An orange-coloured graphic with an N95 mask on the far right, featuring overlaid text reading, Vulnerability Isn't Seasonal two-point-oh (styled as "2.0" in an offset black circle). Below this text, smaller text reads a hashtag that says, #KeepMasksInHealthcare

Tell policy-makers NO to dropping masks in BC healthcare

This form lets you email DOZENS of BC decision-makers at once – from your MLA, to Health Minister Adrian Dix, to Dr. Bonnie Henry and many more! Just enter your address to help find your local representative. Then review the email wording and subject line, and send!

Note: the “Action Network” tool requires a return address so that the system can find your MLA. If you prefer not to enter your address, you also can use our template wording to email policy-makers yourself.

Closeup of two dark skinned hands holding a respirator, in front of the person's blue hospital gown. The background is gradient orange

On April 8, 2024, BC abruptly dropped mask requirements for healthcare settings – disregarding guidance from doctors, researchers, and the BC Human Rights Commissioner. The move also shut out the voices of many vulnerable British Columbians, who in the last couple weeks have sent over 18,000 messages calling to maintain and improve healthcare mask protections. 

BC claims the downgrade was due to the end of “respiratory illness season” – yet NACI states COVID is not regarded as seasonal. The last time BC dropped healthcare masking, it was followed by multiple COVID outbreaks. This current move comes right after spring break, when increased travel can fuel illness spread – and at a time when continued COVID risks are accompanied by warnings about increased measles, tuberculosis, and H5N1 (avian influenza).

We call on BC to immediately reinstate healthcare mask requirements for healthcare workers, contractors, volunteers and visitors. There is no acceptable level of avoidable infection in healthcare. We also echo our previous demands: 

  • include patients in universal healthcare mask protections (with reasonable exceptions);
  • improve airborne precautions with wider use of respirators, as the only masks designed for airborne illnesses;
  • require masks in private and community healthcare settings like doctor’s offices and medical labs.

Learn more about why this matters.

Let’s get LOUD.

We brought back masks before, and we can do it again! After you’ve sent some emails, be sure to take the next steps:

A grey-haired healthcare worker wearing a white coat and stethoscope does a blood draw from a young person with long dark hair and a dark shirt. They are both wearing respirators.

1. Do the survey

Until April 19th, tell the BC NDP what you care about this election year, for healthcare and more!

An olive-skinned person in a yellow sweater and an N95 is speaking on the phone

2. Leave a message

Use our short phone script and leave a message for your MLA and other policy-makers.

Closeup of a white fax machine against a turquoise background, with a hand lifting a page out of it

3. Send a fax

Use our template letter to send free faxes online. It’s like an email they can’t delete.

closeup of colourful DoNoHarm BC postcards featuring slogans like Clean the Air and Be Kind: Protect the Vulnerable

4. Send postcards

Send our printable postcards (or any card you have) – mail to MLAs and Ministers is free!

More on why this matters

  • Patient safety: Downgrading infection control in places like ERs and cancer centres puts patients at greater risk. Hospital-acquired COVID-19 is at least 70 times more deadly than COVID contracted in the community.
  • Worker safety: The healthcare sector has the highest rates of WorkSafeBC claims for COVID. We can’t afford to lose more staff – temporarily to acute illness, or long-term to Long COVID.
  • Accessibility: Multiple polls show 8591% of respondents must delay healthcare due to lack of COVID safety. COVID and Long COVID also disproportionately harm Indigenous, racialized, disabled, 2SLBTQIA+ and lower-income communities, making this central to questions of health equity.
  • Year-round protection: BC’s spring vaccination campaign underscores the risks COVID poses year round, particularly to the most vulnerable. Since it bears repeating: NACI states that “seasonality of SARS-CoV-2 has not been established.”
  • A necessary layer: While vaccination is essential, it doesn’t fully prevent infections or long-term health impacts – plus, it’s less effective for many immunocompromised people. Nearly 60% of COVID cases spread asymptomatically, so symptom checks can’t catch all infectious people. PHSA’s own infection control policies state that N95s should be used for confirmed or suspected airborne illnesses.
  • Protecting our healthcare system: BC faces a healthcare crisis, and healthcare-acquired infections can cause surgical delays, prolonged hospitalization and other interruptions of care. Skyrocketing rates of Long COVID also contribute to healthcare demand.
  • Evidence-based support: Masks are a low-cost, high-impact safety tool. A study on SARS-CoV-1 co-authored by BC’s current Provincial Health Officer found that “Consistently wearing a mask… was protective for the nurses” while noting that “[r]isk was lower with consistent use of a N95 mask than with consistent use of a surgical mask.”

“If there is one space that all vulnerable people should be able to rely on to prioritize their safety, it is in healthcare settings, including long term care facilities…removal of universal masking directives in healthcare settings does not uphold a human rights centred approach to public health.”

BC Human Rights Commissioner, April 3, 2023

Further info for journalists here.

Past version

Looking for the previous version of first ‘Vulnerability Isn’t Seasonal’ campaign? Find it here.

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.
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.

About Us

We’re a non-partisan action group of British Columbians advocating for evidence-based safety measures in high-risk settings.