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The restrictions put in place a year ago by the Provincial Health Officer that required long-term care homes and assisted living apartments to close their doors, have your residents dine in their rooms, and stay physically distanced from their friends and family are set to end on April 1st. The direction from Dr. Bonnie Henry, Public Health Officer to care home operators outline the following requirements:
- All residents can have regular, frequent and routine opportunities for social visitation
- Visits must allow for a minimum of 60 minutes
- Requirement for a ‘single designated social visitor’ removed to allow additional family and friends to visit
- Expanding number of visitors allowed at a time (up to two visitors, plus a child)
- Location of visits changed to enable family and friends to visit in resident rooms without staff monitoring
- Allowing physical touch to occur between visitor and resident with appropriate Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures in place (e.g., hand hygiene, masks)
Menno Place will support social and emotional connections by adhering to the following:
- Removing physical distancing requirements between residents
- Resume communal dining and small group social or recreational activities for residents, within a facility unit or floor
- Residents will be supported to go on outings with no requirements for isolation upon return
- Removing requirement for 14-day isolation for admissions into the facility, and providing immunizations if needed
Safety considerations are also to be observed:
- COVID -19 outbreaks have decreased in LTC & AL but current rate of community transmission remains a concern.
- Visitors and Operators will need to remain diligent with safety precautions to maintaining the safety and wellbeing of all.
- Strict adherence to Infection Prevention & Control practices are essential.
- Regular screening of residents and visitors for signs of illness.
- Visitors to stay home if they are feeling unwell
The following practices must continue:
- Social visitation will continue to require advanced booking, screening of visitors, use of medical masks, and practicing frequent hand hygiene.
- Social visitation will continue to be suspended during outbreaks.
- Essential visitation remains in place and any resident who requires an essential visitor is supported.
- The appeals process through the Patient Care Quality Office for Essential and Social Visitation remains in place.
The next steps set out by the Provincial Health Officer are as follows:
- Changes are effective April 1st to June 30, 2021.
- Posting updated Visitor and Infection Prevention and Control Guidance.
- Ongoing monitoring of implementation to ensure care homes and residents are supported.
- Commitment to review and evaluate visitor restrictions as we move forward.