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New visitor policy introduced for care homes

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:44 PDT, Thu July 2, 2020

Long-term care and seniors’ assisted-living residents will be able to receive visitors in July thanks to new provincial protocols.

Residents will begin to be able to have a single designated visitor in a specific visiting area, including indoor or outdoor locations. This approach will be monitored through July, with an aim to expand it in August. 

Individual facilities must develop written plans outlining how they will meet new requirements. All visitors must bring and appropriately wear masks.

In addition, personal service providers, including hairdressers, will be able to come into long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities if they have completed a WorkSafeBC safety plan.

Provincial funding will also enable each long-term care home and seniors’ assisted living residence to hire up to three full-time equivalent staff. New staff will be responsible for ensuring infection prevention and control measures for COVID-19 are followed to support safe visitation.

The additional staff will also work to schedule visits and make sure visitors do not enter the facility if they are sick, wash their hands frequently, practice respiratory (cough) etiquette and maintain a safe physical distance of at least two metres from patients and staff wherever possible.

Further funding will address retroactive costs incurred by facilities between March 1 and June 30.

For the updated guidance for long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities, visit BC Centre for Disease Control’s website: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-professionals/clinical-resources/covid-19-care/clinical-care/long-term-care-facilities-assisted-living

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