Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of Acropolis Manor. She has been looking through the glass for contact since a COVID-19 outbreak at the long-term health and care home care facility on Jan. 19, 2021, locked the world outside. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of Acropolis Manor. She has been looking through the glass for contact since a COVID-19 outbreak at the long-term health and care home care facility on Jan. 19, 2021, locked the world outside. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)

B.C. restricts long-term care to essential visitors only

Dr. Bonnie Henry says the move is necessary to protect seniors and staff

New provincial orders will restrict long-term care visits to essential visitors only beginning New Year’s Day.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the move is necessary to protect residents and staff and long-term care facilities. Henry noted that a surge in cases driven by the Omicron variant has strained staffing levels.

“We need to decrease the number of people coming into our long-term care homes so that we can best protect the seniors and elders and ensure that health care workers in those settings are able to manage,” she said. “This will be a measure we’ll have in place for as short a time as possible and we will be reevaluating this on January 18.”

After booster vaccines were administered across senior care homes and visitors required to be vaccinated, outbreaks in the health care system briefly dropped to zero.

But Wednesday there were five new healthcare facility outbreaks, at The Oxford Senior Care Home in Abbotsford, Fort Langley Seniors Community, AgeCare Harmony Court in Burnaby, The Waverly Seniors Village in Chilliwack and Detwiller Pavilion, a psychosis unit at UBC Hospital in Vancouver.

Six more outbreaks were reported Thursday, all in the Fraser Health region, at Mission Memorial Hospital, New Vista Care Centre in Burnaby, Chartwell Langley Gardens, Chartwell Carlton Gardens in Burnaby, Chartwell Crescent Gardens and Guildford Seniors Village, both in Surrey.

READ MORE: B.C. reduces isolation time to 5 days for mild COVID-19 symptoms

READ MORE: B.C. COVID-19 cases soar past 4,000 Thursday, hospitalization stable


@SchislerCole
cole.schisler@bpdigital.ca

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