Ontario Implements Enhanced Measures to Protect the Safety of Residents in Long-Term Care Homes

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

March 24, 2020 - Ministry of Long-Term Care

Toronto - Ontario is taking further steps to ensure that health sector workers, including those that work in the long-term care sector, are available, where and when they are needed. These enhanced measures will support the province's extensive efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

On March 23, Ontario enacted a new order under the March 17, 2020 declaration of emergency to ensure personnel are properly deployed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to keep staff, volunteers and residents in long-term care homes safe. This temporary order would give long-term care homes the ability to free-up valuable staff, identify staffing priorities, and develop, modify and implement redeployment plans.

Under this temporary order long-term care homes will be able to respond to, prevent and alleviate an outbreak of COVID-19 by carrying out measures such as:

  • Redeploying staff within different locations in (or between) facilities of the health service provider;
  • Changing the assignment of work, including assigning non-bargaining unit employees or contractors to perform bargaining unit work;
  • Changing the scheduling of work or shift assignments;
  • Deferring or cancelling vacations, absences or other leaves, regardless of whether such vacations, absences or leaves are established by statute, regulation, agreement or otherwise;
  • Employing extra part-time or temporary staff or contractors, including for the purpose of performing bargaining unit work;
  • Using volunteers to perform work, including to perform bargaining unit work; and
  • Providing appropriate training or education as needed to staff and volunteers to achieve the purposes of a redeployment plan.

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