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

Wild Wise Sooke is pushing to get local waste management companies to hop on board to provide bear-resistant bins as an option for residents. On Nov. 23, Sooke council voted to write a letter of support for Wild Wise to send to companies such as GFL Environmental Inc. and Sooke Disposal Ltd. (Black Press Media file photo)
Wild Wise Sooke continues push for bear-resistant bins as option for residents

Bins could cost anywhere from $150 to $300 or more, according to 2019 study

The Sooke Christmas Bureau, which serves over 400 hampers to families and residents in need, has extended their deadline to include anyone in need that has missed their Dec. 1 cutoff. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke Christmas Bureau extends deadline for hampers

Non-profit group says monetary donations goes further than non-perishables

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

The District of Sooke is another step closer to approving its 2021 financial plan. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Pandemic uncertainty looms over Sooke municipal budget

Council trims property tax increase to 3.3 per cent

The Sooke Santa Run will feature their youngest members as Santas, an annual tradition for the firefighters in Sooke, East Sooke, Shirley and Otter Point. The drive-by event takes place throughout the Sooke neighbourhood on Dec. 12. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
No one outside fire hall allowed to help volunteer for Sooke Santa Run

Drive-by event takes place on Dec. 12, with goal to raise $15,000

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read