Fraser Health requires masks for those going to retirement homes

The terrible flu season has prompted the Fraser Health Authority to require everyone going to its residential care facilities (nursing or retirement home) or assisted living buildings to wear a mask and practice stringent hand hygiene during their time at the home.

Only those who have received a flu shot this year will be exempt. The new requirement includes all staff, volunteers and visitors. Fraser Health is asking visitors to avoid going to residential care and assisted living facilities if they are feeling unwell.

Already this flu season, 19 Fraser Health residential care facilities have reported influenza outbreaks, with significant consequences for residents. This is more than twice as many outbreaks as were reported each of the past two years.

Already this flu season, there have been more than three times the number of deaths associated with influenza among residents of residential care facilities than for the last three years combined. There has also been more than four times the number of flu-related hospitalizations from long-term care facilities than in a typical flu season.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Paul Van Buynder has declared the level of influenza virus circulating within Fraser Health communities a health hazard under the provisions of the Public Health Act. This allows for additional measures to be taken to safeguard the health and well-being of the most vulnerable community members.

“We are asking our patients, visitors and staff to take these extra steps to protect their family members, patients, residents and loved ones from this highly contagious and serious virus,” said Van Buynder.

Flu-related visits to Fraser Health emergency departments are at the highest level seen in years.

For further information visit

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Transit investment key to Metro Vancouver future, conference hears (with VIDEO)
Banners honour Pitt Meadows vets
B.C. lawyers vote to overturn Trinity Western law school recognition
Charges laid in fatal Surrey stabbing
Election 2014: Surrey councillor candidates take on questions
Impaled senior airlifted near U.S. border
Charges laid in juice bar robberies
Organic recycling exemption eyed for Metro Vancouver apartments
GAMBLING: When it’s no longer a game

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 24 edition online now. Browse the archives.