New public health measures introduced for long-term care and assisted living employees

In an Aug. 12 press conference, the province announced new PHOs that mandate vaccination amongst long-term care and assisted living workers. Affected employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 12.

New public health orders will mandate vaccinations for long-term care and assisted living employees. Photo: B.C. Interior Health

Amid a variant-driven surge in COVID-19 cases, the Government of British Columbia is introducing new public health measures aimed at long-term care (LTC) and assisted living facilities.

During an Aug. 12 press conference, the province announced mandatory vaccination as a condition of employment for all workers in LTC and assisted living facilities. Each person working in LTC, including assisted living and home-based care workers, must be vaccinated by Oct. 12. This applies to all licensed care facilities.

Interim measures for unvaccinated LTC employees include wearing masks, additional personal protective equipment, and frequent testing. To enforce the new restrictions, immunization records for all LTC and assisted living staff must be provided to public health.

For those who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 for medical or personal reasons, the province will provide assessment on a case-by-case basis.

Discussions surrounding masking and immunization are ongoing. In the press conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated the province would make another announcement next week in regards to masking and immunization records.

For now, no new restrictions outside LTC and assisted living facilities are expected.

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