March 28th, 2023

Hello everyone,

Late last week we received a new set of COVID-19 precaution changes which our teams are working to prepare to implement starting Friday March 31st and in the days that follow.

With the challenging respiratory illness season now behind us, the public health experts have identified that the high vaccine uptake among our residents/clients and the availability of safe and effective therapeutics (such as antiviral medication) have minimized the risk of severe outcomes and it is now time to recalibrate our current response measures.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC) is working closely with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) to normalize and embed effective COVID-19 response measures into routine operations, including winding down COVID-specific policies through a phased approach.

The first phase of winding down measures for those visiting, living, and working in our long-term care and community settings include:

Removal of Asymptomatic Screen Testing (or Rapid Antigen Testing)

  • With the widespread availability of vaccines and antivirals, adherence to the new Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Standard, and the high levels of immunity in the general community, there is no evidence to support the need for ongoing asymptomatic screen testing requirements.
  • Effective March 31st, 2023 visitors and staff will no longer be required to rapid test upon entry to our buildings
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of any illness (runny nose, cough/congestion, nausea, diarrhea etc.), please do not come in to the site until your symptoms are resolved.
  • All of our programs will have rapid antigen test kits available for asymptomatic staff or visitors requesting to complete a test – however these tests do NOT permit individuals with symptoms of a communicable infection into any of our programs.

Visitor and Employee Passive Screening

  • Screening will become Passive Screening as we are no longer required to do Active Screening.
  • All staff and visitors will still be required to self-monitor for any symptoms of any communicable infections and should NOT enter any of our sites if experiencing ANY symptoms.
  • When visitors arrive at the site, you will be required to independently review posted screening questions. There will no longer be a staff person verifying your screening. You will then sign into the visitor log completing all requested information. You are required to sign-out when you leave the visit.
  • Upon entry to our sites, all visitors and staff will still be required to perform hand hygiene and apply a new medical mask before proceeding to the unit/floor.

Visitor Policy Updates

A number of changes will be made to our visiting policy, which is currently being updated. We will share this policy widely and post it on our website once it is finalized. Some of the changes will include:

  • Visitors are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination.
  • There will be no limit on the numbers of visitors, unless there is an outbreak at the site.
  • Booking of visits for general visitors is no longer required.
  • Residents/clients or substitute decision makers may designate caregivers as essential visitors through the regular process outlined in the visiting policy

Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing and cohorting for resident programs are no longer a requirement.
  • Staff are still required to be physically distanced at break times when they are not wearing masks.


  • Masking requirements remain in place for all staff when indoors and when outdoors with residents/clients.
  • Masking requirements remain in place for all visitors when indoor in common or shared spaces or rooms, masks may be removed in private resident/client rooms or when visiting outdoors.


Part of the reason we can reduce these precautions is related to the high vaccine rates among our residents/clients and the immunity within our population. We continue to encourage all residents, clients, visitors and staff to remain “up-to-date” with your COVID-19 and seasonal Influenza vaccines.

Daily Resident/Client Screening

All residents and clients will continue to be screened for symptoms of any infectious illness as part or our routine infection prevention and control screening practices. This means that temperatures checks are not required daily as general screening. Only residents/clients demonstrating any symptoms will require a documented screening/assessment followed by immediate action to reduce transmission such as isolation precautions and cohorting.

We understand that there may be mixed feelings about some of these precaution changes. Our leaders and teams will continue to monitor for risk, and we will manage them in alignment with the current guidelines and directives with support from our infection prevention and control leads and our partners at our local public health units.

Stay well and take care,


Steve Sherrer



December 7th, 2022

Hello everyone,

We are only a couple of weeks away from the holidays and infections are already taking full advantage of opportunities to mix and mingle in the community. Layering the COIVD-19 pandemic with an Influenza epidemic on the heels of a major RSV surge, we are seeing more and more long-term care homes, community programs and hospitals show up on outbreak listings. Local children’s hospitals are overwhelmed and schools are seeing epic levels of absences. Cases of Influenza and COVID-19 are expected to soar in the month of December. We are asking that all of you, our stakeholders support the efforts to keep our residents, clients and staff healthy and safe.

This message today comes with a big plea to get vaccinated for Influenza and COVID-19. We are asking all residents, clients, staff, families and loved ones to get immunized.

The INFLUENZA VACCINE is a GOOD MATCH this year for the circulating strain. Influenza vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness caused by Influenza viruses.

The COVID-19 VACCINE has been a GAME CHANGER in the pandemic in that it has significantly reduced the impact of serious illness and death linked to COVID-19 infections.

Local pharmacies book appointments and some accept walk-ins. Check the pharmacies in grocery stores, big box stores and some of the smaller independent ones too! We also have the GO VAXX bus coming to our Binbrook site that is providing COVID-19 vaccines – available to anyone on December 9th from 12 to 5.

Both vaccines take about two weeks to offer protection, so please get your vaccines as soon as possible so that you are bringing your best immunity to the upcoming holiday festivities!

Stay well and take care,


Steve Sherrer


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