Ontario easing restrictions at long term care homes this week
DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
DURHAM/KAWARTHA: As the Ontario provincial government continues to ease restrictions across the province, long-term care home residents will also see some changes.
On Tuesday, June 29th, the government announced they were easing the restrictions at these homes, effective Wednesday, July 7th. The changes include: allowing residents to have outdoor visits of up to 10 people, allowing indoor visits of two general visitors and two caregivers, personal care services being allowed to resume, and relaxing the cohorting of residents “during outdoor activities.” The province is also removing the limit of “the number of people who can be designated as a caregiver by a resident or their substitute decision-maker.”
“We are giving the homes until July 7th, so they have the time to put in place these changes in a safe fashion. These changes are only possible because of the cooperation of all Ontarians, the incredible efforts of our long-term care staff and essential caregivers, and most importantly, residents [getting] vaccinated,” Long Term Care minister Rod Phillips explained, at a press conference.
The province also laid out what long-term care residents can expect when the province moves to Step Three of their reopening framework. Those changes are expected to include: removing the limits on the number of visitors to the homes, allowing buffet and ‘family style’ dining, allowing “off-site excursions for residents,” and bringing back singing and dancing.