The British Columbia government is extending its COVID-19 wage top-ups for staff at seniors facilities, but the restriction that limited those workers to one work site has been lifted.
The province began the temporary wage increases for non-unionized clinical staff in long-term care and assisted-living facilities shortly after the pandemic began.
John Horgan promised during the last election that the government would continue to spend more than $10 million a month on the level up for wages and make it permanent, if the NDP was re-elected.
However, the province says in a statement issued Friday that it is renewing its commitment to “temporarily fund the increases.”
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says in the statement that given the high level of vaccination against COVID-19 among staff in these facilities, it’s no longer necessary to restrict where they can work.
The order limiting staff to one work site was made in April 2020 after it was determined that was one of the ways COVID was spreading into seniors facilities, which were devastated with illnesses and deaths during the pandemic.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2022.