December 31, 2021

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in British Columbia (BC) the Ministry of Health, in consultation with BC’s Provincial Health Officer, mobilized to rapidly respond to the risk of COVID-19 transmission in congregate care settings.

Several enhanced protective measures have been put in place to minimize the risk for introduction and transmission of COVID-19 in long-term care homes and seniors’ assisted living residences and protect those most vulnerable to serious illness.

On December 31st, 2021 the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Health announced that effective January 1, 2022 visits to long-term care (LTC) will be limited to essential visits only.
The Provincial Health Officer (PHO) recognizes the impact of limiting visitors has on residents and families and commits to reviewing the order in mid-January. The visitor restriction to essential visitors will remain in place until it is rescinded by the PHO.

Furthermore, in recognition of the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant of concern and given the vulnerability of residents in long-term care even when fully vaccinated themselves, the PHO announced on December 21, 2021 that all visitors to long-term care homes must be screened for COVID-19 by receiving a rapid point-of-care test prior to their visit, whether visiting indoors or outdoors.

Click on the link to read the entire letter:

Letter to LTC Families re Essential Visits and Rapid Testing_Dec 31 FINAL