community Radio Fund of Canada told us this: “The projects funded through our Radiometre and Local Journalism Initiative programs will also be impacted and we will of course take into consideration the current situation when time will come to review the final reports. We also want to confirm that non-recoverable costs will be reimbursed. We will keep you updated when the situation clears up. In the meantime we will proceed as soon as possible to the payment of the second installment of the Radiometre 1920 grants.

  • FACTOR will honour all approved commitments at 100% of the amount approved for funding in situations where the event or activity was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, this includes SXSW and the Junos, as well as all other activities such as tours, showcases and certain collective events. Payments will be made as soon as the applicant submits documentation of project component completion to FACTOR, indicating a coronavirus cancelled activity. Applicants will be asked to file evidence of losses due to non-recoverable expenses incurred.”

  • CBC Arts has been maintaining a web-article with some of the resources available.
  • The Conference Board of Canada also has a number of resources available for businesses dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and those working from home.
  • Canadian business leaders are also maintaining a website Covid Continuity which has a lot of helpful information too.
  • There are also resources compiled by FYI Music News (Canadian), Music Manager Forum (Canada), and SOCAN’s Words and Music blog.
  • The Toronto based The Margin of Eras Gallery has been compiling a grassroots list of potential resources. It lists some good places for your local musicians to look for support such as the Unison Benevolent Fund, or the AFC (Actor’s Fund of America) which has supported musicians.
  • If your local musicians, or your programmers are going live from home, here’s some helpful tips from the CBC.
  • There are other online fundraising ideas listed here by CanadaHelps.org which might help your station. CFRC-FM in Kingston has had success with a radio trivia game! People are looking for fun social (but distant) activities, and this is a great idea! Contact CFRC-FM for more information about how it’s done!
  • The federal government has also rolled out additional supports and benefits, this PDF has a lot of the information, or you can see more information here on the government’s site, and broader information about their  support site here.
  • Support for indigenous stations is here!
  • Canada Summer Jobs. There have been updates made to Canada Summer Jobs in light of the COVID-19 crisis. If you applied for a summer job, you should know whether or not you have been awarded funding in early May. If you applied and are wondering what to do with the position, they have made some substantial changes. The full-time positions can now be reduced to part-time (fewer than 30 hours a week), The Employment period is also extended to February 28th, you can drag out the position over a longer time. Additionally, they are allowing for changes to the roles, you can shift it from in-person activities to digital activities, for administrative positions they can work from home and you can shift the position to support vulnerable populations.
  • We believe that these changes will make it possible for stations to adapt to the current crisis, and readjust the positions to support them. If you have applied, and are wondering how to adapt, we can coordinate a brainstorming session among those who have applied. Let luke@ncra.ca know if you would like to brainstorm on this.
    See the details of the changes here: