The B.C. government is taking over as the employer of all long-term care workers in the province in response to the COVID-19 threat in seniors’ homes.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said this week that every worker would be hired full-time and paid standardized wages for the next six months.

On Thursday Henry barred employees from working at more than one facility, citing the risk of spreading the virus.

“As we know, many of them work not only across facilities but in acute care and long-term care,” said Henry, noting this was out of financial necessity.

This move will result in raises for thousands of workers. The contract for unionized care workers in the public sector sets a starting wage of $24.83 for care workers, nearly $7 an hour more than starting pay in many private and subcontracted care facilities.

Read more in The Tyee.