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Coronavirus: Ontario government clarifying rules for long-term care home visitors

Coronavirus: Ontario government relaxes visiting rules for long-term care homes
WATCH ABOVE (July 22): Family members in Ontario are now allowed to visit their loved ones inside long-term care homes. The change comes after the Ontario Health Coalition announces results about staffing inside these facilities. As Morganne Campbell reports, there’s concern homes do not have the resources needed to facilitate such visits.

TORONTO — The Ontario government is clarifying visitor rules for long-term care homes to give families and caregivers greater access to residents.

The Ministry of Long-term Care says starting Sept. 9, essential caregivers will be allowed to visit homes, including during COVID-19 outbreaks, subject to direction from the local health unit.

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The updated policy will mean a resident can designate two caregivers who can visit without time limits.

Read more: Ontario long-term care residents allowed to leave for day trips, overnight

If a home is not in outbreak, or the resident is not symptomatic or self-isolating, the caregivers can visit together.

Since March, essential visitors such as family members have been allowed to visit homes to help provide care to a long-term care resident.

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But the government says the current rules have been applied inconsistently and left up to the discretion of homes.