"A step forward": BC drops mask mandate in healthcare facilities

Apr 6 2023, 9:23 pm

The BC Ministry of Health has dropped the mask mandate for healthcare facilities in the province.

This means that if you’re a staff or a visitor at a healthcare facility in BC, you’re no longer required to wear a face mask.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and BC Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the news at a press conference on Thursday.

According to a statement from the ministry, BC has seen a drop in “all respiratory viruses.”

The province says that reality means it can “move forward with confidence in removing some of the measures that were in place.”

“This is a positive development that reflects the efforts of everyone in our community in following guidelines and taking precautions to keep each other safe.”

The mask mandate in healthcare settings isn’t the only restriction BC loosened today.

Specifically, visitor restrictions in long-term care, assisted living and healthcare facilities are no longer in effect. Rapid testing in long-term care is also no longer required.

“These changes signify a step forward in returning to pre-pandemic operations in long-term care, assisted living, and health-care facilities while continuing to maintain a safe environment for all.”

Still, BC adds that there are “some situations” where masks will be required in health-care settings “where they have always been required to protect high-risk patients against respiratory transmitted infections.”

A statement from the ministry adds that this doesn’t mean COVID-19 is over, and it doesn’t rule out reinstating measures later on.

“It’s important to recognize that COVID-19 is still with us, and as such, we must remain vigilant and continue surveillance to monitor the situation. As we approach the next respiratory season, we will be prepared to consider measures that may be necessary to ensure the safe functioning of our health-care system, including potentially reinstating some of the current measures.”

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