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Less visitors in long-term care facilities, shorter isolation period coming to BC

Starting tomorrow (January 1st), the province is restricting visitors in long-term care homes.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says with rapidly increasing numbers, the province is facing challenges in people being off work.

“It’s stretching some of our health care systems, and we know now that we can spread this very rapidly, even with very mild symptoms,” Henry said.

She said there have been a number of new outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

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“I know this is a place we have been before, and we have many measures in place, but we need to decrease the numbers of people coming into our long-term care homes, so that we can best protect the seniors and elders in our care homes, and ensure that healthcare workers in those settings are able to manage and cope.”

Henry added the province will be reevaluating these measures on January 18th.

The province is also shortening the isolation period for fully vaccinated people who are sick.

“If you are unvaccinated, we continue to say that you must isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms began or when your test was positive, there’s no change to this,” Henry explained.

“If you are fully vaccinated, and either have no symptoms, or your symptoms are resolving,  you no longer have a fever, we’re reducing the requirement for self-isolation to five days.”

In addition, Henry announced the province is prioritizing access booster vaccine doses for pregnant people. Any person who is pregnant is now eligible for a booster dose if 6 months has passed since their second dose.

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