Effective December 31, 2021

This Minister’s Directive is issued pursuant to section 174.1 of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (the 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 of a long-term care home shall carry out every operational or policy directive that applies to the long-term care home.

This directive is effective as of December 31, 2021. This directive updates and replaces the previous version of this directive dated December 15, 2021.

This directive sets out requirements related to vaccination against covid 19 for people working (including as staff and support workers), undertaking a student placement, volunteering or visiting at long-term care homes.

Objectives

Vaccination is part of a range of measures and actions that can help prevent and limit the spread of covid 19, particularly variants of concern (VOC), in homes. Vaccination against covid 19 helps reduce the number of new cases, and, most importantly, reduces severe outcomes including hospitalizations and death due to covid 19 in both residents and others who may be present in a long-term care home.

The objectives of this directive are to:

  • set out a provincially consistent approach to covid 19 vaccination requirements in long-term care homes
  • maximize covid 19 vaccination rates in long-term care homes
  • ensure that individuals have access to information about covid 19 vaccination
  • increase accountability and transparency through public reporting of vaccination rates in long-term care homes

Definitions

All terms in this directive have the same meaning as under the Act and Ontario Regulation 79/10 under the Act, unless otherwise defined.

The following definitions apply for the purpose of this directive:

  • Caregiver means a type of visitor who is visiting the home to provide direct care to meet the essential needs of a particular resident. Caregivers must be at least 18 years of age and must be designated by the resident or his/her substitute decision-maker (if any). Direct care includes providing support or assistance to a resident that includes providing direct physical support (for example, eating, bathing and dressing) and/or providing social and emotional support.
  • Directive #3 means Directive #3 for Long-Term Care Homes under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 issued under section 77.7 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7, by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, as amended from time to time.
  • Eligible for a third dose is defined in the Ministry of Health’s covid 19 Vaccine Third Dose Recommendations guidance.
  • General visitor means a person who 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, including visiting for social reasons.
  • Staff has the same meaning as under the Act.
  • Student placement means a person working in the long-term care home as part of a clinical placement requirement of an educational program of a college or university, who does not meet the definition of “staff” or “volunteer”.
  • Substitute decision-maker has the same meaning as under the Act.
  • Support worker means a person who visits a home to provide support to the critical operations of the home or to provide essential services to a resident. Essential services include, but are not limited to, services provided by regulated health professionals, emergency services, social work, moving services, legal services, post-mortem services, maintenance and repair services, food and nutrition services, water and drink delivery services, mail, delivery and courier services, assistive devices program vendors, and election/voting services.
  • Volunteer has the same meaning as under the Act.

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