On September 28, 2023, Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry announced actions to protect communities during the respiratory illness season. The actions include a requirement that all health care workers, volunteers, contractors, and visitors wear medical masks in patient areas of health-care facilities starting October 3, 2023.
A news release outlining the provincial government actions did not specifically state whether the medical masking requirement applies to private sector clinics. CSHBC understands, however, that private health care clinics – such as those where many Registered Audiologists, Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioners, and Registered Speech-Language Pathologists practise – are not included in this directive, and are not required by the province to adopt medical masking procedures at this time.
CSHBC encourages registrants to consider the risks to their own client populations, staff, and themselves, as well as to review current information from the BC Centre for Disease Control, to determine the most appropriate measures for infection prevention and control in their own practices. Registrants should also read the Infection Prevention & Control in the Practice Environment page on the CSHBC website.
The Minister of Health and the PHO can issue directives and orders to address public safety concerns at any time, including but not limited to a directive in the future to include mandatory medical masking in private practice environments. The College will provide registrants with information as it is confirmed and urges registrants to remain up-to-date on directives and orders from the provincial government.
For more information
If you have questions about this topic, please contact CSHBC by email: [email protected].