COBC update on mask use following clarification from the Public Health Officer

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Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has provided further clarification on the scope and application of the Ministry of Health’s policy communique Mask Use in Health Care Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic. In a November 11, 2020 letter to registrars of the BC health professions, Dr. Henry states that the mask use directive in the communique DOES NOT apply to allied health practitioners in community settings. Optometrists are included in the allied professions.

Dr. Henry confirms that the regulatory colleges have developed and provided guidance for safe operations and plans to practitioners. This includes the use of masks and other infection and prevention control measures. See COBC guidance updates and important links here.

Dr. Henry’s letter can be viewed here.

Dr. Henry has asked that all practitioners review, update and rigorously follow COVID-19 Safety Plans. Compliance is particularly critical for those in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Health regions, where the majority of outbreaks have occurred.

COBC will continue to update practitioners as Ministry of Health policies and directives evolve. Response to the Pandemic requires that practitioners be aware of the changing circumstances in the Pandemic’s moving landscape. Provincial expectations can change suddenly and are based on current evidence about the known mechanisms of COVID-19 transmission.

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