FILE - A man wears a mask as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 after his plane landed at the Sao Paulo International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

B.C. care providers say masks, medical supplies ‘drying up’ due to COVID-19 concerns

Seniors care providers urge the public: ‘Stop buying masks!’

Associations representing care providers in B.C. are reminding healthy British Columbians not to hoard medical supplies, such as surgical and heavy-duty N95 masks.

In a release on March 5, the BC Care Providers Association and SafeCare BC said supplies of masks and gloves for B.C. care providers are “drying up” and costs are “spiking.”

SafeCare BC said it surveyed its members and found more than half of respondents (57 per cent) were having issues ordering personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.

ALSO READ: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

ALSO READ: B.C. premier, health officials unveil response plan for COVID-19

BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine added that care home operators have reported increasing difficulty obtaining items such as surgical masks and gloves, due to the surge in public demand caused by concerns over the coronavirus disease.

“Every report to date indicates that it is older people with underlying chronic health conditions — like those who are living in care homes — who are most susceptible to COVID-19,” Fontaine said. “It is therefore imperative that we keep workers, seniors and their family members safe.”

ALSO READ: Should you shave your beard to stop COVID-19? The U.S. CDC has a guide

To maintain the flow of finite supplies to health care facilities and care homes, the associations said healthy people should “refrain from making unnecessary purchases or hoarding medical supplies.”

“When healthy people purchase items such as surgical masks, they are increasing the risk that care workers won’t have them at care homes or when they provide home care,” SafeCare BC CEO Jennifer Lyle said. “We’re encouraging everyone to refrain from purchasing medical supplies unless they are themselves ill and wanting to reduce the risk to other people.”

ALSO READ: Dentists worried about shortage of masks amid coronavirus outbreak

Speaking at a media conference on March 6, Health Minister Adrian Dix said B.C. was going to be receiving a “large shipment of additional supplies in the coming days” and that distribution would be coordinated provincially.

Dix also said the province was ready to use emergency powers to protect the population, health workers and the health system’s capacity to help patients with other problems.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sign of spring: Salmon Arm’s steep Shoemaker Hill opens to traffic

Opening delayed by snow and freezing temperatures

20th anniversary of Shuswap’s Salty Dog Enduro postponed to 2021

Organizers follow direction from provincial/national bodies to cancel May event

West Kelowna man charged in relation to cannabis grow robbery in Sicamous

Two suspects remain at large; police believe they left the robbery scene in a white hatchback

Would-be visitors to Shuswap over the long weekend asked to stay home

Regional district follows provincial health officer’s lead in telling citizens to stay put this Easter

Provincial COVID-19 rules lead to closure of two Columbia Shuswap Regional District rec sites

CSRD parks not managed with Rec Sites and Trails BC remain open

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

Not all receive COVID-19 aid from federal government

Summerland woman does not qualify for federal assistance during COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Unemployment up, Kelowna loses 2,000 jobs in March: StatCan

March unemployment rate 5.9 per cent, highest in Kelowna since January 2018

Peachland residents living in lockdown in central Philippines

Kevin and Gracelyn Bennett have been in the Philippines since December

Kelowna toddler officially cancer-free

Elara Isagawa’s family is thanking the community for their support throughout her treatment

Law enforcement will patrol shuttered campgrounds in Cascades this weekend

Patrols will enforce provincial order requiring all such facilities remain closed during COVID-19

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Most Read