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Provincial Health Officer issues expectations for nurses working in community settings during COVID-19 pandemic | Clarification of self-isolation protocols


Mar 24, 2020

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on March 23, 2020, issued an update for all regulated health professionals in B.C., including LPNs, NPs, RNs and RPNs. The update outlines expectations for health professionals regulated under the Health Professions Act when providing patient and client care in community settings, and this includes self-employed and volunteer nurses.

Dr. Henry's update states that all non-essential and elective services involving direct physical contact with patients and clients should be reduced to minimal levels, subject to allowable exceptions, until further notice. It outlines allowable exceptions and encourages health professionals who fall into the above category to provide care—where possible and appropriate—by telephone and video.

Important

Please note that this update does not apply to nurses and other regulated health professionals when providing client care in designated facilities or institutions regulated by the Hospital Act, the Health Authorities Act, the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, the Mental Health Act, or other relevant Acts. Nurses working in B.C. who primarily work for Health Authorities and other facilities governed by the above should follow their employer's policies and guidelines.

Self-isolation protocols for health care workers returning from international travel

We have received numerous questions from nurses regarding self-isolation protocols for health care workers returning from international travel. Please note that this direction does not come from BCCNP. Rather, it comes directly from the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control, the two agencies leading the pandemic response in coordination with the Ministry of Health.

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has created a document that outlines the Provincial Health Officer's direction. Nurses should consult with their employer or manager about whether they are considered Essential Services, and about their specific situation, before returning to work after travel. Please review the document below for the details:

Staying connected

BCCNP staff and senior leadership are in daily contact with the Ministry of Health, BCCDC, the Provincial Health Officer, employers, and other key stakeholders. We are committed to ensuring nurses have the most current information available and providing guidance and support during this unprecedented time.

To all the nurses who are working so hard during this pandemic—thank you for your dedication and service. Your contributions are valued and appreciated. Visit the BCCNP COVID-19 resource centre for the most current information, and please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns.