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Long term care and retirement homes

We work with long term care and retirement homes to ensure that government requirements are implemented consistently.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we're supporting long term care and retirement homes in meeting their obligations under the Ministry of Health's directive #3 and directive #5, which outline required steps to protect residents and staff at these institutions.

Learn how we're protecting the health of our residents and staff at the Region's 5 long term care centres. Visit COVID-19 in our long term care centres.

If you're a health care worker or work in a long term care or retirement home and have questions about COVID-19, visit Health Professionals for more information.

Other information

We support long term care and retirement homes in keeping your loved ones safe and work with them to ensure that proper infection and outbreak control measures are in place.

Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), all outbreaks of respiratory and gastroenteritis illness in residents must be immediately reported to Peel Public Health.

Reports for health care institutions in Peel including long term care homes are available online. Access Peel Public Health's outbreak report.

Long term care and retirement homes are required to have strong infection and outbreak control measures to prevent COVID-19 illness and transmission. The following are some of the measures that have been put in place.

Enhanced cleaning: Increase cleaning of common areas and high touch surfaces such as handrails, trolleys, light switches, and elevator buttons. This reduces the risk of transmission from contaminated objects to humans.

Active screening and testing: Staff, visitors and anyone else entering the home (except first responders) are screened for symptoms before entry. Measures such as non-entry or isolation and testing may be taken if an individual fails screening. Routine testing of individuals without symptoms or exposure is also in place for the early identification and management of cases.

Isolation of cases: All COVID-19 cases will be separated from healthy residents to minimize the risk of infecting others.

Physical distancing: Physical distancing is to be practiced where and when possible. Some group activities may be put on hold to decrease the risk of transmission between person to person. Homes with high rates of vaccination coverage may have exceptions to physical distancing.

Personal protective equipment: Staff will be using personal protective equipment (such as gloves, mask, goggles/face shield or gowns) to enhance resident and staff safety while working and providing care.

Visitor policies: The home must have a visitor policy in place that includes health and safety measures such as wearing a medical mask indoors, screening visitors and ensuring proper use of personal protective equipment. General and essential visits are permitted, with precautions. Visitor records are logged for contact tracing purposes. More information is available about visiting policies and restrictions for long-term care homes and retirement homes. You may also wish to call the home for further details ahead of planning your visit.

Cohorts: Residents may be grouped together in cohorts for activities and dining purposes and staff are grouped within certain areas of the home to limit interactions and minimize risk of transmission. Cohorting of residents may be relaxed during outdoor activities.

Long-term care homes are required to have a vaccination policy for staff to maximize vaccine coverage in homes. Long term care administrators can also refer to the following resource guide provided by the Ontario government.

If residents test positive

If your loved one tests positive, their health care team will assess them and determine if they are well enough to stay in the home.

If it's decided they will stay in the home, they will be placed in isolation to prevent further spread to others. However, in some instances, people may require additional medical care and may have to be transported to the hospital for their own well-being.

Required testing for homes

Long term care and retirement homes requiring COVID-19 swabs for testing should submit a request to Ontario Health by completing the PPE and swab kit intake form.

Long term care and retirement homes requiring COVID-19 support for outbreak testing should speak with their Peel Public Health case manager for further guidance.

Long term care homes requiring COVID-19 testing for surveillance testing should contact their LHIN Relationship Manager for further information and support for testing.

Dropping-off specimens

Regular specimen drop-off routine should be followed where possible.

Specimens can be dropped off weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Fairview Clinic located at 325 Central Parkway West in Mississauga to be couriered to the Public Health Ontario Labs.

Alternative transport arrangements must be made for specimens collected for facility-wide testing or staff surveillance testing as the Fairview Clinic does not have capacity to store large numbers of specimens.

Properly sealed specimens must be received at the clinic before 11 a.m.

The name of the facility should be indicated on the requisition and the Outbreak Number must be clearly marked on all respiratory samples sent to ensure prioritization at the lab.

Maintaining staff levels

If a member of your loved one's care team tests positive for COVID-19 the home will ensure the care is not compromised. There are government programs and staff redeployment plans in place should there be any shortage due to staff illness.

Access to personal protective equipment

The Canadian and Ontario governments are actively acquiring personal protective equipment to ensure health care workers have appropriate access to them. New guidance documents have been created to help direct the proper use and conservation of personal protective equipment.

Contact the home's administrator with any questions you may have that are specific to their long term care or retirement home.

If you've already contacted your loved one's long term care or retirement home, but still have unanswered questions, you can call the Long-Term Care Homes ACTION Line toll-free at 1-866-434-0144 or contact the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.

Call the family information line if you have a question regarding any of the Region of Peel's long term care centres:

  • Davis Centre
  • Malton Village
  • Peel Manor
  • Sheridan Villa
  • Tall Pines

Additional resources for long term care homes: