Long Term Care and Community Care Facilities Visitation and COVID-19 Guidance

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic declared on March 11th, 2020 restrictions were implemented in Long Term Care and Community Care Facilities across Prince Edward Island to protect residents and staff. Vaccine coverage continues to increase in the community setting and facilities are reporting high rates of resident vaccination. Guidance is being revised to allow further lifting of restrictions in a phased and monitored approach.

LTC Visitation Directive:

Available online: CPHO Directive on Visitation to Long-Term Care Facilities and Nursing Homes

Reminder the Long Term Care Visitation Directive aligns with restrictions in Community Care. However, Community Care staff, PICs and designated visitors do not require medical grade masks, non-medical masks are acceptable.

  • The following LTC and Community Care facilities visitation allowances will be dependent on resident vaccination rates being maintained equal to or greater than 85%.
  • Facilities are responsible for monitoring and ensuring vaccination rates among residents are at target percentage.
  • If rates fail to be maintained at 85% or greater the previous visitation guidance (June 22nd 2021) must be followed.

Partners in Care:

  • Each Resident may identify up to (3) Partners in Care (PIC) who can have increased access and visitation. Partner’s in Care may support mealtime, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, meaningful connections, relational continuity and assist in supporting the resident.
  • A Partner in Care may visit the resident at any time, provided this visit does not have a negative impact on the care of any other resident in the facility.
  • Partners in Care must follow all infection control protocols in place and shall maintain physical distancing from other residents and staff. A non-medical mask must be worn at all times when in the community care facility and outdoors when physical distancing is not maintained e.g. outdoor walks.

Designated Visitors:

  • Designated visitors are individuals who visit a resident primarily for social or other supportive reasons and may include family and friends.
  • A resident may identify an unlimited number of designated visitors.
  • Visitors are permitted indoors and/or outdoors.
  • Physical distancing is not required between the Designated Visitor and the resident.

General Visitation Guidance applicable to Partners in Care and Designated Visitors

  • Visitation can occur in the resident’s room or other areas within the facility.
    • Must maintain physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) from staff and other residents at the facility during the visit.
  • Visitors and Partners in Care may visit together.
  • Physical distancing does not need to be maintained between the resident and visitor whether visitation occurs in a designated or non-designated space.
  • Visitors and Partners in Care must be well and have no signs of illness.
  • Visitors and Partners in Care will be screened by facility staff for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry.
  • Symptomatic individuals will be excluded from visiting until they are well.
  • Visitors and Partners in Care must perform hand hygiene upon entry to the home and after the visit at point of exit and when indicated. Must follow all infection control guidelines in place at the facility.
  • Visits will be during facility visiting hours unless exceptional circumstances.
  • Visitor log should be maintained (date and time of visits, full names and phone numbers) and made available to Public Health if needed. Records should be kept for one month to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. These records should be stored in a safe, secure location for one month after creation of the records and then disposed of using a secure destruction method to maintain confidentiality. For paper records, secure destruction means, at minimum, cross-cut shredding

Masking Requirements

Non Vaccinated Resident, PIC or Designated Visitor:

  • A medical grade mask in Long Term Care or a non-medical mask in Community Care must be worn at all times while visiting with the resident indoors.
  • When visitation occurs outdoors mask use must be continued by those visiting unless physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) is maintained between the resident and PIC and/or Designated Visitor.

Vaccinated Resident and Vaccinated PIC or Designated Visitor

  • Fully vaccinated PIC and Designated Visitors of fully vaccinated residents are not required to wear a mask when visiting with a resident in an outdoor setting or when off facility property. Fully vaccinated PIC and Designated Visitors of fully vaccinated residents are not required to wear a mask when visiting indoors in the resident’s room if physical distancing can be maintained from others (e.g. a roommate).
  • Masks must be worn upon entry until visitor or PIC are in the resident’s room or area for visitation. If 6 feet physical distancing cannot be maintained from other residents, masking requirements are in place.

Personal Drives

  • Partners in Care and/or designated visitors may take a resident for a drive for an agreed upon time frame.
  • The Partner in Care or designated visitor must don a medical mask or non-medical as per visitation guidelines while the resident is in their care in the vehicle.
  • Fully vaccinated PIC and Designated Visitors of fully vaccinated residents are not required to wear a mask.
  • Physical distancing does not need to be maintained between the resident and visitor.
  • Drives can include disembarking from the vehicle and may have contact with other designated visitors or Partners in Care, but may not have contact with general members of the public.
  • Hand hygiene must be completed and the touch surfaces of the vehicle must be clean.
  • Residents who own/operate their own vehicle may go for a personal drive independently following the criteria for personal drives.
  • Residents who own properties (e.g. cottage) may go to these residences for a pre-determined time frame independently or with their PICs or designated visitors.
  • Residents are permitted to stay overnight with any or all of their Partners in Care and designated visitors provided all infection control measures are maintained.

Community Church Attendance

  • Residents may attend Church services in the community setting.
  • Physical distancing from others, adherence to hand hygiene and all other public health measures must be maintained at all times.
  • Residents may attend independently, or in the company of their PIC or designated visitors.
  • Resident and those accompanying the resident must adhere to masking requirements as per the facility (LTC or Community Care).
  • Personal drive guidance must be followed prior to and post Church attendance.

Facility Church Service

  • Follow Worship Service Guidance as found online
  • Follow Entertainment Guidance for LTC and Community Care Key Points
  • Clergy and organist (if applicable) must maintain physical distancing from residents
  • Masks must be worn for entirety of worship service by all present minus resident population.
  • A visitor log will be kept

 Resident Co-horts

  • Resident co-horts allow for resident engagement and interaction with one another while ensuring quick recognition of close contacts among residents in the event of a positive case of COVID-19 within the home.
  • Resident co-horts may continue with 8-10 residents per co-hort.
  • Co-horts must be consistent and changes tracked for contact tracing purposes.
  • Members of a co-hort are not required to be physically distanced from one another.

Other Considerations

  • Residents who have the physical ability to go for a walk or bike ride independently may resume this activity.
  • May not have contact with general members of the public.

Protecting Non Vaccinated Residents

  • Enhanced visitation and lifting of restrictions dependent on 85% of residents vaccinated to provide herd protection in the home/facility environment.
  • Ongoing access and timely administration of COVID-19 vaccine for staff and residents.
  • Continued screening for illness and risk factors of all visitors and staff that enter facility.
  • Continued use of masks by staff and visitors.
  • Continued adherence to infection prevention and control protocols and public health measures.
  • Monitoring of local epidemiology and COVID-19 variants of concern.
Published date: 
July 30, 2021
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121