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Long-Term Care Facilities & Assisted Living

Guidance for long-term care facilities including use of personal protective equipment, screening for symptoms, visitors, cleaning and transfers.

Last updated: January 14, 2021 

Visitor Guidelines

Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Facilities are currently advised to restrict visitors. Under these guidelines, residents will be able to visit with one family member or friend. The guidelines support visits between family members and residents of long-term care homes and seniors’ assisted living facilities while protecting vulnerable residents. 

Visitor protocol  

  • Visits must be booked in advance.
  • Visits will take place in specific "visiting areas," which will be organized by each residence.
  • Visits are not allowed if there is an active COVID-19 outbreak at the residence. 
  • Visits are not permitted if the visitor or resident are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19, prior to every visit.
  • All visitors are required to wear a medical mask.
  • Visitors must clean hands before and after visit.
  • Visitors should maintain a distance of two arm lengths from others.

Essential visits

Health authorities and facility operators shall continue to support visitors for essential visits. Health Authority or Facility staff will determine if a visit is essential. Examples of essential visits include, but are not limited to:

  • Visits for compassionate care, including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, end of life, and medical assistance in dying
  • Visits paramount to the patient/client’s physical care and mental well-being, including as follows:
    • Assistance with feeding mobility or  personal care;
    • Communication assistance;
    • Assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities;
  • Visits for supported decision making;
  • Police, correctional officers and peace officers accompanying a patient/client for security reasons.
Essential visits shall be limited to one visitor per patient/client within the facility at a time (except in the case of palliative/end of life care). A visitor who is a child may be accompanied by one parent, guardian or family member. 

Further details on visitor guidelines:

Visitor protocol during an outbreak

As per the Infection Prevention and Control Outbreak Protocol for COVID-19, in the event of an outbreak in a care facility, this direction changes and restricts visitors to Long Term Care Facilities in accordance with advice and direction from the local Medial Health Officer.

Guidance for Health Care Workers

Preparing for and preventing  wildfire smoke in care facilities

Wildfire season brings the threat of severe smoke pollution, and good preparation is even more critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. This document provides information on preparing for and preventing wildfire smoke in care facilities:

SOURCE: Long-Term Care Facilities & Assisted Living ( )
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