The updated definition will help support the mental, emotional and physical well-being of residents and their families, said Caputo.
“It will allow for more social activities and visits in homes where there is no evidence that COVID-19 has been transmitted within the home.”
The change will provide some relief and mean a better quality of life for residents and support continued efforts to move people into homes from both hospitals and communities while keeping people safe, said the memo from Erin Hannah, the associate deputy minister.
The additional measures required when a home is in outbreak, such as program cancellations, limited social interactions, and ceasing most admissions and re-admissions are difficult for residents and families, Hannah noted.
“With the large majority of outbreaks now most frequently involving a single case, and often a staff case acquired outside the home, we need to support the public health units’ expert judgment in an outbreak to determine what measures need to be taken, potentially limited to an outbreak area as opposed to the entire home.”
The memo added that it’s critical that homes offer opportunities for residents and families to take part in activities that give them back their sense of choice. This includes ensuring that residents can go outdoors for a short walk in the immediate area of the home as of Wednesday and allowing residents to meet with family members outside their rooms.
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