The BC government says that families will have more opportunities to spend time with their aging loved ones by July 19th.

That’s when the government will be rolling out multiple changes to senior visitation. One of the major ones is that residents now will not have a limit on how many visitors they can receive. Fully vaccinated visitors also will no longer have to wear masks in a senior care facility.

“While vital for reducing the spread of COVID-19, we recognize the restrictions on visitors have been incredibly challenging for people in long-term care and their families,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “Because nearly 80% of people in B.C. have stepped up to be vaccinated, we are now in a place where visitation in long-term care can resume in a more normal way.”

The other changes include;

  • Visitors will no longer need to schedule or book in advance to visit loved ones.
  • Each site will continue to maintain a sign-in list for contact tracing purposes and actively promote adherence to all infection prevention control protocols.
  • Volunteers and personal service providers entering long-term care settings are required to be fully vaccinated.
    • Workers who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask at work and be tested for COVID-19 regularly using rapid tests.
  • Larger, facility-wide social events or gatherings are safe to begin again.
    • Indoor gatherings may include residents and staff across units of a facility, while outdoor gatherings may include family and friends.
  • Adult day programs and in-facility respite can fully resume, providing additional health and well-being benefits for seniors and caregivers in the community.

“The pandemic has challenged people living and working in long-term care in ways we never could have imagined, but we are now finally in a place where people can safely spend more time together again,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.