Ontario will offer nursing home residents a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The province will also mandate booster doses for all long-term care (LTC) staff, volunteers, caregivers and support workers effective Jan. 28.
“Mandating third vaccine doses for long-term care staff and caregivers and offering fourth doses to residents is an important step our government is taking to protect long-term care staff and residents,” LTC Minister Rod Phillips said in a statement Thursday. “I ask all Ontarians to help us protect our most vulnerable by getting your booster as soon as you are eligible.”
New stricter visiting rules at LTC homes were implemented Thursday, allowing only two designated essential caregivers to visit while banning residents from leaving the facilities for social purposes.
Once those rules are lifted, general visitors to LTC facilities will need to show proof of a booster shot to enter.
According to the provincial government, almost 47% of LTC staff and nearly 86% of eligible residents have had a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Staff, volunteers and students are already required to show proof of full immunization to access their workplaces.
The latest public health data shows 186 active cases and one death among LTC residents and 307 active staff cases.