Effective April 27, 2022

Minister’s Directive: COVID-19 response measures for long-term care homes

This Minister’s Directive is issued pursuant to s. 184 (1) of the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 (Act), which authorizes the Minister of Long-Term Care to issue operational or policy directives respecting long-term care homes where the Minister considers it in the public interest to do so. Every licensee shall carry out every operational or policy directive that applies to the long-term care home. In case of a conflict between this directive and any applicable law (including a directive issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health pursuant to s. 77.7 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act), the latter prevails.

This directive is effective as of April 27, 2022.

This directive relates to the safe operation of long-term care homes and specifically to reducing the risk of COVID-19 while providing the greatest possible opportunities for maximizing resident quality of life. Additional measures apply in a COVID-19 outbreak situation, including measures as per local public health direction and measures contained in the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance: Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes for Public Health Units (PDF), or as amended.

Definitions

All terms in this directive have the same meaning as under the Act and Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 246/22 under the Act, unless otherwise defined.

The following definitions apply for the purpose of this directive.

  • Caregiver has the same meaning as under the Act.
  • Double room means a room with two beds that may be occupied (regardless of whether it is connected to another separate room by a door, hallway or a shared washroom).
  • Essential visitor has the same meaning as under O. Reg. 246/22.
  • General visitor means a person who is not an essential visitor and is visiting the home to provide non-essential services related to either the operations of the home or a particular resident or group of residents. This excludes children under the age of one year.
  • Isolation room is a room that may be occupied by one person only, and ideally has a contained bathroom for resident use. In some instances where single beds are not available for isolation, up to two residents requiring isolation may isolate in the same room with adequate spacing (two metres or six feet apart).
  • Licensee has the same meaning as under the Act.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) means equipment worn by staff, students, volunteers and caregivers to minimize exposure to hazards that may cause serious injuries and illnesses.
  • Resident has the same meaning as under the Act.
  • Single room means a room with only one bed that may be occupied (regardless of whether it is connected to another separate room by a door, hallway, or a shared washroom).
  • Staff has the same meaning as under the Act.
  • Student means a person working in the long-term care home as part of a placement requirement of an educational program of a college or university, or as part of a training program, who does not meet the definition of “staff” or “volunteer”.
  • Volunteer has the same meaning as under the Act.
  • Ward room means a room that has been structurally designed for three or more beds and would normally contain three or more licenced and operational beds available for admissions. Rooms structurally designed for one or two beds that are connected to each other by a door, hallway or shared washroom are not considered ward rooms.

I hereby issue the following directive with respect to every long-term care home: