Ontario eases long-term care COVID-19 rules by allowing ‘brief hugs’ despite vaccine status

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WATCH ABOVE: COVID-19: Ontario long-term care homes easing restrictions – May 5, 2021

The Ontario government has updated rules surrounding long-term care residents to include physical contact due to improving COVID-19 health indicators and higher vaccination levels.

On Thursday, officials said brief hugs can occur safely regardless of resident and visitor immunization status. However, only those fully vaccinated can engage in closer physical contact such as handholding.

The changes take effect on June 9.

Read more: COVID-19: Ontario government to allow for outdoor visits at long-term care homes

As well, vaccinated residents can now leave homes for day and overnight trips.

Indoor visits can occur for residents with mobility limitations or health conditions that make an outdoor visit impossible. This includes one visitor at a time inside in addition to an essential caregiver.

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“Our government puts the safety and well-being of long-term care residents at the heart of everything we do,” Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, said in a statement..

“Thanks to high immunization levels, residents and their families can resume more of the activities that contribute to their quality of life.”

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