Family Visitation in Long-term Care and Assisted Living
Effective July 19, the following visitation restrictions will apply to all long-term care and registered seniors’ assisted living settings in BC:
- All visits will be able to take place without prior booking; social visits will only be allowed if there are no active COVID-19 outbreaks at the care home/residence.
- Visitors will need to show proof of vaccination status
- Fully immunized (i.e. two doses with the second dose received a minimum of two-weeks prior) visitors are required to wear a medical mask when moving through and in common areas, but not required to wear a medical mask while in direct contact with the person they are visiting
- Visitors who do not demonstrate that they are fully immunized are required to wear a medical mask for the duration of the visit
- Operators will be expected to maintain a list of visitors’ vaccination status to share this list with public health if required
- All visitors will be actively screened for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19 prior to entry; visitors with signs or symptoms of illness, as well as those in self-isolation or quarantine shall not be permitted to visit.
Effective July 19, the following will apply to staff working in all long-term care and registered seniors’ assisted living settings in BC:
- Fully immunized staff will not be required to wear a mask or eye protection unless clinically indicated for individuals on precautions or based on their point-of-care assessment or to protect against the normal hazards in their regular work.
- Staff can demonstrate their vaccination status using the documentation/card provided when they were immunized, or using the BC Health portal.
- Staff who are not confirmed to be fully immunized will continue to be required to wear a medical mask and undergo regular rapid testing. Details on how operators can access and implement rapid testing are expected to follow in coming days. Sites that are not already implementing rapid testing programs are not expected to have them fully up and running by July 19.
Note: These changes are applicable to long-term care and assisted living sites only. More information is expected soon on changes for home care and independent living operators. The amendments to the single-site restrictions for fully vaccinated staff will not be in place by July 19.
Restrictions of visitation are easing to support more safe social connections. To support you through this transition, SafeCare BC has created Visitation FAQ Templates, which provide staff and visitors with the information they need for a safe, comfortable visit.
These templates are designed to answer visitors’ biggest questions and reduce demands on care staff.
There are two templates available. Both offer the same information, but in different formats.
- The trifold pamphlet is best if you intend to print the information and hand it out to visitors
- The double-sided flyer is best for electronic purposes — if you’re linking to it on your website or e-newsletter, or emailing it to potential visitors.
- Download the template that works best for you.
- Fill in your organization name, address, phone number, and email in the corresponding placeholders.
- Fill in the “Released” date. Many of the answers you provide may change in the future, so this will help readers know what version they have.
- Replace the black text under each question with a response from the perspective of your organization, using “we”.
- Delete any questions not applicable to you.
- Add any questions that are applicable to you, but are not listed. Ensure to write these questions from the perspective of the visitor.
- Distribute this information to staff and visitors. This will help you ensure everyone is on the same page and that your messaging is consistent.
NOTE: The template should be completed by the organization’s director of care, or whoever is responsible for visitation rules. Refer to Visitor Guidance for Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Assisted Living for the most up-to-date information from the Ministry of Health.
In partnership with Family Caregivers of BC, SafeCare BC is proud to bring you COVID-19: Social Visitation Essentials. This self-paced, online course is intended for those who would like to visit a family member or friend residing in a long-term care home or assisted living residence, as permitted by the care home’s safety plan and regional public health direction. This course offers:
- an introduction to COVID-19
- details on where British Columbians can find current and reliable COVID-19 information
- instructions on how to help slow the transmission of COVID-19
- an overview of the visitation guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control
Upon successful completion of the course and quizzes, you will receive a certificate that can be presented to the management personnel at the long-term care home or assisted living residence.
- Safety Huddle – Responding to Visitor Emotions
- Handout – Responding to Visitor Emotions
- COVID-19 Safety Plan Template – Long-term Care
- COVID-19 Safety Plan Template – Assisted Living
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