COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Long-term Care and Retirement Home Facilities

VISITING CARE FACILITIES: What are the current directives?

The Ontario government is allowing the gradual return of visitors to long-term care and Retirement Homes that are not in outbreak and meet strict health and safety protocols.
Call the home for more information.
Reopening Retirement Homes
COVID-19 Visiting Policy FAQ
Resuming Visits in Long Term Care homes
Welcoming visitors to your home during COVID-19 Checklist for Long-Term Care

Before visiting any resident for the first time, training should be provided to caregivers by the home on how to safely provide direct care.  After visiting a resident for the first time and at least once every month after, the home should ask caregivers to verbally attest that they have re-read the home’s visitor policy.

The home’s visitor guidance should include the following Public Health Ontario training resources:
Putting on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Guidance Document
Putting on Putting on One-Piece Facial Protection -Video
Taking off One-Piece Facial Protection – Video
How to Hand Wash – Video

Are residents able to leave their long-term care facility?

According to Directive #3 issued by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, residents are able to leave their Long-term Care facility for short stay and temporary absences.

Short Stay Absences:
• Residents are now able to leave for short stay absences (an absence that is not overnight) for health care, social, or other reasons. After returning to the home, residents must be actively screened but do not need to be tested for COVID-19 or self-isolate
◦ Emergency room visits that take place over a single night should also be considered a short stay absence and not require testing or self-isolation upon return. If the resident is admitted to the hospital at any time or the emergency room visit takes place over two or more nights, homes should follow the readmission process.
• Residents must be provided with a medical mask to be worn at all times when outside of the home.

Temporary Absences:
• Temporary absences (for one or more nights) may be permitted for residents at the discretion of the home, who will approve based on a case by case risk assessment.  Residents will be required to self-isolate for 14 days after returning.  
• If the temporary absence request is denied, the home must communicate the rationale for this decision to the resident/substitute decision maker in writing.

Are residents able to leave their retirement home? 

• According to Ontario’s updated Reopening Retirement Homes document, retirement home residents are permitted to leave the home (e.g., absences with friends or family, shopping, medical appointments, etc.) if they meet certain requirements.
• A resident returning from an absence that includes an overnight stay must, upon return to the home, follow 14 days of enhanced precautions outlined in Reopening Retirement Homes

Reopening Retirement Homes

What is the current Ministry of Health guidance for care facilities?

For the most up to date Long-term Care resources and guidance please consult COVID-19 communications from The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Long-Term Care.
Guidance for Long-term Care Homes
COVID-19: Long-Term Care Preparedness
Outbreak Guidance 
Guidance for Mask Use in Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes
COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes
Directive #3 for Long-Term Care Homes under the Long-Term Care Homes Act

Where can I find signage for my care facility?

Welcome to our Home Long-Term Care Sign
Limited Visits for Long-Term Care Sign