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Government of Ontario: Role in LTC and Response to COVID-19 in LTC


Role of the Government of Ontario

Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Response

Long-term care homes (LTCH) are part of the provincial health care system. The Ministry of Long-Term Care is responsible to regulate, license, and inspect all LTCHs.

Provincial standards and regulations for long-term care homes are set out in:

Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007

Ontario Regulation 79/10

The Long-Term Care Home Quality Inspection Program (LQIP) safeguards residents’ well-being by investigating complaints and critical incidents, and by ensuring that all LTCHs are inspected at least once per year. Inspection reports for homes are available here.

Concerns with the operation of a LTCH should be directed to the Ministry of Long-Term Care through the complaint process.
Ongoing: Provides daily provincial summaries of COVID-19 cases as well as long-term care cases of COVID-19 in Ontario

August 28: Following the advice of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, effective immediately, residents can spend time away from their long-term care homes for day trips or overnight absences.

July 30: Ontario government released two reports Report Back on the Gillese Inquiry and “Long-Term Care Staffing Study Report

July 29: The Ontario government launched an independent commission into COVID-19 and long-term care. Three commissioners will investigate how COVID-19 spread within long-term care homes, how residents, staff, and families were impacted, and the adequacy of measures taken by the province and other parties to prevent, isolate and contain the virus

June 11: Family and friends will be allowed access to these settings beginning June 18, 2020. Long-term care homes will allow outdoor visits of one person per resident each week at a minimum

June 1: Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé launched an investigation into the oversight of long-term care homes by the province’s Ministry of Long-Term Care and Ministry of Health during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

May 19: Announces Independent Commission into Long-Term Care to improve the system following COVID-19 outbreak

May 12: Adopted an emergency order allowing the province to issue a mandatory management order for a long-term care home struggling to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak

April 24: Launched a hiring campaign for LTC homes targeting both health care and non-health care positions (cleaning staff, dietary workers, laundry staff)

April 21: Increased test capacity to test all residents and staff in LTC

April 15: Announced the COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes

April 14: Issued an emergency order prohibiting employees from working at multiple long-term care facilities

April 8: Issued a directive for LTCHs to begin more aggressive screening – upgraded to twice daily screening for symptoms and temperature checks of staff, essential visitors, and residents

March 13: Issued a memorandum to all LTC homes strongly recommending only essential visitors be allowed to enter

March 9: Issued a memorandum to all members of the long-term care sector, instructing homes to begin actively screening all visitors, residents, new admissions and returning residents

Government of Ontario Information

Government of Ontario COVID-19 Information

Government of Ontario, Ministry of Long-Term Care. (2019). Long-Term Care overview. [Website]

Reports on Long-Term Care Homes. [Website]

Gillese, E. (2019, July 31). The Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System. [Report]

Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long-Term Care.  Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information for the Long-Term Care (LTC) Sector. [Website]

Government of Ontario. (May 8, 2020). How Ontario is responding to COVID-19. [Website]

Government of Ontario. (April 15, 2020). COVID-19 action plan: long-term care homes. [Website]

Ministry of Health. (April 15, 2020). COVID-19 Outbreak Guidance for Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH) Version 2.

Ministry of Long-Term Care. (April 15, 2020). COVID-19 Directive #3 for Long-Term Care Homes under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007. [Policy Directive]

Ministry of Long-Term Care. (March 28, 2020). Ontario Taking Emergency Measures to Support Long-Term Care Homes During COVID-19. [Press Release]

Campbell, A. (2007).  Spring of Fear: The Report of the Commission to Investigate the Introduction and Spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). [Report]

Other General Information

COVID-19 Related Information

AdvantAge Ontario

Health Quality Ontario, Long-Term Care Home Performance in Ontario

Ontario Long Term Care Association

Ontario Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care, Home Community and Residential Care Services

Re-imagining Long-term Residential Care, York University

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. (June 5, 2020). Long-Term Care Systemic Failings: Two Decades of Staffing and Funding Recommendations. [Report]

Government of British Columbia, Office of the Seniors Advocate. (February 2020). A Billion Reasons to Care: A Funding Review of Contracted Long-Term Care in B.C. [Report]
LTC Responses to Covid-19, International Long-term Care Policy Network (ILPN)

Supports for LTC Team Members during COVID-19, Ontario Centres for Learning, Research, and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI)

COVID-19 Resources – Providing Care in LTC, Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto