Health Unit Issues Visitor Restrictions for Long Term Care Homes

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s medical officer of health issued a class order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to immediately restrict all indoor visits at long-term care homes to one essential visitor at a time and suspend general visiting to protect the vulnerable elderly residents from COVID-19 transmission.

This applies to all long-term care homes in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka but does not apply to retirement homes or other care settings.

The order also directs residents are not to leave the facilities for short-stay or temporary absences except for those required for healthcare. Outdoor onsite visits continue to be permitted with two metre distancing precautions.

The order defines an essential visitor as a person who is not a member of the facility’s staff but is performing essential support services such as healthcare or maintenance; a person visiting a very ill or palliative resident; or a caregiver designated by the resident or their substitute decision maker who comes in to provide direct care and support to the resident.

A family member or designate who comes in to help a resident with their meals, personal hygiene, mental stimulation, communications or other needs will not be prevented from visiting. Only two caregivers may be designated as essential for a resident

There has been significant and increasing incidence of COVID-19. In Simcoe Muskoka, the incidence has increased to 24.1 cases/100,000 persons for the week of October 25th from an estimated 5.4 cases/100,000 persons the week of September 6th.

For more information about the order, and other COVID-19 related issues visit the health unit website, or call 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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