Long-term care visits restricted to one essential visitor at a time under new health unit order

Extended absences from long-term care facility also restricted, onsite outdoor visits still permitted

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has issued an order to restrict visits to long-term care homes in the region.

Under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the SMDHU’s medical officer of health (MOH) has ordered these homes to immediately restrict all indoor visits to one essential visitor at a time. General visitation has been suspended, effective immediately.

The order also restricts residents from leaving their long-term care facility for short-stay or temporary absences except when required for healthcare purposes. Onsite outdoor visits are still permitted, with two metre distancing to be observed.

“The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to rise in Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario and residents of long-term care homes are so vulnerable because of their age, their care needs and the closed nature of the homes that can facilitate the spread of COVID-19,” said MOH Dr. Charles Gardner. “This order is intended to decrease the risk, and to protect our elderly residents and the staff caring for them.”

This order will be in effect until further notice.