The Ontario government announced today new steps to combat the rapid rise in hospitalizations throughout the province.
That includes encouraging low-priority patients in hospitals who are waiting for a long-term care home placement to accept a placement in a home that may not be their preferred choice.
Ontario will also waive co-payments for these patients until they can be transferred to a home of their choice — and patients who accept these placements will maintain priority status on the waitlist for their preferred home.
“The third wave of COVID-19 is putting unprecedented pressure on Ontario’s hospitals, requiring immediate action,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.
Rules regarding admissions and transfers have also been updated regarding long-term care homes:
- For fully immunized residents with a negative laboratory-based test at the time of admission or transfer, no isolation is required.
- For partially immunized or unimmunized residents, a laboratory-based test is required at the time of admission or transfer, and the resident must isolate for a minimum of 10 days (reduced from 14 days) subject to a negative laboratory test taken on Day 8.
The province says it will also exempt fully immunized long-term care home and retirement home employees from restrictions that prohibit them from working in more than one home, or in another heath care setting.
Ontario Health and Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS) will have the authority to redeploy staff to long-term care homes and retirement homes to facilitate and support placements.
Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press