Province tightens COVID-19 restrictions at long-term care homes

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the provincial government is tightening measures at long-term care homes.

As of Thursday (Dec. 30), access to long-term care homes by general visitors will be paused though designated caregivers may continue to enter long-term care homes. As well, day absences for all residents for social purposes will be paused.

“We know that long-term care residents face an increased risk of COVID-19. Given the high community infection rates we’re seeing with the Omicron variant, the time for more action is now,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care.

“In addition to the steps we’ve already taken, these new temporary measures will help keep residents safe and help critical staff remain on the job.”

A press release notes that the government will closely monitor the situation in long-term care homes and continue to adjust measures as necessary to keep residents and staff safe.

“I understand that these new, temporary measures will impact residents’ ability to have close contact with many of their friends and family members. We must remain vigilant against the Omicron variant to protect long-term care residents and staff,” Phillips said.

“We know these measures are difficult for residents and families, but we must stand strong to protect our most vulnerable, which includes residents of long-term care homes,” added Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“I encourage everyone to get their booster shot as soon as possible so we can keep everyone safe with the added layer of protection that the vaccine provides.”

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