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Ministry Status: Activation Status

COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Communal Dining, Indoor Activities and Social Gatherings

May 2021

Ontario is responding to high levels of COVID-19 immunization in long-term care homes by modifying restrictions to allow for more communal dining and social activities for residents.

As well, when a resident and their caregiver are both fully immunized, they can have close physical contact (such as hugging) in addition to the physical contact required to provide care to the resident.

Fully immunized means that at least 14 days have passed since the person received the last of the required doses in a vaccine series (for example, two out of two doses for a Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine).

The immunization coverage rate for each home will be determined by the homes.

Changes to Communal Dining

All long-term care homes can now resume communal dining with the following precautions:

Fully immunized staff and essential caregivers may accompany a fully immunized resident for meals by joining the resident’s cohort.

For all communal dining, regardless of the immunization coverage rate in the home, workers, caregivers, and volunteers in the home are to adhere to all required infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures, including universal masking and eye protection requirements, maintaining distance from residents (except when serving food to a resident), and engaging in frequent hand hygiene.

Changes to Indoor Activities and Social Gatherings

Homes that have met the 85% resident and 70% employee immunization coverage threshold can begin to allow indoor organized activities and social gatherings with the following precautions:

For homes that have not met the 85% resident and 70% employee immunization coverage benchmark, indoor organized events and social gathering can occur with the following added precautions:

For all indoor activities, regardless of the immunization coverage rate in the home, workers, caregivers and volunteers in the home are to adhere to all required IPAC measures, including universal masking and eye protection requirements, maintaining distance from residents, and engaging in frequent hand hygiene.

Residents in isolation or who are symptomatic are not to join communal dining or indoor group activities. However, homes should attempt to have such residents join-in virtually where possible to provide the resident with an alternative to in-person social interaction.

Questions regarding any COVID-19 related policies or guidance may be directed to the Ministry of Long-Term Care by emailing MLTCpandemicresponse@ontario.ca.

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at:
1–866–532–3161 (Toll–free)
In Toronto, (416) 314–5518
TTY 1–800–387–5559.
In Toronto, TTY (416)327–4282
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm

 
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