Health Minister and Provincial Health Officer announced actions regarding upcoming respiratory illness season
Last week the Minister of Health and the Provincial Health Officer announced their plans to protect communities during the upcoming respiratory illness season which include the wearing of medical masks by all health care workers, volunteers, contractors, and visitors in patient areas of health-care facilities starting October 3, 2023. The College notes that private practice environments, such as those commonly operated by CTCMA registrants, were not specifically included in this medical masking directive.
The College does, however, encourage registrants to consider the seasonal risks to their own patient populations, staff, and themselves, and to review current information from the BC Centre for Disease Control in determining the appropriate measures for infection prevention and control in their own practices. Registrants are also encouraged to review Section 2 of the Safety Program Handbook to support their decision making.
Finally, registrants should note that the Minister of Health and the Provincial Health Officer can issue directives and orders to address public safety concerns at any time, and this could include a directive concerning mandatory medical masking in private practice environments. The College will provide registrants with information as it is confirmed and urges registrants to consult government sources for more details.
The Province’s latest news release concerning medical masking, and including information on the fall vaccine program, can be read here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HLTH0121-001523