B.C.’s vaccine mandate for long-term care staff and visitors now in effect

Vancouver –

The deadline for B.C.’s vaccine mandate for long-term care and assisted living workers has arrived.

Those who choose not to comply will be placed on leave without pay.

Advocates have been calling for the policy for months now, as the Delta variant runs rampant in the province and outbreaks in long-term care continue.

The B.C. Care Providers Association supports the policy, however a significant number of workers are still refusing to get vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, all employees of long-term care and assisted living facilities need to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Workers who have only received one dose will have to undergo rapid testing daily, and must receive their second shot within 35 days of their first.

The province initially said all workers must be fully immunized by Oct. 12, but relaxed the mandate after operators pushed back.

Facilities already struggling with staffing shortages say losing any workers will be a huge blow.

Staff aren’t the only ones being impacted by this new mandate.

Visitors will now also need at least one dose, and must be fully immunized by Nov. 30. Experts are hopeful both mandates could be key for preventing more deaths. 

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Ben Nesbit

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