December 30, 2021
On December 21st 2021, the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Health announced updated requirements for visitation in Long-Term Care and Assisted Living. In recognition of the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant of concern and given the vulnerability of residents in Long-Term Care and Assisted Living even when fully vaccinated themselves, individuals visiting Long Term Care & Assisted Living homes (both essential and social visitors) must be screened for COVID-19 by receiving a rapid point-of-care (POC) test prior to their visit.
Rapid POC tests provide the opportunity to rapidly screen people for COVID-19, with results ready in approximately 20 minutes. These tests can help reduce the potential for introduction and spread of COVID-19 in LTC and AL facilities.
The rapid POC screening requirement for all visitors is in addition to the current requirements for visitors to be fully vaccinated and to adhere to infection prevention and control measures.
Visitors who receive a positive rapid POC test result, choose not to receive a rapid POC test, or who do not demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated, will not be able to enter a LTC or AL facility, including passing through the facility to access an outdoor space.
There are no exceptions to the rapid POC screening requirement based on medical exemption from vaccination, essential or social visitor status, including compassionate visits related to end-of-life.
The rapid POC screening requirement in Long Term Care & Assisted Living excludes children under age 12.
Rapid POC testing will begin once we receive the POC test kits and are prepared to begin testing. It is anticipated that all sites in the province will have received kits and begin testing by January 7, 2022.
For questions pertaining to the care home, please contact Nadine Brown DOC at firstname.lastname@example.org