Ontario lifting testing rules for fully-vaccinated employees or visitors to Long-Term Care homes

One of several rules being eased for residents when Step Three takes effect

As of this Friday, the province is lifting testing restrictions for many staff and visitors entering Long-Term Care facilities in Ontario.

When Ontario goes into Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen on July 16, it will no longer require fully vaccinated, asymptomatic workers or visitors to pass a COVID-19 test before entering.

This update in testing requirements was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and is based on science, according to Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips. “Based on the latest scientific evidence and best medical advice, we are removing the requirement of repeated surveillance testing from asymptomatic caregivers, visitors and staff who are fully immunized. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people will still need to be tested to ensure a greater level of protection for residents and staff,” said Phillips. “These changes are made possible because of the incredible efforts of millions of Ontarians who rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated.”

The easing of testing rules isn’t the only thing that comes into play for Long-Term Care residents in Step Three; the latest tier of the Roadmap to Reopen also removes the limits on the number of visitors to homes across Ontario. It also permits buffet and family-style dining, allowing residents to make off-site excursions or even overnight stays. “Our government’s strategy to protect retirement home residents, staff and their families through vaccinations is working,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “This means they will soon be able to resume many activities that they enjoyed before the pandemic.”

Feature image courtesy Flickr