18 June 2020 – Gradual resumption of visits to retirement and long-term care homes

Type of Intervention: Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Social and physical distancing measures; Special populations
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, and Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services

Overview: The Ontario government has announced a gradual resumption of visits to long-term care (LTC) homes, retirement homes, and other residential care settings. Beginning June 18, family and friends will be permitted access, following specific COVID-19-related rules. At LT homes, outdoor visits of one person per resident, per week at minimum will be allowed, and in retirement homes, resumption of indoor and outdoor visits in designated areas will be permitted. Physical distancing is required for all visits, and other procedures such as screening and complying with infection prevention and control procedures must be followed. For visits to resume, homes must meet the following requirements: not be in an outbreak, have an established process for communicating visitor protocol and safety procedures, and maintain the highest infection prevention and control standards.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/06/ontario-to-resume-family-visits-in-long-term-care-homes-retirement-homes-and-other-residential-care.html

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Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group
Source of Evidence or Justification: Sub-national, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario COVID-19 Action Plan
Evidence/Justification: This decision was made in consultation with the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and follows the guidelines set out in Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for Long-Term Care Homes. Government officials explain that the restriction of visitors to these settings has been difficult for residents, families, and loved ones, as they play an additional important role in providing care and emotional support to residents. It is further explained that the threat of COVID-19 persists, therefore, it is essential to follow strict protocols to protect those most vulnerable.