Jun 29, 2021
By Christine Ross
After many calls for restrictions to be lifted at Ontario long term care homes, the newly minted Long Term Care Minister says the province plans to ease restrictions over the summer in Step Three of the reopening plan.
“We’ll be easing restrictions on dining and allowing more social activities like dancing and singing and offsite excursions,” said Minister Rod Phillips. “As of July 7th residents will be able to have as many designated caregivers they need, up to ten people can visit a residents outdoors, all residents can have an indoor visit with two visitors and two caregivers and personal care services like hairdressers will be allowed in the home.”
Phillips also offered an apology admitting governments past and present failed seniors during the COVID crisis.
“Both past governments and current government, I apologize for that, I think that’s the necessary step so that we can take the action we need now to move forward.” Phillips says there will be legislation in the fall related to the long-term care act.
Advocates have been calling for mandatory vaccinations for nursing home staff, and while that’s not happening, Phillips says stricter rules come into effect this week.
“On Thursday, Ontario will be the first province to put forward a very disciplined vaccination program where staff will either need to demonstrate vaccination, demonstrate a medical reason or undergo some education to they understand the importance of vaccinations.”
In Ontario, 99 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, 93 percent of employees have one dose and 84 percent have both doses.