The Ontario government has announced the gradual resumption of visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other residential care settings.
Family and friends will be allowed access to these settings beginning Thursday, June 18.
Long-term care homes will allow outdoor visits of one person per resident each week at a minimum. Retirement homes will resume indoor and outdoor visits in designated areas or resident suites when physical distancing can be maintained. Other residential care settings will be able to allow outdoor visits of two people at time. Physical distancing will be required for all visits.
Visitor admissions will vary from home to home depending upon their individual circumstances.
Visits will be subject to strict health and safety protocols, including requiring visitors to pass active screening every time they visit, confirming with staff that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks, and complying with the infection prevention and control protocols. This includes bringing and wearing a face covering during visits.
Additionally, long-term care and retirement homes, as well as other residential care settings, must meet the following conditions before they welcome visitors:
- Homes must not be in outbreak;
- Homes must have an established process for communicating visitor protocol and the associated safety procedures;
- and Homes must maintain the highest infection prevention and control standards.
Visits have been restricted since mid-March, with only essential visitors permitted to enter long-term care and retirement homes.
In the event of an outbreak at an individual home or residential care setting, non-essential visits will again be restricted. If a second wave of COVID-19 occurs, the government will revert to restricting visitors at all homes and residential care settings to protect residents and staff.