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)

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

Tom Lennox finds peace when he runs in the Cumberland Forest. He hasn’t missed a day in nearly a year. Photo supplied
Cumberland runner nears 366 consecutive days on the trails

Cumberland resident Tom Lennox has been running a minimum of five kilometres… Continue reading

Courtenay’s Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA was chosen for second place in the annual Canadian Brewing Awards. Photo submitted
Courtenay brewery takes silver medal at Canadian Brewing Awards

“It’s huge - they are the biggest awards in Canada that you can get (in the brewing industry).”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board is concerned about having to fund more than just hospitals like the one in the Comox Valley. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona board worried over funding more than hospitals

Island Health points to seniors care to reduce demand at acute care sites

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Courtenay area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

40 Knots Winery recently completed a major project on their vineyard terrace by installing 360-degree glass panels for year-round use.
Comox winery aims for year-round experience with glass-surrounded terrace

40 Knots Winery recently completed a major project on their vineyard terrace

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

First We Eat: Food Security North of 60 is featured at the Feb. 5-13 World Community Film Festival. Photo supplied
First We Eat celebrates resourcefulness of Yukoners

First We Eat: Food Security North of 60 celebrates the ingenuity, resourcefulness… Continue reading

Most Read