Flu shots or a mask? It’s hospital visitors’ choice

Island Health flu policy kicks in at local hospitals

As of this week, hospital visitors who haven’t received a seasonal flu shot will need to wear a mask.

Just in time for flu season, Island Health is reminding the public about changes made last year affecting visitors to B.C. health-care facilities, including long-term care and other retirement homes.

“Last year it became a provincial policy for visitors (who haven’t received a flu shot) to wear a mask, and that is because we often have these kinds of illnesses brought into the facility from the community,” said Island Health spokesperson Sarah Plank. “Because the people are vulnerable, we want to offer them as much protection as possible.”

The flu season generally starts in December and ends in April. However, Plank said there has already been a confirmed influenza outbreak at Aberdeen Hospital, a residential care facility on Hillside Avenue, accentuating the need for care at all times. Masks will be made available for free for anyone not yet vaccinated.

Approximately 3,500 Canadians die from influenza or its complications every year. Last year, Island Health distributed 243,000 flu vaccines to pharmacies, doctors offices and public health units across the region. This year that number is up to 268,700.

“We trust that people want to do the right thing. No one wants to cause someone who is vulnerable to get sick,” Plank said. “So, it’s on the honour system and we expect as (the public) becomes aware of the policy, they’ll do the right thing.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Oak Bay to host secondary suite open house on Thursday

Online secondary suite survey will run April 25 until May 10

Local author wins gold medal for new book Fat Cats

Former parks warden’s series welcomes new addition to the canon

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read