Two adults in N95 masks against a light blue background, one with long dark hair, assisting an elder with white hair using a walker. Black text reads, Vulnerability Isn't Seasonal. #KeepMasksInHealthcare. Share your thoughts by April 1.

Vulnerable British Columbians call for continued protections from COVID-19, measles, and other airborne diseases

March 14, 2024 (British Columbia) – DoNoHarm BC, a grassroots group advocating for evidence-based public health measures, is leading a province-wide campaign to keep mask protections in BC medical settings. The campaign,“Vulnerability Isn’t Seasonal”, also calls to strengthen infection control with patient masking; wider use of N95 masks; and coverage in private practices like GP’s offices.

BC currently requires masks in hospitals and long-term care for staff, contractors, visitors and volunteers – but not for patients. While policy-makers have only guaranteed this measure for a “few months” over the winter, DoNoHarm BC notes that the last time BC discarded healthcare masking, multiple medical facilities suffered COVID outbreaks. At the time, removal of healthcare masking contradicted guidance from the World Health Organization, and prompted BC’s Human Rights Commissioner to state that the move “does not uphold a human rights centered approach to public health.”

This time, vulnerable British Columbians are calling for mask protections to be maintained. “A single COVID infection completely upended my life two years ago,” says Kayli Jamieson, a 25-year-old Long COVID patient and researcher who has joined the campaign. “Unless everyone is wearing a mask if they can do so, my vulnerable family members and I can’t safely access healthcare. We all share the same air, and we should be preventing healthcare-acquired infections year-round.”

“Removing healthcare mask requirements would be an unforced error,” says Dr. Karina Zeidler, a family physician and co-founder of the independent public health group Protect Our Province BC. “Not only is COVID transmission ongoing, but there is also a resurgence in other highly infectious airborne diseases like measles and increases in tuberculosis. The BCCDC is also warning of life-threatening invasive strep in kids. Now is not the time to be downgrading healthcare safety and sustainability. Instead we should be improving it with wider use of respirators, which are the only masks designed to protect against airborne disease.”

DoNoHarm BC’s campaign encourages people to write directly to policy-makers, while also spotlighting the stories of British Columbians impacted by this issue. The campaign launches at on March 15th, 2024, coinciding with Long COVID Awareness Day.


  1. Maintain and enforce mask requirements in BC hospitals and long-term care settings year-round for medical staff, contractors, visitors and volunteers.
  2. Restore mask requirements for patients, with reasonable exceptions and accommodations. 
  3. Improve airborne precautions including wider use of N95-equivalent masks (respirators). 
  4. Issue a clear directive that private and community healthcare settings must meet the same minimum mask coverage as government facilities. 


DoNoHarm BC is a non-partisan action group based in British Columbia, Canada. Their mission is to demand evidence-based safety measures in high-risk settings; to advocate for effective and equitable public health policies; and to help lead grassroots collective action promoting safety, equity, accessibility, and resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Follow the story: #KeepMasksInHealthcare #VulnerabilityIsntSeasonal #Covid19BC #CovidIsntOver #CovidIsAirborne

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