Next Steps for Complying with Public Health Order Requiring Recording of Registrants’ Vaccination Status

As stated earlier this week, a new Order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) – the Health Professionals COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures Order – requires COTBC to record the COVID-19 vaccination status of all its registrants by March 31, 2022.

View COTBC’s update: Next Steps for Complying with Public Health Order Requiring Recording of Registrants’ Vaccination Status

Read COTBC’s FAQs on the new Order

Visit COTBC’s COVID-19 Resources

Update on PHO Order

On February 9, 2022, Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that she will issue a new public health order requiring regulated health professionals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by March 24, 2022.

We understand the new order is still being finalized by the PHO. More information will be provided once the order is released by the PHO and the College assesses any specific actions required by the College and registrants.

PHO Update Regarding Vaccination Requirements

BC Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry announced yesterday (February 9, 2022) that she will issue a public health order next week requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for all regulated health professionals, including occupational therapists.

The new order will broaden a previous PHO order originally dated October 14, 2021, which mandated COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers working in acute, long-term, and community care health settings. The order can be found on the COVID page.

Dr. Henry indicated that the new order requires all regulated health professionals to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine by March 24, 2022. A second dose is required 28-35 days thereafter.

The College has not yet been provided with the proposed order and does not have specific information about what role is to be played by the College and other health regulatory colleges. After the order is released, the College will review it, consult with the Ministry of Health and other BC health regulators, and provide registrants with additional information.

Under the Public Health Act, the Provincial Health Officer has the authority to issue public health orders, including vaccination mandates, to protect the public.

Practice Guidance: Hospital and Community COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventative Measures

On October 14, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) posted the Hospital and Community (Health Care and Other Services) COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures Order.

Registrants are encouraged to review COTBC’s new Practice Guidance to learn how the October 14 Order may impact their practice.

New Practice Standard for Infection Prevention and Control

The College recognizes that March 2021 signifies one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. This past year has brought the principles of infection prevention and control to the forefront of providing safe, effective and ethical occupational therapy practice.

The new COTBC Practice Standard for Infection Prevention and Control was developed following the recommendation of the Patient Relations, Standards and Ethics Committee and in consultation with the Provincial Infection Control Network of British Columbia. While we acknowledge registrants are already immersed in this work, please take a moment to review the new standard to ensure you are meeting practice expectations.

New PHO Order Enables OTs to Conduct Swabs

On November 16, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, signed the Health Authority Regulated Health Professional SARS-CoV-2 Swabbing Order.

The purpose of this Order is to expand the human resource testing capacity for the virus in B.C.  by enabling a range of health professionals, who are not typically authorized to do this testing, to conduct nasopharyngeal swabs and mouth rinses. Occupational therapists are one of the professions covered under this Order. An Advisory Statement has been published to assist registrants to understand the Order and the associated employment, training, and competency assessment requirements it details.

Occupational therapists are asked to review the Order and the Advisory Statement. Please send any related practice questions to: