Ontario will make it easier for family and friends to visit and care for loved ones in long-term care homes.
Premier Ford announced today that the rules for outside visits with long-term care residents are being relaxed, starting today, and guests will no longer be required to attest they’ve taken a COVID-19 test within the previous two weeks.
Inside visits to long-term care homes – currently limited to essential workers and families of palliative patients – will be broadly permitted as of July 22, the source said.
Long-term care facilities will also welcome back essential caregivers — often family members like a spouse or child who help with tasks like feeding — when indoor visits resume, the source said.
The updated non-essential visitor policy will still require that the facility have no active COVID-19 cases and that visitors wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.
A government source said the updated visiting policy reflects the improved outlook in homes, and is a credit to family and friends who were respectful of the rules when visitors were re-introduced under tight regulations in June. “That’s one of the reasons we’re able to move on to the next stage with confidence,” the source said.
According to the newly-amended directive, two people can visit a resident at the same time in an outdoor setting, beginning Wednesday. On July 22, indoor visits can begin with a two-person limit as well.