Welcome back to Thompson House! Over the past several months our residents have been enjoying visits from friends and family both outdoors and inside our home. Below are the guidelines we have put in place to ensure that visits to our home consider the health and wellbeing of our residents and employees.
Please Note: Both in response to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Ontario and with Toronto being identified as a high risk area, The Ministry of Long Term Care has mandated long term care providers to implement changes to how indoor visits are arranged. These changes include the types and number of visitors permitted to visit the home.
Effective October 7, visits inside the home will be restricted to Employees and Essential Visitors only (Essential Visitors includes those identified as an Essential Caregiver).
Currently, Toronto has been identified as a high risk area and the province of Ontario has put all general visits to homes within this area, including Thompson House, on hold until further notice. At this time General Visitors (described below) will not be able to visit inside Thompson House at this time. Find a List of Long Term Care Homes with Visitor Restrictions.
A General Visitor is a person who is visiting a resident to provide non-essential services or for social reasons (i.e. family and/or friends). This visitor type is not considered an Essential Visitor. Below are the guidelines for General Visitors;
- Residents may receive a visit from 2 General Visitors at one time
- Visits from General Visitors will be temporarily suspended if any of the following criteria is met:
- The home is in outbreak
- The resident is self-isolating or symptomatic
- The home is in an area that has been identified as having higher community spread
An Essential Visitor is a person visiting a resident who is very ill and/or palliative or a person providing an essential service (i.e. maintenance, healthcare services, etc.). Essential Visitors include caregivers and support workers.
A Caregiver is a type of Essential Visitor who has been designated by the resident and/or their Substitute Decision Maker and is visiting to provide direct care to the resident (i.e. family members who provide meaningful connections, privately hired caregiver, paid companions or translators). Documentation of who has been designated as a Caregiver must be included on the Resident Electronic Record.
Below are the guidelines for both Essential Visitors and Caregivers:
- Caregivers must be at least 18 years of age
- Caregivers are able to visit a resident inside the home without time limits
- A resident may have a maximum of two Caregivers visit at one time (please note that the ability to maintain physical distancing from other residents in the room and in the building will need to be considered to ensure two Caregivers can be accommodated safely)
- A resident may only have one Caregiver visit at a time if;
- the home is in outbreak
- the resident is self-isolating or symptomatic
- the home is in an area that has been identified as having higher community spread
- To be designated as a Caregiver visiting our home you must complete training on Infection Prevention and Control provided by Thompson House prior to the first visit and then monthly thereafter.
- Caregivers may not visit any other resident or home for 14 days after visiting another resident who is self-isolating or symptomatic; and/or Home in an outbreak
- Caregivers will be required to verbally attest to the home that, in the last 14 days, they have not visited another Resident who is self-isolating or symptomatic; and/or Home in an outbreak prior to entry
- Caregivers are not permitted to visit other resident rooms or any of the programs area
If you would like to have an individual added to a resident’s electronic record as a Caregiver please contact Vinka Kucevic, Acting Director of Nursing at 416-447-7244 ext. 535.
Thompson House must maintain the following requirements in order to able to allow visits to our home.
Homes must not be in Outbreak:
To continue to accommodate visits, our home must not be in outbreak. In the event that the status of our home changes and/or if there is a steady increase of local community COVID-19 cases, we will follow the guidance set out by the Chief Medical Health Officer and Public Health.
Ensure Access to Visits is Equitable:
We will continue with the schedule and time limits on visits that our home has developed so that we can continue to accommodate more families/visitors. General visits are limited to approximately 30 minutes and no more than one visit per week based on scheduling availability.
Indoor visitors must have completed a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 14 days of the visit:
A valid negative COVID-19 test is required for any visitor visiting a resident inside our home. Test results can be either be a print out or displayed on your phone. We will not accept any emailed copies for your own privacy protection. Thompson House will not provide COVID-19 tests.
Caregivers and Essential visitors to long term care homes meet the testing criteria and are eligible to be tested at either an assessment centre and/or select pharmacies. As of October 6, you will need an appointment to get tested. Find an Assessment Centre.
Visitors must pass our ‘Active Screening Questionnaire’:
When you arrive for your visit, our staff will take your temperature and ask you screening questions regarding any symptoms, travel and/or contact with others. You must pass this screener otherwise will not be permitted to visit. If you are unwell or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please do not visit our home and reschedule your visit. If you are unsure you can complete a Self-Assessment prior to your visit. Complete a COVID-19 Self Assessment.
Visitors must comply with the following Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) protocols put in place by our home:
» Follow Mask and/or Face Covering Requirements and Bylaws:
- Indoor visits: As per ministry requirements and the City of Toronto bylaw on mandatory masking, all visitors entering our home will be provided with a medical/surgical mask that must be worn at all times while in the home.
- Outdoor visits: All visitors must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while visiting with a Resident outdoors. Masks or face coverings will not be provided so please bring your own.
» Practice Hand Hygiene:
You must sanitize your hands by using the dedicated hand sanitizer at the screening station before and after the visit with our Residents.
» Practice Physical Distancing:
You must maintain a distance of 2 metres/6 feet between the Resident as guided by the ministry. Regretfully, that will mean for the safety of your loved one and all of the Residents you will not be able to hug, kiss, touch or pass along items/gifts directly.
Booking a Visit
General Visits may only be booked with Jackie Miller, Program Manager at 416-447-7244 ext. 530 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday. We encourage you to continue to book your visits outdoors as the weather remains nice.
In order to help you schedule your visit, we have prepared a Visitor Schedule. With the safety of our residents, staff and home in mind, we have dedicated days and times to select floors to ensure an organized and safe visit.
Additional Information For a Safe Visit
- As our home is busy during meals, we will not be scheduling any visits during these times.
- If your visit is scheduled outdoors and there is inclement weather, we will either schedule your visit at the north entrance doors or we may need to reschedule it for another day. Unfortunately, we cannot move it indoors as it may conflict with the indoor visit schedule.
- If you have been accessing virtual visits and plan to start in person visits we may find the need to reduce the number of virtual visits you have scheduled to ensure we can accommodate more families/visitors into the schedule.
- Please do not bring in any outside food or drinks during your visit. However, you may continue to drop off prepackaged items for residents.
We will do our best to accommodate all visit requests and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work together for the benefit of all our Residents.