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Ontario says LTC residents can leave their homes for short-stays, temporary absences

Last Updated Aug 28, 2020 at 4:31 pm EST

A resident and a worker watch as 150 nursing union members show support at rchard Villa Long-Term Care in Pickering, Ontario on Monday June 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The province has implemented a significant change to its long-term care policy.

Effective immediately, residents are now permitted to leave their homes for short-stays, day trips and overnight absences.

The government-issued statement reads in part: “Homes must provide residents with a medical mask to be worn at all times when outside of the home, if tolerated, and remind them of the importance of public health measures, including physical distancing.”

“When they return, residents must be actively screened but are not required to be tested or to self-isolate.”

In addition, the government says residents can also leave their quarters for multiple nights but that will be at the discretion of the home.

Ontario Long-Term Care Minister, Merrilee Fullerton says it’s a day that the province has been looking forward to and comes following the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Williams.

“it is my hope that these welcome changes will improve our residents’ quality of life, while keeping them safe,” Fullerton said.

“As Ontarians begin to resume their pre-COVID activities, residents in long-term care will be able to get out and about in their communities and spend time with loved ones again.”

An updated policy for visits to long-term care homes will be released next week.


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