Indoor religious services, nursing home visits allowed next week – BC News

Indoor religious services, nursing home visits allowed next week - BC News

Restrictions at long-term care homes in British Columbia will be significantly relaxed next week, while some indoor religious services will be allowed starting Sunday.

Provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry on Thursday announced the easing of COVID-19 measures, despite high transmission of the virus across the province.

With the vast majority of residents and staff in long-term care facilities now vaccinated, friends and family will be able to visit residents of long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities again after one year. full of visitation limits. Visits will be limited to a maximum of two adults and one child at a time, starting April 1.

As of June, residents were only allowed one designated visitor.

Visitors will now be able to touch their loved ones who are taken care of, although certain protections such as wearing masks will still be necessary. Elderly people in these homes will now also be able to leave their homes when traveling with their loved ones, without having to isolate themselves on their return.

After a peak of 49 long-term care outbreaks in British Columbia just a few months ago, widespread vaccination efforts have led to only three active outbreaks so far.

Dr Henry said opening long-term care homes to visitation always carries risks because the vaccine is not 100% effective, but she said at this time that the benefits of socialization for residents outweigh the risks of COVID-19.

Additionally, after working with religious leaders over the past few weeks, Dr Henry will allow limited religious services indoors starting this Sunday. The relaxation of the public health order of gatherings and events will be on a trial basis between March 28 and May 13, and will allow churches to hold four indoor services during that month and a half. The essay coincides with several upcoming religious holidays, including Easter.

Services will be reserved for a maximum of 50 people or 10 percent of the facility’s capacity, whichever is less.

She noted that the change to the ban on religious services will be reassessed over the next two months and could be changed if necessary.

Despite some measures easing, daily new cases of the virus have remained high in recent days, and Dr Henry said transmission remained high in British Columbia, particularly in the Lower Mainland.

She said much of the transmission comes from small indoor social gatherings, while 30-40% of new cases come from workplace clusters.

Concern variants also remain a concern, with variant B.1.1.7 (UK-based) increasing in recent weeks. Dr Henry noted that there is international evidence that shows this variant is more easily transmitted and may eventually lead to more serious illness in young people.


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