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Government Directives & Memos

MLTC Visitor Policy to Long-Term Care Homes - Supporting Materials (July 20 2020)

Further to the Ministry of Long-Term Care Visitor Policy to Long-Term Care Homes updated July 15, 2020, the materials below provide additional information on the resumption of visits to LTC homes, including a checklist and posters homes can use in support of the updates to the visitor policy. Also enclosed are responses to frequently asked questions related to long-term care home procedures and protocols for COVID-19 as they relate to the Visitor Policy. Please review the documents below.

Updated MLTC Visitor Policy to Long-Term Care Homes (July 15 2020)

On June 10, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) issued an update to Directive #3 that included the first step in the gradual resumption of visits to long-term care homes. The attached document is intended to supplement Directive #3 and provides updated guidance to long-term care homes on reopening homes to visitors. Please review the attached documents.

Directive 3: Visiting and admissions (June 10 2020)

In an updated Directive #3 issued on June 10th, the government reopened homes to visits, and hospital and community admissions. Policy documents were also provided for admissions/readmissions and family visits.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care has released additional information on the recent visitors and admissions policies (June 18 2020):

 The updated Directive #3 contains updates or new information on:

  • Admissions and re-admissions
  • Allowing for certain visitors in alignment with new MLTC visitor policies
  • Changes to address ending a suspect outbreak/outbreak assessment steps based on negative test results.
  • Updated language around advanced care planning and expressed resident wishes about future treatment

Guidance documents and directives are also posted on the Ministry’s COVID-19 webpage.

We hope this clarifies some of the questions you've had about the new visiting policies and the role of the essential visitor in LTC homes. If you have questions or feedback, contact Sam at 

New Testing Direction for COVID-19 (May 24 2020)

The Chief Medical Officer of Health has released additional direction on the testing strategy for COVID-19 across the province. It outlines that testing is available to all people with at least one symptom as well as those who are not experiencing symptoms but are at risk or are concerned about exposure. Read more in the Directive.


Updated Directive 3 from Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) (May 21 2020)

The CMOH Directive 3 has been revised to provide additional direction on hospital transfers to retirement homes and long-term care homes, testing within 24 hrs of new admissions and re-admissions, minimizing work locations of volunteers and contractors, and sharing of IPAC assessment results and reports.

Read it here.

Open letter from Minister Fullerton / lettre ouverte de ministre Fullerton (May 12 2020)

Minister Letter to Residents in Long-Term Care and Families

On May 12, Minister Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care issued a letter to Ontario’s LTC residents and families.

In this letter, Minister Fullerton outlines what the Ministry of Long-Term Care has been doing to provide support to LTC homes and reiterates the need to improve the system: “Every option to support our long-term care residents, staff and communities is on the table. We must do everything possible to fix our current long-term care situation and look ahead to a brighter way forward.”

To read the complete letter, click here.

French letter.

Managing Resident Death in Long-Term Care Homes

The Chief Coroner for Ontario has released information on the approach that they have implemented in LTC homes as part of the Expedited Death Response Plan to ensure they respectfully provide timely care to deceased persons in Ontario.

Highlights of the process:

  • It is important to determine in advance the funeral home you wish to use; the LTC home will need to confirm funeral home (FH) with you as soon as possible (within three hours).
  • The family member with responsibility for funeral planning will need to contact the FH promptly.
  • LTC staff will be required to transfer the deceased resident into the body bag as the funeral service providers will not be entering into the LTC home, to prevent any inadvertent transmission of COVID-19.
  • If the residents' family would like to take jewellery or other personal effects separately these should be removed prior to transfer from the resident’s room and disinfected with hospital-grade disinfectant or wash in a diluted bleach solution prior to providing these to the family; make sure that your loved one's home knows about this.
  • If you want your loved one's clothing returned, communicate that to the funeral services provider.
  • No blankets or other items can be placed over the body bag. While recognizing the desirability of this practice any object placed over the body bag on the stretcher increases the risk of contamination and should not occur.
  • If the family wishes that personal belongings accompany the deceased resident to the funeral home, e.g., a personal item like blanket placed over the deceased resident, this can occur inside the body bag.
  • The body bag must be disinfected after the resident is placed inside and before transfer from the resident’s room to minimize risk of transmission during transfer to the release area.
  • The body bag should also be disinfected at the time of release to the funeral service provider.
  • The funeral service providers will remain outside of the home at the designated release area.
  • If you do not or are unable to choose a funeral home, the Managing Resident Deaths Team (person or people at the home responsible for disposition of the deceased during the COVID-19 outbreak) will proceed with choosing a funeral home that family members will be required to work with
  • Ceremonies such as honour guards should not occur.
  • If the family belongs to a particular place of worship, contact them as soon as possible to make any necessary arrangements.
  • You will be unable to wash or touch the deceased resident while in the LTC home.
  • Family members will not be permitted to accompany the deceased resident through the LTC home release area, due to the increased risk of transmission for family members, care providers and funeral service providers.

Read the materials below to learn more about what will happen when a LTC home resident dies.

LTC process sheet

Managing Resident Death in LTC (Slide Deck from webinar)

Q&A Managing Resident Deaths in Long-Term Care (LTC) Sector

Family/Caregiver Messaging Document

May 6 2020

COVID-19 Screening Tool for Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes Version 3 – May 6, 2020

May 4 2020

Pandemic Pay Long-Term Care Eligibility Q&As (dated May 4 2020)

Update on COVID-19 Preparations and Actions (dated April 29 2020)

COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance Update version 3.0 (dated May 2 2020)

April 29 2020

Ontario Enhancing COVID-19 Protections for Long-Term Care Residents, Families and Staff Top Q&As (April 29, 2020)

Principales questions et réponses (29 avril 2020)

Memo re: transfer of Hospital Patients and Community Clients to Long-Term Care Homes

April 16 2020 Directives

Long-Term Care Home Outbreak Guidance

Guidance for Mask Use in Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes

Updated Directive #3 from Chief Medical Officer of Health

Updated Guidance for Long-Term Care

Memo Re: Temporary Pause on Transitioning Hospital Patients to Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes


FAQs about government directives

Are physician visits still happening?

In accordance with Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance: Long-Term Care Homes Version 3 (March 17, 2020), all primary care providers, including physicians, have reduced non-essential in-person appointments, doing virtual visits using a telephone or laptop/tablet computer, with secure messaging, audio and/or video, to minimize in-person contract and to support physical distancing.

Can I visit my loved one who is gravely ill?

Yes, you would be considered an essential visitor. Essential visitors include a person performing essential support services (e.g. food delivery, phlebotomy testing, maintenance, family or volunteers providing care services and other health care services required to maintain good health) or a person visiting a very ill or palliative resident.

If an essential visitor is admitted to the home, the following steps must be taken:

1. The essential visitor must be screened on entry for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature checks and not admitted if they show any symptoms of COVID-19.

2. The essential visitor must also attest to not be experiencing any of the typical and atypical symptoms. The essential visitor must only visit the one resident they are intending to visit, and no other resident.

3. The essential visitor must wear a mask while visiting a resident that does not have COVID-19.

4. For any essential visitor in contact with a resident who has COVID-19, appropriate PPE should be worn in accordance with Directive #1.