Update on mandatory disclosure of vaccination status and rapid point-of-care testing for unvaccinated staff

August 31, 2021 | News, COVID-19

Over the past few weeks, there have been several new policy announcements in BC relating to vaccination against COVID-19, in particular for staff in long-term care and assisted living. As new information, guidance and key documents are released, SafeCare BC will continue to keep you updated on the changes and what you need to know.


Rapid point-of-care testing

The Provincial Health Order requiring the mandatory disclosure of vaccination status sets out a number of preventative COVID-19 measures coming into force on

September 8. One measure is that every unvaccinated member of staff will need to take a rapid test before each shift. We know that many of our members are already using rapid testing; however, those who aren’t can access Abbott PanBio tests for free from the Provincial Health Services Authority’s screening program. These tests are usually nasal swabs that can be administered by a trained individual, or self-administered under supervision.

Rapid testing is likely to be required for staff only as an interim measure until the announced provincial policy on mandatory vaccination comes into effect in October. However, it is also a helpful additional layer of protection against COVID-19 more generally, and your organization may also want to consider using these tests for unvaccinated visitors, or in home care settings.

Operators using rapid testing will need to follow PHSA’s reporting requirements for test usage and any positive results. Health authority owned sites should contact the relevant health authority to access tests; otherwise the process will involve submitting an order form directly to PHSA.

Questions about how to access and use rapid tests should be directed to rapidPOCteam@phsa.ca. You can also find some information about rapid testing on the SafeCare BC website.

Mandatory reporting portal

Long-term care and assisted living sites are required to report the vaccination status of staff and residents to public health by tomorrow, September 1. Below are some additional documents to support operators in doing so.