Nursing homes, from Friday no tests for asymptomatic immunized
TORONTO – With phase 3 in Ontario will also come a relaxation of restrictions in long-term care homes in the province. From Friday, in fact, the Covid test that is performed at the entrance of LTC homes will no longer be a requirement for staff, health workers and visitors completely immunized and asymptomatic. The decision was made by the government in consultation with Dr Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and is based on the latest scientific evidence and expert advice.
As announced some time ago the restrictions that with the arrival of Step 3 – five days ahead of schedule – will be relaxed, include the removal of limits on the number of visitors to the LTC, the possibility of buffet dinners, giving all residents the opportunity to leave the nursing home, the resumption of off-site trips for residents and activities such as singing and dancing.
“Based on the latest scientific evidence and advice from doctors, we are removing the requirement for repeated surveillance testing for fully immunized asymptomatic health workers, visitors and staff. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people will still need to be tested to ensure a higher level of protection for residents and staff – said Rod Phillips, minister of the LTC – these changes are made possible thanks to the incredible efforts of millions of Ontario residents who have been vaccinated “.
“Our government’s strategy to protect the elderly in nursing and Long-Term Care homes, staff and their families through vaccinations is working – added Raymond Cho, Minister for the Elderly and Accessibility – this means that they will soon be able to resume many activities they enjoyed before the pandemic”.
“However, we must not lower our guard – said Phillips – the government will continue to monitor the presence of Covid-19 and variants such as Delta, in these structures where particularly vulnerable elderly people reside”.
At the moment there are three – on Tuesday there were five – LTC where there are infections: Columbia Forest in Waterloo, St. Joseph’s Villa in Dundas and The Village of Tansley Woods in Burlington.
The number of infected residents also decreased from 13 to 10 while staff members who contracted the virus dropped from 14 to 8. The number of residents who have lost their lives due to Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic remains stable at 3,788.
In the pic, elderly resident in a long-term nursing home (Credit photo CARP)