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PICNet Newsletter – July 2023

Transitioning BCCDC COVID-19 IPC resources to general IPC materials, available

PICNet and the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with health-authority partners, are using a phased approach to revise COVID-19-specific provincial infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance and resources to viral respiratory illness (VRI) and general IPC materials. This transition aligns with the following announcements and changes:

After Ministry of Health approves revised materials, the COVID-19 information will be removed from the BCCDC COVID-19 Infection Control webpage and updated materials will be posted on the PICNet website to integrate IPC guidance and resources to a single source.

Periodic communications will be sent to the PICNet community of practice when revised IPC resources are available on the PICNet website.

For more information, please contact


Updated memos for Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers

The Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (formerly Ebola) memos have been updated and approved by the Ministry of Health and Office of the Provincial Health Officer. These will be distributed via email from the OPHO and have been published on PICNet’s IPC Advisories page.

  • Main change to the Pathogenic Avian Influenza memo – recommendation to implement droplet and contact precautions for direct care of patients with HPAI, with airborne, droplet and contact precautions for AGMPs.
  • Main changes to VHF memo –expanded from Ebola-specific to now include other VHFs, and includes updates on the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, and Marburg outbreaks in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania.


We are Hiring

PICNet is hiring a third Education and Practice Coordinator position. If you or someone you know is interested, please apply here.


CPO/C. auris Symposium

PICNet will soon be hosting a symposium on Carbapenamese-Producing Organisms (CPO) and Candida auris (C. auris), to be held on July 27, 2023. The in-person symposium will bring together select infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals including leaders and epidemiologists, as well as medical microbiologists and public health partners. The purpose of the symposium is to facilitate discussions with partners about increased activity and current evidence about these organisms, to learn from IPC professionals across the province about their experiences, and ultimately to discuss health authority surveillance protocols and update/establish provincial surveillance protocols for these organisms of interest.

Check out currently available C. auris and CPO resources and surveillance reports available on the PICNet website.


Surveillance Quarterly Reports

The latest Q1 and Q2 surveillance reports are now available on the PICNet website.


PICNet and the IPAC Canada National Conference 2023

The PICNet team attended the IPAC Canada national conference from May 28-31, 2023. PICNet was featured at an exhibitor table and presented three posters, representing the collaborative work done with our key partners and community of practice.

We wish to congratulate to the following BC winners for their presentations at the conference:

Best first-time abstract: 

The Use of 5S Methodology in Decluttering Activities in a Long-Term Care Facility

Tarcia Portela Correia, Surjit Rosode, and Imaan Toor from Fraser Health Authority


Best Oral Presentation:

Monitoring Transmission of Carbapenemases-Producing Organisms from Known Positive Cases in Acute Care: Assessment of Our Ring Screening Approach.

Sidney Austin and Katherine Yu from Vancouver Coastal Health Authority


Best Poster Presentation:

Lessons and Reflections on the Personal Protective Equipment Practices among Acute Healthcare Providers Caring for Patients on COVID-19 Medical and Critical Care Units.

Diandra Mark from Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

IPAC Canada Poster presentations can be viewed here.

Once finalized, recordings for the oral presentations will be made available online. Oral presentation handouts can also be viewed here.


High Threat Pathogens update

PICNet is leading an Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) High Threat Pathogen (HTP) sub-working group, that continues to work, in collaboration with health-authority and Ministry of Health partners, to update provincial IPC Ebola resources (currently published on the Office of the Provincial Health Officer website). This work includes expanding the scope from Ebola to all high threat pathogens, including viral hemorrhagic fevers and unknown/newly emerging pathogens that can transmit from human to human.

The IPC HTP sub-working group has completed the Recommendations for cleaning and disinfection of medical equipment used in HTP isolation rooms and this updated guidance is currently going through Ministry of Health approvals. PICNet is currently working with the Guidelines and Protocols Advisory Committee at the Ministry of Health for external review of the updated IPC guidance for primary care settings. At present, the sub-working group is developing new IPC guidance for HTPs in acute care and health authority operated urgent and primary care centers.