On August 12, 2021, Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry announced that all workers in long-term care and assisted living facilities in B.C. will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
A new public health order stipulates that vaccination will be a mandatory condition of employment for workers in long-term care and assisted living settings. The order applies to public health authority facilities but also to private and contracted facilities. All workers must be fully vaccinated by October 12, 2021. This public health order also applies to volunteers and personal care workers in the aforementioned settings. Unvaccinated staff will continue to be tested regularly for the virus in the interim period, and they will also be required to wear PPE when at work.
Currently, more than 80% of eligible British Columbians have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 70% are fully vaccinated. The majority of long term care staff and residents are already fully vaccinated. However, given the greater susceptibility of infection for this vulnerable population and the surge in Delta variant infections, the B.C. government stressed the importance of raising the vaccination level in long-term care and assisted living to 100%.
We will continue to update our clients with information as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this topic, other COVID-19 related questions, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s other COVID-19 website resources.