Vancouver B.C. – On April 12, 2023, B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender released the following statement on the recent announcement that universal mask mandates in healthcare settings would be eliminated.
“As mask restrictions have been lifted in B.C., I have repeatedly expressed concerns about the human rights implications of these policy decisions: that the removal of mask mandates has a disproportionate impact on marginalized people, seniors, and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. This represents a violation of their rights to equal participation in our communities. Masks minimally impair those who wear them, but the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable people are well known and they vary from the mild to the deadly. 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.