• Safety: Any approach to visiting, absences, and activities must balance the
health and safety needs of residents, staff, and visitors, and ensure risks of
infection are mitigated.
• Mental Health and Emotional Well-being: Welcoming
visitors, absences, and activities is intended to support the overall physical,
mental and emotional well-being of residents by reducing any potential negative
impacts related to social isolation.
• Equitable Access: All residents must be given equitable
access to receive visitors and participate in activities consistent with their
preferences and within restrictions that safeguard residents, staff and
• Flexibility: The physical characteristics/infrastructure
of the home, its staffing availability, whether the home is in an outbreak, and
the current status of the home with respect to infection prevention and control
(IPAC) including personal protective equipment (PPE) are all variables to
consider when administering home-specific policies for visiting, absences, and
• Autonomy: Residents have the right to choose their
visitors. Residents also have the right to designate their caregivers. If a
resident is unable to do so, substitute decision-maker(s) may designate
• Visitor Responsibility: Visitors play a role in reducing
risk of infection by adhering to the IPAC requirements and recommendations
described in this policy or the visitor policy of the home (as applicable).
• COVID-19 Vaccination: The goal of the provincial COVID-19
vaccination program is to protect Ontarians from COVID-19. Homes are highly
encouraged to continue to promote vaccinations and boosters to all eligible
residents, staff, and visitors. Staying up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines helps
to reduce the number of new cases and, most importantly, severe outcomes
including hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19.