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B.C. mandates medical masks for patients, staff, visitors in all healthcare facilities

Last Updated Nov 6, 2020 at 2:09 pm PST

FILE - Packages of face masks. (CITYNEWS/Tony Fera)

Medical masks are now mandatory for staff, patients, visitors in B.C.'s healthcare settings

Staff at healthcare facilities are required to wear their masks in common areas and break rooms

Patients are now required to wear masks when outside of their rooms

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Visitors, staff, and patients will now be required to wear medical masks in all healthcare settings in B.C.

The Ministry of Health issued the directive Thursday, and the policy includes long-term care homes, assisted living facilities, and other facilities.

“This Policy protects patients, clients, clinicians, health care workers, non-clinical staff and the public by outlining provincial expectations for the use of face masks in all health care facilities, programs, and services, including community physician offices and outpatient clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic,” it reads.

“All health care facilities must provide medical masks for all health care workers, nonclinical staff, patients, and visitors.”

The policy goes on to list all the circumstances in which a medical mask is now mandatory. A medical mask is one that meets international standards for filtration, and fluid resistance.

All workers will be expected to keep masks on, “including in common areas and break rooms unless eating and/or drinking.”

Patients who have been admitted to hospitals or other facilities will be expected to wear masks when outside of their rooms.