On April 1, 2022, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), Dr. Bonnie Henry, issued new guidance to BC health professionals regarding mask use and infection prevention and control.
In a letter to registrars of BC health regulatory colleges, Dr. Henry stated:
“In addition to following masking requirements established by employers and operators as part of their workplace communicable disease plans, I recommend the continued use of medical masks by practitioners and patients/clients in medical offices, private practices and other settings when there is close, in-person patient/client contact. As well, I recommend a continued focus by health care professionals on diligent hand washing, immunization, respecting personal space, regular cleaning and disinfection, ensuring appropriate ventilation, and staying home when sick.”
Effective March 11, 2022, BC’s indoor mask order was repealed. The April 1, 2022, letter from the PHO, therefore, provides guidance to registrants on medical mask use. While mask use is not mandatory, the letter states that wearing medical masks “where there is close, in person patient/client contact” is recommended.
Registrants should also consult the latest guidance on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website. Registrants are expected to comply with guidance documents issued by the BCCDC that are relevant to their practice environment.
Please also consider that regional restrictions may still be in place and may change. As well, healthcare settings, individual businesses, service providers, and organizations may still require masks and registrants should ensure that they comply with any of their employer’s infection control and workplace policies with respect to COVID-19 prevention