B.C. health officials quietly rolled out a directive this week making medical masks a requirement within health facilities.
According to a news release from the Doctors of BC organization, the policy states that patients and visitors must wear medical masks when entering and leaving health care facilities, including doctor’s offices, hospitals and long-term care homes.
“The policy responds to concerns raised by many physicians who said masks are important in the health care setting because many patients who are seeking care are vulnerable,” Doctors of BC said.
According to the directive, issued Nov. 4, facilities will need to provide medical masks to those who need them.
Qualifying medical masks meet ASTM International and ISO (or equivalent) performance requirements for bacterial filtration efficiency, particulate filtration efficiency, fluid resistance, pressure differential, flame spread, skin sensitivity and cytotoxic testing.
There are exceptions: patients admitted into hospitals or those in long-term care won’t need to wear a mask when in their private rooms.
Many frontline workers have been calling for a clear mask policy since COVID-19 first peaked in mid March.
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