Changes to Visitor Policy at Long Term Care Homes

Effective October 5, Long-Term Care (LTC) homes in Ontario will be restricting entrance to staff members, essential visitors and essential caregivers to ensure that all long-term care homes are able to continue to keep residents safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The new Provincial guidelines state that:

  1. Essential visitors include a person visiting a very ill or palliative resident.

  2. An essential caregiver provides direct support to the resident, such as feeding, personal hygiene or assistance in decision-making.

  3. This person could be a family member, from the resident’s chosen family or a privately-hired caregiver.

  4. Essential visitors and essential caregivers may visit even if the home is experiencing an outbreak.

Essential caregivers must be registered  with the LTC home, verbally attest to LTC staff that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks and have not subsequently tested positive. They must also pass active screening, including taking their temperature before entering the home, and must receive training on COVID-19, infection prevention and control (IPAC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) practices.

Additionally, indoor and outdoor visits are cancelled. Virtual visits will continue and their frequency will be increased to meet the demand for residents without essential caregivers.