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New COVID-19 mask rules if you're going to Delta family doctors, medical clinics

Higher standards in place for medical masks compared to non-medical masks
covid-19 medical mask requirement
Masks supplement but do not replace other important coronavirus measures such as physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection, staying home when sick and good hand hygiene.

There’s a change in the COVID-19 mandatory mask rule when it comes to people visiting family doctors and medical clinics.

Dr. Colleen Lee with Tsawwassen Medical Clinic said a change coming down from the B.C. government, which hasn’t been widely publicized, now requires visiting patients to wear medical-grade masks.

This includes common areas where and those accompanying patients must also wear a medical mask.

Safety protocols for the relevant patient care procedures/settings remain in place.

“This came out abruptly and the directive that came down in November was that medical masks be worn not only for staff, which we were doing anyways, but also for patients. Patients had already gotten used to the idea of wearing masks when they come in but the further refinement of that is for them to wear medical masks. We will provide them for you if you don’t have one and have a good supply,” she explained.

Lee said she and her colleagues at the Delta Division of Family Practice also wish residents of Delta a safe and healthy holiday.

Meanwhile, Fraser Health is saying this prolonged period of physical distancing and social disconnection, especially during the holiday season, has left many stressed and lonely.

“It’s normal to feel anxious and afraid. Some of us are struggling more than others. We have to recognize that none of us are the same person we were prior to the pandemic,” said Dr. Marietta Van Den Berg, psychiatrist and physician quality lead for Fraser Health. “But, we have to remember we are not the first generation to experience a pandemic, crisis or war, and we will get through this together.”

The pandemic and these measures will not last forever but during this time, Fraser Health physicians have a few tips to help you stay mentally well.

They include, among other things, maintaining social connections with people, pacing yourself and taking an emotional break or resting.

If you’re feeling lonely or overwhelmed, the 24/7 Fraser Health Crisis Line (604-951-8855 or toll-free at 1-877-820–7444) provides immediate, free and anonymous emotional support, crisis intervention and community resource information, 24-hours-a-day, every day.