Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a new public health order today (Thursday) that will require anyone working or volunteering in long-term care or assisted living facilities to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 12.

This rule will apply to all licensed, private, public, and contracted facilities, and Henry said they are looking to utilize this rule in other sectors.

“Immunization rates are high. We’re seeing transmission in unvaccinated people primarily, overwhelmingly. 96% or 93% of our cases are people who are not fully immunized,” said Henry.

Henry adds that once COVID-19 gets into long-term care facilities, it can spread to those who are immunized, but many facilities already have 100% vaccination rates.

Additionally, Henry said outbreaks in these facilities have been impacting the quality of life for residents and workers for far too long.

She also had no issue with businesses around the province refusing to hire people who are unvaccinated.

“So these are business decisions that they need to make in conjunction with their own labour lawyer advisors, but I do think it is a perfectly valid thing.”

Lastly, Henry mentioned that Pfizer and Moderna are looking into vaccines for children under 12, noting no children in BC are currently hospitalized due to the virus.