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:

COVID-19 FAQs Updated

Following new Provincial Health Officer orders, we’ve updated our COVID-19 FAQs. Please see Question 5 and Question 6, which address current recommendations on masks/PPE and how to apply temporary, region-specific orders to occupational therapy practice in British Columbia.

Registrant Email Survey on COVID-19

We are inspired by the positive stories we’ve heard from registrants responding to COVID-19 challenges. They provided services in innovative ways to keep the public safe and quality client care as their top priority.

As we adapt and move forward, we want to learn about your experiences so far and what this new normal looks like for you.

We ask that you take the time to complete our short 10-question survey emailed to you earlier this week. We anticipate this might take you 15 – 20 minutes to complete.

Your voice is important as we plan activities and resources to support quality practice in a changing health care environment over the upcoming year. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.

BC’s Restart Plan: Phase 2 Guidance in Development

Published on May 12, 2020

On May 6, 2020, Premier John Horgan outlined BC’s Restart Plan which outlines four phases to rebuilding a resilient economy and keeping the public safe during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

COTBC appreciates that registrants are very keen to return to work and care for their clients as soon as possible. However, the safety of patients, clients and health care professionals remains paramount.

Currently, we are in the process of finalizing consistent guidelines for community-based health providers – with collaborative input from the Provincial Health Office, other regulatory health profession colleges, and key stakeholders – to ensure that health care providers can operate safely under Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan.

Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan is scheduled to begin in mid-May and includes the restoration of health-related services under enhanced protocols. Until these protocols are released, COTBC recommends that registrants continue to comply with the current orders and direction of the Provincial Health Officer and the College.

COTBC is committed to providing timely updates as information becomes available. We are cautiously optimistic that the protocols will be available before Phase 2 begins.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.