Those planning on visiting acute care facilities in British Columbia will need to prove that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, Island Health has confirmed.
Provincial health officials announced Monday that all visitors to acute care facilities in British Columbia will be required to show proof of vaccination, either their B.C. Vaccine Card or something equivalent, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
The vaccination requirement will take effect Tuesday, Nov. 9.
Those who don’t show that they’re fully vaccinated will be denied entry unless they have a medical exemption or are under the age of 12. There will also be exemptions for visitors to end-of-life and other specific care settings, according to Ministry of Health documents provided to CHEK News.
However, the requirement may not apply in case where someone must visit the emergency room or to visits for compassionate care — including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, end-of-life, and medical assistance while dying — or pediatric care, labour, and delivery.
The expected move comes amid an outbreak at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s transition unit where seven patients and two staff members test positive for COVID-19.
A triple-vaccinated elderly woman contracted was among those who became infected while at NGRH. Her family told CHEK News on Saturday that visitors were not asked to show proof of vaccination status prior to entering the transition unit.
As of Nov. 5, there were 68 people hospitalized in the Island Health region due to COVID, 19 of whom are in critical care, according to the BCCDC dashboard.
Fourteen people have died from COVID-19 in the Island Health region since Oct. 18.
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