Update: Guidance on Enhanced Measures in Congregate Care Settings (Effective October 8, 2020)

The ministry is providing additional guidance to congregate care settings in light of increasing case numbers in communities across the province.

When a congregate care setting is located in a community that is beginning to see increased community spread, the ministry will contact them to apply further precautions. These could include:

  • Enhanced implementation of infection prevention and control protocols
  • Enhanced visitor and home visit restrictions, where applicable
  • Increased restrictions to client participation in community/day programs, where applicable

Wherever possible, essential visits such as those necessary to maintain the health, wellness and safety of a resident will be permitted to continue unless the local public health unit directs otherwise as part of outbreak management. An essential visitor may include, but is not limited to a parent or guardian, a social service worker or a health care provider. For a full definition see the MCCSS Visitor’s Guidelines.

The following region by public health unit have been advised to follow additional precautions:

  • Lambton
  • Middlesex-London
  • Niagara Region
  • Northwestern
  • Region of Waterloo
  • Renfrew County and District
  • Simcoe Muskoka District
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph
  • Windsor-Essex County

The following regions by public health unit have been advised to follow enhanced precautions:

  • Brant County
  • Durham Region
  • City of Hamilton
  • Eastern Ontario
  • Halton Region
  • Ottawa
  • Peel
  • Toronto
  • York Region

Agencies should refer to the most recent communications they have received from the ministry to determine their current precaution level. Further precautions will remain in place until the setting has been notified by the ministry that the community’s level of COVID-related risk has changed.

Non-essential visits and reintegration leaves are not permitted for/in youth justice at this time.

The ministry’s number one priority is to protect the health and safety of those in our congregate care settings, as well as those who care for them. Specific measures will be implemented on a location-by-location basis, following public health guidance.

Previous guidance issued by the ministry can be accessed here.

Table: Summary of visitor and recreational activities by precaution level

Visits

  Normal Precautions Additional Precautions Enhanced Precautions Outbreak/ Comprehensive Precautions

Essential

An essential visitor is generally a person who:

  1. Performs essential services to support the ongoing operation of a service agency (including a contractor); and/or
  2. Considered necessary to maintain the health, wellness and safety, or any applicable legal rights, of a congregate living resident.

An essential visitor may include but is not limited to the following:

  • A parent/guardian
  • Social service workers (e.g./ child welfare workers, day program operators etc.)
  • Health care providers (e.g./ doctor, nurse, personal)

Permitted

Permitted

Permitted

Permitted

Designated

A resident and/or substitute decision maker may designate up to 2 people at a time as “unrestricted visitors”.

Designated Visitors:

  • Are not required to schedule an appointment to visit a congregate living setting within provided that their visit is within the site’s permitted visitation hours.
  • May be required to wait outside of the congregate living setting if the site is at its maximum visitor capacity.
  • While appointments are not required it is advised that to schedule an appointment to avoid wait times.

Permitted

Designated visitor privileges suspended.

  • See Essential or non-essential visitor privileges as appropriate for alternate options.

Designated visitor privileges suspended.

  • See Essential or non-essential visitor privileges as appropriate for alternate options.

Designated visitor privileges suspended.

  • See Essential or non-essential visitor privileges as appropriate for alternate options.

 

Non-essential

A non- essential visitor is generally a person who:

  • Provides non-essential services, who may or may not be hired by the site or the resident and/or their substitute decision maker; and/or
  • For social reasons (e.g. family members or friends).

Non-essential visits must be scheduled in advance.

Permitted, including:

  • Unsupervised
  • Indoor
  • Outdoor

Permitted with limitations:

  • Supervised only
  • Physically distanced only
  • Indoor
  • Outdoor

 

 

Permitted, with limitations:

  • Supervised only
  • Physically distanced only
  • Outdoor visits only
  • Indoor visits suspended

Non-essential visitor privileges suspended.

Short-term outings or absences

  Normal Precautions Additional Precautions Enhanced Precautions Outbreak/ Comprehensive Precautions

Health and well-being activities outside of residence (e.g. doctor’s appointments, work, school etc.).

Permitted.

Permitted.

Permitted.

Permitted, when:

  • authorized by screening for activity and/or public health advice; or
  • essential for medical purposes only and virtual care is not possible.

Recreational activities outside of residence

 

Permitted.

Permitted.

Suspended.

Suspended.

Day supports

Permitted.
Max group size (including staff) is 10 people.

Permitted.
Max group size (including staff) is 10 people.

Permitted, when:
Max group size (including staff) is 5 people.

Suspended.

Essential overnight absences

  Normal Precautions Additional Precautions Enhanced Precautions Outbreak/ Comprehensive Precautions

Essential overnight absences

  • An essential overnight absence (e.g. to a family home) considered necessary to maintain the health, wellness and safety, or any applicable legal rights, of a resident.

Permitted.

Permitted.

Permitted.

Suspended.