COVID-19 information for long-term care & assisted living
Information on visitation guidelines and facility outbreaks.
Latest news – April 6, 2023
With respiratory surveillance across the province showing a decrease in transmission of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced the end of the respiratory season. This is positive news — it reflects the efforts of everyone in our community in following guidelines and taking precautions to keep each other safe.
It means the mandatory requirements with respect to visitors in long-term care and seniors’ assisted living can now be lifted.
- Visitors are no longer required to provide their vaccination status, and those who are unvaccinated for COVID-19 will be able to visit freely at long-term care and assisted living sites.
- Visitors are no longer required to undergo a rapid antigen test or confirm a recent negative rapid antigen test prior to visiting.
- Visitors are not required to wear masks while visiting long-term care and assisted living sites unless an assessment by a health care worker deems masking is required for visiting certain individual residents, e.g. residents who may have symptoms of infection or in certain outbreaks where public health has recommended masks.
- There are no restrictions on gatherings, events or activities, including visitors, indoors or outdoors, regardless of visitor vaccination status.
Monitoring and caring for residents
VCH Public Health conducts ongoing disease surveillance for long-term care and assisted living homes in our region. Infectious disease outbreaks (e.g. C. difficile, norovirus, influenza, COVID-19) can occur when infected people — including patients, staff, volunteers, contracted workers and visitors — come to our facilities and infect others.
We have strict infection control protocols that are immediately followed when an outbreak is declared. If a resident tests positive, families will be notified. Visitation may still be possible with appropriate infection prevention measures in place.
For a list of infectious disease outbreaks (e.g. C. difficile, norovirus, influenza) declared at long-term care homes within the Vancouver Coastal Health region, visit our current outbreaks page. These include VCH-owned and operated Providence Health Care, Provincial Health Services and contracted facilities.