Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you make the most of staying home.
Visit the hub

Residents of Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood surround the Elm Grove Living Centre long-term care home, on May 30, 2020.

Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail

Ontario has announced a “cautious restart” to allowing visits to long-term care residents in facilities without COVID-19 outbreaks as long as visitors test negative for the virus.

Premier Doug Ford said Thursday the government will allow some visits at long-term care facilities, retirement homes and group homes to resume as of June 18, with conditions.

“I know this day we have all been desperately been waiting for, but we can’t take this progress for granted. We can’t forget that these settings are still vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Ontario paused “non-essential” visits to seniors’ facilities in mid-March, meaning family members were shut out from visiting loved ones, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus – something Mr. Ford said Thursday was difficult but necessary.

COVID-19 cases surge in the U.S. as states roll back lockdowns

The WHO’s main job is communication. It flubbed that, again

Ontario says owners must pay for emergency pandemic costs associated with their seniors’ homes

As part of the rules announced Thursday, long-term care homes that are free of COVID-19 will allow a minimum of one visit per resident each week, with visits only allowed outdoors. Retirement homes, where residents are generally more independent, may resume indoor visits as well, at the discretion of the home. In group homes and other residential-care settings, two people are allowed to visit, but only outside. All visitors must practise physical distancing and will have to have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past two weeks. They will also have to wear masks.

While the Ontario government said it will allow outdoor visits to long-term care residents as of next week, it has not established a program allowing family caregivers to go inside facilities to help with tasks such as feeding and bathing. Other provinces, including Quebec and British Columbia, allow caregivers to provide assistance.

Advocates and relatives have been calling for Ontario to allow family caregivers back into seniors’ homes to help loved ones, some of whom have been malnourished or mistreated throughout the pandemic as facilities struggled to contain the spread of the virus.

Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton said Thursday the province is “actively considering” allowing family caregivers back into homes.

“We have to really look at the complexity of this and understand how we open up and make sure that our residents can get the support that they need from their family members, when it’s safe to do so,” Dr. Fullerton said.

The move to finally allow visits is long overdue, said Laura Tamblyn Watts, chief executive officer of CanAge, a national seniors advocacy organization. The consequences of keeping visitors and caregivers out for three months have been disastrous, she said.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s a life-and-death decision,” Ms. Tamblyn Watts said. “We are hearing consistently of people dying of malnutrition, people dying of loneliness, people dying from disconnection from their relationships.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province will allow a gradual resumption of visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other residential care settings. Family and friends will be allowed visits starting on June 18. Visits at long-term care homes must be outdoors and are limited to one person per resident each week. The Canadian Press

Ms. Tamblyn Watts called on the Ontario government to quickly design and implement a policy allowing caregivers to help out inside homes.

“Visits outside, while they’re very important, don’t replace the care and feeding and bathing and support that an essential caregiver can give," she said.

Jane Meadus, a lawyer at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, said it would be far easier to allow visitors into homes that don’t have COVID-19 outbreaks than to move some residents with significant mobility challenges outside.

“I’m concerned that there will still be a limitation on people who are in long-term care and who may not be able to go outside and there will continue to be restrictions,” she said.

Ella Soper’s grandmother Teresa Brown lives at the Isabel and Arthur Meighen Manor in Toronto, where 48 residents have died of COVID-19. She said a distanced outdoor visit with her 106-year-old grandmother, who is blind, hard of hearing and bedridden, would likely prove challenging.

Story continues below advertisement

“She’s still not going to understand why we can’t be close to her,” Ms. Soper said. “I think that this is designed in the interests of the needs of more independent and able-bodied residents. I don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all approach.”

As of Thursday, 65 of the province’s 630 nursing homes reported a COVID-19 outbreak, defined as at least one case. Another 235 homes have resolved their outbreaks.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies