Starting October 12, anyone visiting a long-term care or assisted living facility must present a BC Vaccine Card that indicates they are fully vaccinated.
There are also some new rules for healthcare workers in long-term care facilities.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, along with Health Minister Adrian Dix, made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
- You might also like:
- BC's school mask mandate for K to 12 students, staff starts today
- BC introduces COVID-19 vaccine policy for government workers
- Delta variant 133% deadlier than original COVID virus: study
Anyone not fully vaccinated will not be able to visit or enter these facilities.
Visitors who wish to enter acute care facilities will also need to be fully vaccinated by October 26.
On top of these requirements for visitors, anyone health care worker who is hired in long term care between October 12 and 26, must have a single dose of vaccine, and be seven days past that dose. They must also get their second dose between 28 and 35 days after the first.
Anyone who is ineligible to work after October 12 because they haven’t received at least one dose, will be off work without pay.
To return to work, these employees must be 7 days past their first dose if they choose to get vaccinated, with additional precautions in place.
A major part of the timing of this announcement according to Dr. Henry, has to do with the fact that we’re entering the season that is more common for respiratory illness to be circulating, beyond just the COVID-19 virus.
“We know that vaccination rates are high, but in some places they are not yet high enough,” said Dr. Henry.
“It is not too late to protect yourself, to protect your family, to protect those we care for, and the workers that we work with,” she added.
Some exceptions may be made for certain situations in palliative and end of life care.