Registrants are encouraged to read the Ministry of Health’s update on the Viral Respiratory Illness (VRI) Season. The news release includes information about vaccines and medical masking.
Key highlights include the following:
- Medical mask wearing will be required by all health care workers, volunteers, contractors and visitors in patient care areas starting October 3, 2023.
- Masks are required in health care facilities managed by health authorities and long-term care sites.
- At this time, the mask mandate does not apply to private clinic settings.
COTBC understands that private health care clinics, such as those commonly used by occupational therapists, are not included in this directive and are not required by the province to adopt medical masking procedures at this time.
Despite this, we encourage registrants to consider the risks to their own client populations, staff and themselves, and to review current information from the Centre for Disease Control to determine the most appropriate measures for infection prevention and control in their practices.
Registrants are reminded to review the Practice Standard for Infection Prevention and Control to support their decision making.
The Minister of Health and the Provincial Health Officer can issue directives and orders to address public safety concerns at any time, including but not limited to a directive in the future to include 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.
If you have any questions regarding this public health directive, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.