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Influenza Prevention

Influenza  can spread easily from person to person through droplets in the air.  What is "just a flu" for some, is a very serious disease for others.

As of December 4, 2019, hospital visitors and health care workers must comply with the Amended Influenza Prevention Policy as outlined by PHSA and the BC Ministry of Health. 

Hospital visitors who have not had the influenza vaccine are still required to wear a mask in patient care areas. Health care workers are expected to follow best practice and either be vaccinated or apply appropriate use of masking in patient care areas during flu season.

Get your Influenza vaccine

Book your Influenza vaccine through the JaneApp (works best with Google Chrome):

Please remember to bring your staff ID, wear short sleeves or a loose fitting shirt and bring your cell phone to use our QR code, to self-report during your 15 minute observation time 

Influenza self-reporting


Employees, including medical staff, will report their influenza immunization or decision to mask this season, at

Self-report your influenza immunization as soon as possible after receiving your flu shot or once you decide to wear a mask. It may take up to 2 business days for your electronic report to be available to your employer as proof of compliance with the influenza policy.

Please retain a record of your flu shot (i.e. pharmacy receipt, prescription slip, consent form etc.) in case your employer asks to see it.

When reporting, include:

  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Postal code
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Employee ID number or billing number
  • If vaccinated, date you received flu shot and where you were immunized (i.e. Public Health, family physician, or pharmacist).
We do not need the name of specific vaccinating physicians or pharmacists; only that you received a vaccination from one of these sources.

Note: Email flu-related questions to


Read more about:

PHSA Influenza Prevention Policy (HR_020)
Staff Influenza Outbreak Policy (HR 026)

Find general influenza information and videos in the feature boxes on the right.

Influenza Prevention Policy

  • Staff must report if their flu prevention choice in compliance with the Amended Policy for the Influenza Prevention Policy. 
  • The mandatory aspect of the policy, requiring employees to either be vaccinated against influenza or wear a mask in patient care areas, is being suspended in favour of a more collaborative approach.
  • All unimmunized staff (or staff who have not self-reported) are expected to apply appropriate use of masking in patient care areas for the duration of the flu season. Compliance monitoring of mask wearing is not to occur. 

PHSA and the regional health authorities have adopted a Staff Influenza Outbreak Policy that comes into force whenever a health care facility or unit within a facility has a declared outbreak of respiratory infection (RI) or influenza.

During a flu or RI outbreak at a health care facility or unit, the annual Influenza Prevention Policy is suspended and the Staff Influenza Outbreak Policy applies to that facility or unit for the duration of the outbreak. The outbreak policy applies to that facility or unit for the duration of the outbreak. The outbreak policy applies to all health care workers, regardless of which health authority employs them or which health authority is responsible for the affected facility or unit.

In the event of a declared flu or RI outbreak at a health care facility or unit:

  • Health care workers who have not had a flu shot will need to take anti-viral medication such as Tamiflu for the duration of the outbreak if entering declared outbreak facilities or units
  • Unimmunized health care workers who get a flu shot during a declared outbreak will also be required to take anti-viral medication such as Tamiflu for 14 days following immunization if entering declared outbreak facilities or units
  • Unimmunized health care workers who work at declared outbreak facilities or units who choose to remain unimmunized and not take anti-viral medication may be excluded from work without pay

The requirement to get immunized or wear a mask during the influenza season is an enhancement of the previous influenza risk reduction strategy.

Other infection control measures such as rapid identification of ill patients, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, restrictions on work and visiting, and the use of anti-viral medications are all important and are part of health authority plans but these enhancements will further reduce the risk of infection.‎

  • ‎We have an obligation to protect our staff and patients to the best of our ability
  • Voluntary vaccination strategies have failed and the low rates pose an increased risk to vulnerable patients
  • The coverage of key clinical staff has remained well under 50% in many settings

Masks during flu season

Please talk to your manager if you are choosing to wear a mask throughout the policy application period. Your manager needs to ensure they have enough masks for their staff. Masks should be readily available throughout the influenza season.‎


Procedure/surgical masks are the masks required under this policy.‎


If you are not vaccinated you are expected to apply appropriate use of masking in patient care areas for the duration of the flu season. 

You do not need to wear a mask when eating or drinking. Unvaccinated workers are also not required to wear a mask in administration-only areas, including a private office, which are not generally accessed by patients, residents or clients.


Simply change your mask when it gets overly moist - there is no set time designated when you need to change your mask. It is important that you dispose of your used masks appropriately. Please dispose of masks in an available garbage can, and follow proper hand hygiene protocols before replacing with a new mask.

Instructions: How to wear a mask

Routine infection control and safety practices unrelated to this policy (such as the use of respiratory protection, eye protection and hand hygiene) should not be affected by this policy. The use of masks for routine practices and additional precautions should continue as part of effective infection prevention and control programs.‎


While vaccination offers the best protection, masks can help to prevent transmission of the virus from an infected health care provider, who may have no or minimal influenza-like symptoms.

  • Masks may also protect unvaccinated health care workers from infected patients or visitors with influenza
  • In conjunction with proper hand hygiene, masks have been shown to reduce rates of influenza-like illness in residents of college dormitories and households
  • Masks can filter influenza virus particles to undetectable levels when measured at a distance of 20 cm from an infected patient‎

Patient care locations defined

As a reminder, a patient care location is defined as: any building, property or site owned, leased, rented or operated by PHSA where there are patients, residents or clients who are receiving care and any patient/client home or other locations where covered individuals interact with the patient/client in the course of his/her work for PHSA.

PHSA Workplace Health has built a list of Mask Required Areas in PHSA Facilities

Additional information

Frequently asked questions about the policy, vaccination and masks

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SOURCE: Influenza Prevention ( )
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