Can I visit a resident in the Houses of Providence?

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Based on the rate of community transmission of COVID-19, we have reduced the presence of Essential Care Partners at our three sites of Unity Health Toronto to help keep our patients, staff and community safe.

At the Houses of Providence, we are facilitating visiting for Essential Care Partners (ECPs) only. This is in line with the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s visiting policy for homes located in an area with higher community spread. At the Houses, ECPs provide direct care to residents, such as helping with feeding, mobility, hygiene, or cognitive stimulation. Note that this definition is different than an ECP in the acute care or rehabilitation hospitals of Unity Health.

Currently, visiting is limited to Essential Care Partners (ECPs) only. To register as an ECP:
  • Contact the Houses Visits team by email at Houses.visits@unityhealth.to or through the hotline at 416-400-1902.
  • Provide a maximum of 2 designated caregivers (must be at least 18 years of age). Only one ECP is permitted to visit at a time as the Ministry has identified the City of Toronto as a region with higher community spread of COVID-19. Note: As a precaution to avoid the potential for spreading infection, the sharing of caregivers among Houses residents is not allowed at this time. Hired caregivers should be working at one long-term care site only.
  • Provide a schedule with times for when the essential caregiver will be at the Houses (between 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.).
  • The Houses team will provide further safety guidelines and instructions.
If you have any further questions, please email back at Houses.visits@unityhealth.to or call the visit hotline at 416-400-1902.

Once you have been registered as an Essential Care Partner (ECP), we ask that ECPs follow our safety procedures when in the Houses, including:

  • Screening at the entrance to the Houses. ECPs must undergo rapid antigen tests every other day they visit (max 3x/week)
  • ECPs should remain in the resident’s room. ECPs to ask staff if they require cultural food to be reheated, etc. The resident can be taken for walks outside of the building or in the gardens, but cannot leave the Providence premises.
  • We ask that ECPs do not take the resident to the common areas inside the facility. This is to support small group activities and physical distancing.
  • ECPs will wear a surgical/procedural mask and face shield at all times.
  • Meticulous hand hygiene must be maintained throughout the visit as well as adherence to all infection prevention and control requirements.
  • Six-foot distancing is not required for an ECP and their resident when wearing a mask and face shield, however, the caregiver must maintain six-foot physical distancing from all other residents and staff.

It is important these processes are followed as we want to minimize the risk of spreading infection to our residents and staff. To ensure all ECPs are aware of the safety measures in place, the Houses team will be providing training to all ECPs.