In response to criticism from families, that were reflected in the recent Long-Term Care Commission report, the Ford government is announcing all residents; regardless of their immunization status, can now go outdoors for exercise, to buy groceries or visit the pharmacy during the stay-at-home order.
Essential absences are not allowed when a resident’s symptomatic, has been identified as a COVID-19 case or a contact, or as directed by local public health.
All residents can continue to leave for medical or compassionate reasons — anytime.
The province’s just released updated directive says nursing homes can also now safely resume activities such as communal dining and indoor events and gatherings — with precautions.
In addition, residents and their caregivers, who are fully immunized, may choose to have close physical contact beyond what’s required for care, such as hugging.
Once the current province-wide stay-at-home order is lifted, the government says it will issue more direction allowing social and temporary outings for fully vaccinated residents.
In a statement, Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton says ”the high vaccination uptake” in homes ”means we can take further steps towards bringing social interactions back.”
Lisa Levin of AdvantAge Ontario, a frequent guest on Zoomer Radio’s ”Fight Back” with Libby Znaimer, says ”this is truly what we have been waiting for — the hugs are long overdue!”