On April 6, 2023, BC lifted the mask mandate for healthcare settings. South Hill Health Centre and South Community Birthing Program will continue to require masking for anyone over the age of 5 until further notice.
• Our highest priority is the health and safety of our patients and our employees.
• We are committed to basing our policies on best available scientific evidence, and are committed to updating our recommendations as the scientific understanding of the causes of Covid 19 evolves.
• At present the most effective ways to prevent the spread of Covid 19 (and other respiratory viruses) is universal source control through masking and Covid 19 vaccination.
• We have seen a reduction in respiratory viruses (like Covid 19) when patients, employees and visitors were required to mask when accessing healthcare in person.
• While we make every effort to reduce your proximity to other patients, needing healthcare in person does bring people closer together, and masks reduce the spread of infections, including when people have minimal or no symptoms.
• We also have many vulnerable populations accessing care in person at South including people who are: over the age of 65, have medically complex conditions, immunocompromised, pregnant and newborns. Many vulnerable populations are not able to be vaccinated, or vaccination is not as effective.
• Unlike many other activities, healthcare is not optional, it is essential, and every patient at South deserves to feel as safe as possible from acquiring a preventable infection when seeking care from us.
• Covid 19 continues to cause serious and life-threatening illnesses for too many individuals, and Covid 19 is increasingly recognized as a cause of long-term illnesses including heart attack, stroke, blood clots, neuropsychiatric illnesses, and ongoing gastrointestinal effects.
Our policy on masking is simply a statement about prioritizing the health of our patients and employees for the short time you are visiting our facility. If you feel you cannot wear a mask during your appointment you will be asked to step outside the building and your provider will review with you over the phone if a virtual appointment is appropriate or provide you with other directions on where you can seek in-person care.
Thank you from the South Hill team and South Community Birthing team,
Dr. Danielle Chard, Medical Director South Hill Health Centre
Dr. Kiran Nayar, Medical Director South Community Birthing Program
Lee Saxell, Executive Director for both South Community Birthing Program and South Hill Health Centre.