Dec. 31st Public Health Order: a message to B.C.’s long-term care service providers

Dear BCCPA member service providers:

The Provincial Health Officer announced today that effective Jan. 1, 2022, all long-term care homes in the province must restrict visits to essential visitors only.

This new restriction is being put in place by public health to address the increase in COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care settings in the province.

BCCPA has spoken with Ministry of Health officials and requested details on today’s public health order in writing. We will share this information with you as soon as it becomes available.

Visits are paramount to a resident’s physical care and mental well-being and our organization will continue to strongly advocate for the important role of essential caregivers. To see our previous communiqués on family and designated visitors, see a list of web links below.

To help with internal communications, following key messages can be provided to residents, families and other visitors explaining the new direction:

  • Effective Jan. 1, 2022, The Provincial Health Officer has directed all care homes in B.C. to restrict visits to essential visitors only to protect residents, staff and loved ones from COVID-19.
  • These restrictions are a temporary measure to prevent care home outbreaks throughout the province.
  • We understand the importance of social visits for the wellbeing of those in long-term care and their families – this measure will be put in place for as short a period of time as possible.
  • This new measure will remain in place until Jan. 18, 2022, at the earliest, at which time health officials will re-evaluate visitor restrictions.
  • Essential visits will continue in order to meet the needs of individuals in long-term care homes.
  • Health authorities have indicated they will provide further information, including a Q&A and signage as soon as it’s available.

We extend our profound thanks to everyone in our sector for the work you are doing during throughout the pandemic and wish each of you and your loved ones a healthy and happy New Year.

BCCPA / EngAge BC on supporting family and essential visitors