Ontario Easing Restrictions in Congregate Care Settings

Ontario Easing Restrictions in Congregate Care Settings

Residents can spend more time with friends and family

July 15, 2021

Children, Community and Social Services

TORONTO — As Ontario moves to Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16, 2021, the province is easing COVID-19-related restrictions in congregate care settings such as residences for adults with developmental disabilities, residences for children in care or with special needs, along with women’s shelters so residents can spend more time with family and friends.

With continued improvements in Ontario’s key COVID-19 related public health indicators, including an increase in vaccination rates, more outdoor and indoor visits will be allowed for both essential and non-essential visitors, along with recreational activities and overnight stays outside of the residence, with appropriate precautions.

“As we cautiously reopen the province, we know how important it is for people in congregate care settings to spend time with their loved ones outside of care settings, where they can share activities and special moments together,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “This has been made possible by the people of Ontario rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated, and by the dedicated staff who have been supporting congregate care residents across the province.”

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services congregate care guidance document and website have been updated with the following changes:

  • Scheduled indoor and outdoor visits for non-essential visitors are permitted in alignment with social gathering limits as outlined in the Roadmap to Reopen.
  • Overnight absences are permitted for all residents, with an updated active screening process with no requirement for a negative COVID-19 test for fully immunized residents.

These changes provide new opportunities to support social connections for residents and build on previous updates including the introduction of brief physical contact regardless of vaccination status and recreational community outings for residents of congregate care settings. Essential visits and absences also continue to be permitted, as they have been over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To ensure safe visits and activities for everyone, people wishing to visit a friend or family member living in a congregate care setting should contact the residence administration to schedule a time slot and to confirm COVID-related requirements, including screening and other precautions.

Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three. This is in alignment with Ontario’s COVID-19 public health measures and advice.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario government has released the Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to reopen the province and ease public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.
  • COVID-19 precautions and rules for Youth Justice facilities will remain unchanged and will be updated as the province continues to monitor its progress on the Roadmap to Reopen. For more information, see ministry directions for youth justice facilities.

Additional Resources

  • Visit Ontario’s website to find out if you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at this time.
  • For up-to-date information on the province’s vaccine rollout and instructions on how to book an appointment, visit Ontario’s vaccine webpage.
  • Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 information website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from the virus.

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