All staff in B.C. long term care homes must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 12 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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All staff in B.C. long term care homes must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 12

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry July 27.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC Government
August 12, 2021 - 12:35 PM

Despite high vaccination rates, there are now eight COVID-19 outbreaks in B.C. long term and assisted care homes, including at least four in Interior Health.

All of those outbreaks have been triggered by unvaccinated people bringing it into those facilities, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a news briefing today, Aug. 12.

“Once it gets into these highly risky locations, we can see it spread to residents and staff,” she said, noting that rules brought into that system in June that required more testing of staff have not been effective in the face of the new, highly transmissible Delta variant.

“This is a next step we need to take to protect residents and to protect staff,” she said.

Vaccination in long term and assisted care homes is now a condition of employment for all staff and, Dr. Henry suggested, the same rules will be applied to all health care workers in the coming weeks.

This comes at a time when many hospitals are facing staffing shortages, she acknowledged.

As of today, volunteers and personal care aids have to be fully vaccinated before they can go into long term and assisted living facilities.

The new rules apply whether the facilities are run by health authorities, non-profits or are for profit, Dr. Henry said.

For those few who cannot be vaccinated, health authorities will be working with unions and others to deal with their individual circumstances.

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