The Government of Alberta has introduced new measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the measures is a province-wide requirement to wear masks in indoor public spaces, including locations where a business or entity operates, and is applicable to employees, visitors, and the general public. This mask-wearing requirement applies to all pharmacy staff while working in the pharmacy—masks must be worn at all times.
Recently, Occupational Health & Safety reported to ACP that they had received several calls from members of the public indicating that, in some pharmacies, pharmacy personnel were not wearing masks while practising. As a reminder, within ACP’s COVID-19 Guidance for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, the General advice for pharmacy licensees and registrants states that “pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy staff must remain up-to-date with all Alberta Health developments, public health orders, recommendations, and policies related to COVID-19 as well as municipal bylaws regarding masks or face coverings.”
Effective immediately, ACP has updated the continuous masking section of the Guidance for personal protective equipment (PPE) for direct patient care. The guidance now states that all pharmacy team members must continuously wear a mask while working in a pharmacy.
Wearing a mask is one way that you can help protect yourself, your co-workers, and your patients from potential exposure to COVID-19. It’s also a way to show leadership in your community and encourage others to wear a mask, too.
“Wearing a mask while working in a pharmacy is now required by law until further notice. This means that pharmacy team members no longer have a choice in the matter, no matter what part of Alberta you are practising in,” said Greg Eberhart, ACP Registrar. “By continuously wearing a mask while practising, you are not just following the law. You are reassuring your patients that you are practising in a safe and responsible way. It also sets a good example for your community. When professionals lead, others are more likely to follow.”