Updates from provincial and municipal partners
Our health care partners provide frequent updates to safety protocols in long-term care. Follow these resources to see the latest recommendations:
Ontario Ministries of Health and Long-term care
- Updates and directives for long-term care
- Ministry of Health website
- COVID-19 information for the long-term care sector
Ottawa Public Health
Visiting long-term care homes
Older adults are especially vulnerable to serious and life-threatening complications from COVID-19. Staff are following best practices to ensure everyone’s safety, including screening all visitors and staff, as advised by the Ontario Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Long-term Care and Ottawa Public Health.
The government of Ontario introduced a phased approach to opening LTC homes to visitors. Details are on the Ministry of Long-term Care website.
The homes have plans in place for infection prevention and control to prevent, detect, and reduce the spread of infection. For example:
- Newly admitted or re-admitted residents are isolated and tested.
- Increased and enhanced housekeeping
- Long-Term Care homes identify and monitor individuals who may have had contact with an infectious person as a means of controlling the spread.
Infection prevention and control training for visitors
- Video 1: How to Hand Rub (video by Public Health Ontario)
- Video 2: How to Hand Wash (video by Public Health Ontario)
- Video 3: Putting on Full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (video by Public Health Ontario)
- Video 4: Removing Full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (video by Public Health Ontario)
Factsheet: Recommended Steps – Putting On and Taking Off Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (by Public Health Ontario)
Testing for COVID-19
- Staff and residents are each screened for symptoms regularly.
- Any resident with respiratory symptoms is isolated and tested. Staff showing symptoms are sent home and tested.
- Surveillance testing is regularly completed for long-term care staff, caregivers and visitors.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19
If a case is confirmed, the homes have a pandemic plan to follow, with directives from the province and guidance from Ottawa Public Health:
- Staff will use protective equipment.
- Any residents and staff who have been in contact with cases will be tested; even those who do not have any symptoms.
- Staff and resident cohorting will be implemented to limit the spread of the virus in the home. Cohorting means that residents may be moved to a different location in the home and staff may be assigned to work with specific residents or to provide care for residents in a specific order.
- Residents with the virus are assessed and if hospitalization is required, a consultation with their power of attorney or substitute decision maker will occur prior to transfer.
All new admissions and re-admissions are being tested for COVID-19 and temporarily placed on isolation as a precaution.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The province has prioritized the supply of PPE to long-term care homes. The homes have an appropriate supply of equipment to support everyone’s safety, and we are working with the province and suppliers to maintain that inventory.