THE BC Liberals are once again calling on Premier John Horgan and the NDP government to use its stockpile of COVID-19 rapid tests to provide an additional level of protection for those living and working at long-term care (LTC) and assisted living facilities.
“The B.C. government needs to follow the lead of other provinces which pre-emptively screen and test asymptomatic LTC staff to help prevent outbreaks before they can endanger our seniors. We must do everything we can to protect those most at risk of COVID-19,” said Interim BC Liberal Leader Shirley Bond.
In a letter to Premier John Horgan on Wednesday, Bond asked that the NDP government stop resisting calls for rapid testing in LTC following news that, as of Monday, there were 50 active COVID-19 outbreaks in LTC and assisted living facilities in B.C. with 1,364 residents and 669 staff having been infected with the virus.
“Despite receiving a stockpile of COVID-19 rapid tests from the federal government in November, those Health Canada-approved rapid tests are not being used to try and prevent transmission in long-term care facilities. Government needs to adopt this strategy to save lives now,” said Bond. “Families, advocates and care operators are eager for rapid testing to be expanded across all B.C. care homes. While a systematic rapid testing program isn’t a silver bullet to stop all deaths in long-term care we need Premier Horgan to ensure that adequate resources are provided to put this additional layer of protection in place for the most vulnerable British Columbians.”