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COVID-19 Update and Masking for Health Professionals

April 5, 2022

Following BC’s Public Health Officer’s (PHO) announcement of the ease of restrictions on March 10, 2022, the PHO has issued guidance on April 1, 2022 for all health regulatory colleges, including the College.

The PHO has advised that immunization will continue to be a crucial measure for preventing and managing COVID-19. BC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will also continue to emphasize the implementation of a comprehensive hierarchy of infection prevention and exposure control measures to mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19.

This latest guidance offers clarity on expectations for health care providers moving forward so that registrants may meet the expectations of patients and keep everyone safe, including the following paragraph:

“In addition to following masking requirements established by employers and operators as part of their workplace communicable disease plans, [[the PHO]] recommend[[s]] the continued use of medical masks by practitioners and patients/clients in medical offices, private practices and other settings when there is close, in-person patient/client contact. As well, [[the PHO]] recommend[[s]] a continued focus by health care professionals on diligent hand washing, immunization, respecting personal space, regular cleaning and disinfection, ensuring appropriate ventilation, and staying home when sick.”

Accordingly, the wearing of medical masks during treatment is recommended by the PHO, but not mandatory.

Registrants should use resources from sources such as the BC Centre for Disease Control and WorkSafeBC, to implement masking recommendations that support our collective goal to keep British Columbians safe.

Please note that these expectations are subject to change at any time. Registrants must exercise their own professional judgment in the application of guidance and are responsible for monitoring WorkSafeBC and BC Centre for Disease Control information regarding infection control practices.

Suggested Resources

BC Government – Province-Wide Covid-19 Restrictions by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO)

BC Centre for Disease Control – Community-Based Health Care Guidance

WorkSafeBC – Covid-19 prevention