On March 14th and going forward, here is what you need to know about visiting our LTC and Retirement Homes:
The Ministry of Long-Term Care has been working closely with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on a risk-based approach in long-term care that balances measures that are still needed to reduce COVID-19 risk with the importance of overall resident health, wellbeing, and quality of life.
As of March 14th, the following changes will take place:
All general visitors, including children under the age of 5, can visit homes. Visitors (including caregivers), need to follow the vaccination policy of the individual long-term care home.
Outdoor visits can be any size, masks are still required (No surveillance testing required)
There can be up to 4 general visitors and/or caregivers visiting a resident at one time.
Indoor Visitors will continue with surveillance testing and will not be permitted further entry to the home until they receive a negative test result, masking requirements will remain in place
All residents can go on social overnight absences.
Social activities can be among different groups of residents.
Co-horting is required for dining only.
Social group activities can be larger in size while crowding should be avoided and masking continued, including for residents where tolerated.
Visitors may support residents in dining rooms and join in activities
Also as of March 14th, the provincial directive requiring homes to have a consistent vaccination policy will be revoked. Each home is responsible for its own vaccination policy.
For greater clarity, revoking the provincial directive does not impact on the ability of homes to retain their employer-led vaccination policies provided they follow applicable laws, such as the Human Rights Code and the Long-Term Care Homes Act, including the Residents’ Bill of Rights.
We would like to remind everyone that vaccination remains a key defense against COVID-19 and all Ontarians who are eligible are encouraged to get vaccinated, including receiving a booster dose.
It is still important to remain vigilant with public health measures, such as screening and testing, masking, and using appropriate personal protective equipment. The ministry continues to work with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to monitor trends and will respond as needed if for example, a new variant emerges.
- All staff, essential caregivers, volunteers, visitors, support workers, students are required to be double vaccinated to enter the home.
- All current staff and new hires are required to be double vaccinated.
- For support workers - except contract workers- are allowed entry into the home if they passed screening and swabbing but have to only go to the area working, maintain 6 feet from residents, and follow IPAC practices.
- For visitors or support workers who are solely outside they are not required to provide proof of double vaccination or go through surveillance testing.
- A 3rd dose booster vaccine is not required for entry to the home or for our staff.
- Proof of vaccination is still required to be shown
- Universal masking and daily RAT remain in place