Ontario to restrict access to long-term care homes in hot spot areas for COVID-19

Toronto, Peel and Ottawa make up 80 per cent of the new COVID-19 infections

The Ford government has announced there will be new visitor restrictions at long-term care homes where there is a greater risk for COVID-19 in the province.

“We are looking at highest risk regions. The areas with high community spread. We are working with the Chief Medical Officer to identity those areas based on the data.” said the premier.

He said it was no mystery that Toronto, Peel and Ottawa make up 80 per cent of the new infections.

As of Monday, visits to long-term care homes in areas of greater risk for COVID-19 will be limited to staff, essential visitors and essential caregivers. The government said up to two individuals can be appointed as essential caregivers.

The premier said this was part of the government’s $540 million plan to protect long-term care homes during the second wave of the pandemic.

“We have a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable, while ensuring they continue to have access to the best medical staff and their caregivers,” said Premier Ford. “We are taking every step possible to fortify that iron ring of protection around our long-term care homes and that includes updating the visitor policy. I encourage family members to identify as essential caregivers at the homes, so they can continue to visit and support both the physical and mental well-being of their loved ones and all the residents.”

Ford said the province will make sure every long-term care home in Ontario has an eight-week supply of personal protective equipment.

He also highlighted funding to assist with renovations for infection control and millions to support homes required to reduce occupancy numbers due to the virus.