Long-term care homes in B.C. soon returning to almost normal | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Long-term care homes in B.C. soon returning to almost normal

FILE PHOTO - Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers a reporter's question at a COVID-19 media briefing, June 29, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
July 08, 2021 - 3:31 PM

Just as much of the province reopened from COVID-19 restrictions on July 1, long-term care homes are following suit on July 19.

That means residents can have any number of visitors drop in without having to book those visits. Masks will no longer be required while visiting in rooms if visitors can show that they’re fully vaccinated. Masks will still be required in common areas, even for those who are fully vaccinated.

These and other changes were announced today, July 8, by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

“The past 18 months have been dramatic on all of our lives but no more so – and no more people are more severely impacted – than our seniors and elders in our long term and seniors assisted living,” Dr. Henry said.

“We had to move quickly to reduce risks by putting in outbreak measures that included restricting visitations. That was an incredibly difficult decision to make when we know that social connections are so important for seniors’ health and well being.”

Social events within the facilities and full schedules of day programs will be allowed as well as outdoor gatherings that include family and friends.

Everyone working or living in the facilities will have to demonstrate their vaccination status. Staff who are not vaccinated will have to follow strict protocols such as wearing masks and be tested with COVID rapid tests three times a week.

Volunteer and personal service providers will have to be fully vaccinated before going in the facilities.

Everyone going into a facility will have to sign in for contact tracing if required.

The rule preventing staff from working at more than one site will be eased over the summer so staff levels can be maintained as people take vacations.


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