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The review said the province had already done some things well, including implementing a single-site order in the spring that prohibited care workers from working in several care homes, topping up wages of care home workers and implementing provincewide visitor restrictions.

The B.C. government only released the report marked “confidential,” which was completed Oct. 22, after Postmedia disclosed the government ordered the review last summer, but never made it public.

Initially, when questioned about the review, health ministry officials said it was “minor.”

The review, which involved consultations with more than 40 groups between July and September, cost $197,000.

In an interview, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the report should have been released when completed.

Dix said he’d only seen a copy of the report in the past 10 days and noted staff, who were working “flat out,” had immediately in the fall began implementing the recommendations.

“I am the minister of health. I am responsible. And it absolutely should have happened before now,” said Dix.

The review was to be provided to people who had been consulted, but it was not, another mistake, said Dix.

Asked if this was the complete information – and there was not a harder-hitting draft version – Dix said this was the “whole thing.”

Asked whether the implementation of the recommendations meant the province had taken the necessary steps before the second wave, Dix said he believed that “many of them have been.”

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