Long-term care residences to allow outside visits
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Along with an easing of COVID-19 restrictions that allowed golfers, boaters and others who enjoy the outdoors to participate again starting on Saturday, the provincial government announced that members of the family and friends can visit long-term care homes to see residents for an outdoor visit.
“With the excellent use of vaccines in long-term care homes, now is the right time to make this very significant change that will benefit residents and their families,” said Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care from Ontario.
The government made the decision in consultation with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health in developing a visitor policy and guidance document.
For those wishing to visit long-term care residents outside, there will be a maximum of two visitors at a time per resident, in addition to two essential caregivers. Children under two years old are not counted towards the maximum number of general visitors.
Visitors should be actively screened upon arrival and should not go past entry points. Visitors will also need to maintain a physical distance and wear masks.
With any long-term care home without sufficient outdoor space, visitation can take place in the general vicinity of the home, the ministry said.
Across Ontario on Friday, the government estimated that 96% of residents in long-term care facilities were fully immunized, along with 99% of essential caregivers and 87% of staff who had at least received their first dose.