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Hugs are back! Ontario loosening restrictions at long-term care homes

Starting June 9, fully vaccinated long-term care residents can also go out for social and overnight trips
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Starting next week, you can briefly hug a long-term care resident, whether you are vaccinated or not.

And, if both the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated, hand holding and close physical contact will be permitted as well.

In a press release issued today, the province stated that Directive #3 has been updated as well as the Ministry of Long-Term Care's visitor policy and guidance document making the allowances.

The new directive also allows long-term residents who are fully immunized to leave the home for day and overnight trips starting June 9.

Residents with mobility limitations or health conditions that make participating in outdoor visits highly unlikely or impossible may also now have one general visitor at a time inside the long-term care home, in addition to an essential caregiver.

Ontario cites high levels of vaccination in long-term care homes as the reason for the change.

The previous update to Directive #3, issued on May 4, allowed for homes to resume communal dining, indoor events and gatherings, and for residents and caregivers who are fully immunized to have physical contact, like hugging or holding hands.

The province reminds residents it continues to be important that residents and visitors adhere to public health measures in the home.

As of May 30, it is estimated that, across Ontario, 97 per cent of long-term care residents are fully immunized and more than 89 per cent of staff have received at least their first dose, with approximately 66 per cent fully immunized.

Riley Smith

About the Author: Riley Smith

Riley Smith is a news editor who has been a member of the Village Media team since November 2018. A graduate of history and political science at Algoma University, these also happen to be her favourite topics to read and write about.
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