Visitors asked to mask up

Visitors asked to mask up

Health care facilities are asking visitors to wear a mask if they haven't received a flu shot.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and with this in mind, the regional hospital is asking visitors to wear a mask if they haven’t received a flu shot.

“During influenza season having unvaccinated healthcare workers and visitors wearing masks can serve as a method of source control” explained Joanne Tench, infection control practitioner at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH). “Masks may also protect unvaccinated healthcare workers or visitors from as yet unrecognized infected patients.”

Although flu season outbreaks can begin as early as October, the new regulations issued by the Ministry of Health stipulate that members of the public or unvaccinated healthcare providers must don a mask on Dec. 2 until the end of the influenza season (generally March 31).

A station is already set up inside the front entrance of KBRH that contains masks and hand sanitizer with additional points of supply available in all patient care areas Monday.

The mask policy is based on the honour system and there will be no “mask security” on site, said Tench.

“While staff will be able to assist visitors in the right way to put on the masks they will not be enforcing it,” she said. “It is important for people to realize that patients in hospital may be more vulnerable to the flu and other infections.”

Surgical masks reduce the concentrate of influenza virus expelled into ambient air when they are worn by someone shedding the virus, however Tench reminds people entering the hospital to wash their hands and use the provided hand sanitizer.

“Regular masks prevent the droplet spread of the flu,” she said. “But microorganisms can be spread by anyone and hand hygiene is everybody’s responsibility, including staff, patients, residents, visitors and volunteers.”

Visitors and staff should stay home if they feel sick or have a fever and anyone planning to visit patients in a health-care facility, or those who take family members to outpatient appointments, are eligible for a free influenza shot from a pharmacist, clinic or licensed practitioner.

The next flu clinics in Trail are at the Kiro Wellness Centre, Dec. 11 from 9 a.m. until noon and Dec. 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Call the Centre at 364-6219 for information.

Just Posted

Trail and area artists eligible for arts training grant

Grant to support learning for visual and performance artists

New affordable housing in the works for East Trail

The proposal involves tearing down the old McBride Manor house and building a “nine-plex”

Snow hosts available to help you explore the Rossland Range

Safe and responsible way to learn about Rossland Recreation Site

Support for Music Heals Program in Trail

The music therapy program for seniors runs in Columbia View Lodge

South Columbia SAR hoping season stays relatively quiet

Group has responded to four calls so far this winter

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after knee injury

Pettersson said he wasn’t feeling any pain during Wednesday’s skate

Most Read