We are providing guidance to MCCSS-funded and licensed congregate living settings to prevent the spread of and protect the health and safety of residents, staff and visitors.

Agencies providing congregate living services (except youth justice facilities) must follow these guidelines together with other legislation and health guidance, including local public health direction.

Read the guidelines and the interim direction for MCCSS-funded and licensed congregate living settings.

Read the specific guidelines for youth justice facilities.

What to know before you visit

We recommend that you wear a mask in MCCSS-funded and/or licensed congregate living settings.

All visitors must pass COVID-19 screening procedures, including a rapid antigen test.

Essential visitors

Essential visitors to congregate living settings include someone who:

  • performs essential services to support the operation of the home
  • is a resident’s legal parent or guardian, or another family member
  • is a resident’s social service worker or health care provider
  • is another person considered necessary to maintain the health, wellness and safety, or any applicable legal rights, of a resident

Essential visitors do not need to make an appointment.

Absences for residents

Same day

Residents who leave for short trips outside of congregate living settings and return on the same day must adhere to the home’s absence policy and should be reminded to follow general public health guidance in the community such as physical distancing and hand hygiene.


Residents who leave for overnight trips must adhere to the home’s absence policy and should be reminded to follow general public health guidance in the community.

Service providers will provide two rapid antigen tests for each resident who returns to the congregate living setting after an essential overnight trip. Residents are encouraged to take tests to help protect others in the setting, but it is not mandatory.

New admissions and transfers

All new residents to congregate living settings must complete screening for symptoms of .

New residents who are not fully vaccinated must follow additional precautions until they receive a negative result on a test, or until 10 days have passed.

Leaving the congregate care setting for a same-day absence will not reset this 10-day time period. However, an overnight absence will reset the 10-day period.

Managing positive cases

Public health units are responsible for managing cases and high-risk contact. Congregate living settings must follow direction given by public health units when a resident, staff or visitor of the setting is confirmed positive for .

Public health units are also responsible for declaring a outbreak. Outbreak measures to help prevent, eliminate or reduce the ongoing transmission of may include:

  • isolating the outbreak area within the larger congregate living setting
  • limiting or restricting access to communal activities or spaces
  • grouping residents and staff based on their exposure status
  • limiting work locations for staff to prevent spread to other settings
  • limiting or restricting admissions and transfers of new residents
  • limiting or restricting resident absences
  • limiting or restricting visitors

Read the latest data on in Ontario, learn how to get vaccinated, and learn what to do if you think you might have .