Starting July 19th, The B.C. government is easing visitation rules for long-term care and seniors’ assisted living.
The province said visitors will no longer need to schedule appointments in advance and fully immunized people won’t need to wear masks when with loved ones.
“They’ll no longer be required to follow those infection prevention measures when they’re in the room with their loved one. We can expect these mask free smiles will make a lot of people very happy,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.
Adult day programs will be able to resume again, improving the well-being for seniors.
“The pandemic has challenged people living and working in long-term care in ways we never could have imagined, but we are now finally in a place where people can safely spend more time together again,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
Visitors and staff who have not received two vaccine doses will be required to continue following previous health restrictions, including wearing masks and getting tested.
“While vital for reducing the spread of COVID-19, we recognize the restrictions on visitors have been incredibly challenging for people in long-term care and their families,” said Dr. Henry.
“Because nearly 80% of people in B.C. have stepped up to be vaccinated, we are now in a place where visitation in long-term care can resume in a more normal way. This means residents and their families and friends will be able to spend more quality time together, safely.”
Dix says the easing of restrictions will be an important step to returning to normal activities, while still supporting the health needs of seniors across the province.
“Today’s changes will allow, I believe, some return to normalcy while continuing to have safety in long-term care and assisted living. The changes to resume adult day programs will make a real difference for seniors everywhere,” added Dix
Proof of vaccination will be required and each site will continue to keep a sign-in list, in case contact tracing is necessary.