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

Husband of slain RCMP officer ‘disgusted and disheartened’ by parole board

Killer of Const. Sarah Beckett allowed limited day parole for alcohol treatment

Driver convicted in death of Const. Sarah Beckett granted partial parole

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend an alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after fatal crash in Langford

House fire on Esquimalt First Nation sends one to hospital

The blaze began at a home in a residential neighbourhood; one person has been treated for smoke inhalation

New childcare in Langford looking for toddlers and teachers

Willowbrae Academy puts an emphasis on healthy living habits

Experts discuss sustainability and tourism in Victoria

IMPACT Sustainability Travel and Tourism Conference runs Jan. 21-23

WATCH: Celebration of Life hosted for 29 Victoria trees set to be removed

Community Trees Matter Network hosting “goodbye and thank you” for trees on Fort Street

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Trial starts for man accused of killing Winnipeg bus driver

The Winnipeg bus driver was stabbed multiple times back in 2017

Giuliani clarifies comments about Trump Tower Moscow project

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani clarifies comments he made

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Speaker brings report on allegations to B.C. legislature committee

Report describes Darryl Plecas’ suspicions about senior staff

Suspect allegedly armed with handgun robs Island gas station

Incident occurred Sunday night in Nanaimo

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

MARS seeing influx of sick, injured eagles from north part of Vancouver Island

Factors for increase in eagle cases can be anything from lead poisoning to vehicle strikes

Most Read