The province has a three-stage plan to gradually lift temporary public health measures at long-term care homes starting today.
Minister of Long-Term Care Paul Calandra said, “With public health and health care indicators now improving, we are cautiously lifting these measures so our residents can spend time with more friends and family that play such an important role in their health and wellbeing.”
Effective today, the maximum number of designated caregivers per resident is increasing from two to four and will continue to be subject to a limit of two per resident at one time. In addition, residents who have had at least three doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be able to resume social day trips.
Effective February 21, general visitors five years and older who have had at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be able to resume visits to long-term care residents. The number of visitors at a time, per resident will also increase from two to three, including caregivers. In addition, all residents, regardless of vaccination status, will be able to resume social day trips, and residents who have had at least three vaccine doses will be able to enjoy overnight social absences.
The return of general visitors to homes will mean adult day programs can resume along with the return of entertainers and external personal care services in the homes. Social group activities should remain small, with up to 10 individuals.
Effective March 14, general visitors under five years old will be able to resume visits and the number of visitors at a time, per resident will increase from three to four, including caregivers. All residents regardless of their vaccination status will also be able to enjoy social overnight absences.
Testing requirements for all staff, caregivers and visitors continue to be in place. The province will closely monitor the situation in long-term care homes and continue to adjust measures as necessary to keep homes safe for residents and staff, said officials.
Last week, the Ford government launched a new Long-Term Care Homefinder website to provide prospective residents and their families with a one-stop-shop to find and compare long-term care homes across the province, along with other resources to help people make an informed choice when considering long-term care.
“Our new LTC Homefinder brings together all the information families need to make informed decisions about long-term care so they can choose a home that will best meet the needs of their loved ones,” said Calandra.
Each long-term care home has a profile page with helpful information about waiting lists, staff vaccination rates, amenities, inspection reports, contact information and more. The new site also provides information that can help people decide if long-term care is the best option for them and, if so, how to choose a home, apply, and move in.