Ministry of Health Announces Actions to Protect People in Respiratory Illness Season

This week the Minister of Health and the Provincial Health Officer announced their plans to protect communities during the upcoming respiratory illness season, which include the wearing of medical masks by all healthcare workers, volunteers, contractors, and visitors in patient areas of healthcare facilities starting October 3, 2023.

The College of Physical Therapists of BC understands that private healthcare clinics, such as those commonly used by physical therapists, are not included in this directive and are not required by the province to adopt medical masking procedures at this time. Despite this fact, the College encourages registrants to consider the risks to their patient populations, staff and themselves as well as to review current information from the Centre for Disease Control to determine the most appropriate measures for infection prevention and control in their own practices.

Registrants are reminded to review CPTBC’s Point of Care Risk Assessment document to support their decision-making.

The Minister of Health and the Provincial Health Officer can issue directives and orders to address public safety concerns at any time, including but not limited to a directive in the future to include mandatory medical masking in private practice environments. The College will provide registrants with information as it is confirmed and urges registrants to consult government sources for more details.