The Ontario government is adding to the precautions taken to protect residents and staff in the province’s long-term care homes.

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, effective October 16 and until further notice, short-term and temporary absences for social or personal reasons will not be allowed at long-term care homes in areas of the province where there is higher community spread of COVID-19. Only absences for medical or compassionate reasons will be allowed.

The communities where these restrictions apply are:

  • City of Ottawa
  • Region of Peel
  • City of Toronto

“We recognize these changes may be difficult for the residents and families affected,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “But our priority has to be the safety and well-being of the residents and staff in Ontario’s long-term care homes.”

A complete list of homes affected has been posted online. The province will update the list as the areas with higher community spread change. People planning a visit to a long-term care home are advised to contact the home in advance, to make sure the home is free of outbreaks and to get information on the home’s visitor policy and any restrictions.

Direction on safety in long-term care homes will continue to be updated as Ontario’s experience with COVID-19 evolves. The government will continue to make every effort to support the safety and emotional wellbeing of residents and the staff who care for them.